Monday, July 30, 2007

The Little Book Of Slugs and another sticky tale.

The other day a friend of mine called Dilys sent me this little book. It is published by the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth. She said it was given to her as a present and she couldn't get it out of her house quickly enough so she gave it to me instead. It is, of course, now one of my treasured possessions.

It is a book to help people find alternatives to slug pellets which, it says, kill lots of animals they are not meant to kill including birds and mammals. It says there are 70 alternatives to slug pellets and by the look of this book it lists each one. The first is salt and advocates that you should be creative in this. For instance why just sprinkle randomly when you can write in large letters: SLUGS - YOU CAN END IT ALL HERE! along the path...

Quite so. I shall no doubt be dipping into this book for further inspiration from time to time.

This book deals with the British slug which of course mates in a rather boring fashion (including my kitchen floor one memorable night). However my blogging friend Debra Hammel has drawn my attention to the antics of a more exotic and adventurous slug called a banana slug. Unfortunately the 'banana' in this case has a sticky ending...


Blogger Anne S said...

Ugh, slugs. Can't stand them. I have memories of standing on them in bare feet in the dark when they had a habit of cruising through the house at night. you'd see their silvery trails in the morning.

A person who was sharing the house, however, found them interesting and kept them in jar to study at close range.

Mon Jul 30, 12:26:00 am  
Blogger Crystallyn said...

We had banana slugs in the garden when I was living in Seattle. Salt is pretty amazing...they just dissolve. Very freaky to watch.

We used to leave little jar caps with a bit of beer in them. That snagged quite a few of the sluggy little beasties.

Mon Jul 30, 02:47:00 am  
Anonymous Susan said...

My husband is the poor man's St. Francis, rescuing slugs, worms, tent caterpillers - anything he comes across. The garden has to look after itself, Peter won't kill a thing. It's very tedious walking with him after a rainfall; every few feet he stops to move a worm to safe ground.

I must say, the salt cure sounds horrible. Isn't that cruel?

Mon Jul 30, 03:20:00 am  
Anonymous Clare said...

Anne: Same here - we once used to come downstairs to find their paths everywhere. It gave me the creeps. They grew quite cheeky sometimes rustling around in the wastepaper bin in the evening while we were in the room. We couldn't tell where they were coming in until one day we caught one squeezing through the tiniest hole next to a central heating pipe. We sealed it up and were bothered no more.

Crystallyn: So babana slugs hailed from Seattle! I've always wanted to go there, not sure why - now I have a quest - to find some banana slugs. That'll do as an excuse. Yes, I've never seen salt in action but both my grandmothers used to douse their back paths with the stuff. Wales is a slug paradise because it's always so damp.

Susan: That's another method in the book! I think it covers them all. Apparently some people get a bit obsessional and keep count: A Mrs Whateley claimed to have bagged 2358.

Yes, my husband's like that too. Once he found a struggling lizard on its back in a tank in the the zoo and he insisted on trying to find a keeper to tell him about it. 'We find they manage to right themselves, sir.' the curator said with a smirk. I have not let him forget about this. It is part of Hodmandod folklore.

Mon Jul 30, 07:15:00 pm  
Anonymous cfr said...

Salt works, but it may be hard to watch!

Mon Jul 30, 10:00:00 pm  

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