** This is the old Compost Guy blog/site - it is no longer updated and some of the information may be out of date. **

New Compost Guy | Composting Basics | Worm Composting | Winter Composting | Bokashi
Aquaponics | Contact

I’ve Got Slugs in My Beer!

Slugs Like Beer

I recently wrote about my serious aphid problem. Well, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) that is not the only pest problem I have this year. Slugs have been a recurring pain in the neck each growing season, and this year is certainly no different.

One of the disadvantages of using a mulch like straw to keep moisture in and weeds down, is that you also end up creating more potential slug habitat.

In past years I have simply tolerated the crop grazing, primarily due to the fact that they didn’t really seem to have a major impact on my ‘important’ crop plants, such as the tomatoes and zucchinis. This year however, with all my garden expansions and a renewed desire to nurture the best garden possible, I definitely want to see if I can mitigate the slug problem.

I’ve heard that slugs love beer. Luckily, I don’t mind having the odd wobbly pop myself, so I decided to test out the ‘beer trap’ method of slug removal – making sure that all remaining slugicide did not go to waste.

My strawberry patch seems to be slug central this year, so I thought this was as good a place as any to do my testing. My ‘traps’ consisted of three shallow containers with some beer in them. Pretty straight-forward stuff.

So far so good. When I checked on the traps the morning after setting them up, each of them had at least a couple slugs in them, along with an assortment of other invertebrate party animals – ants, flies, beetles etc. Interestingly, I left the traps for an additional day, but didn’t seem to trap any more slugs. Hmmm…these beer traps could get expensive (and fun at the same time – haha).

All joking aside, I think I’ll be trying out some other methods. If anyone knows of any good techniques for getting rid of slugs (in an eco-friendly manner) please let me know. One possibility that I’ve considered is diatomaceous earth, but I’m a little worried about hurting ‘good guy’ critters like lady bugs etc.

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted!

[tags]slugs, slug traps, pests, garden pests, diatomaceous earth[/tags]

Written by Compost Guy on June 25th, 2009 with comments disabled.
Read more articles on Gardening.

Related articles


Comments are now disabled for this article, thank you for your participation. Read the comments left by other users below, or:

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Natalia
#1. June 26th, 2009, at 6:39 PM.

My experience with the beer trap is that not all the slugs actually fall into it and some even manage to escape after falling in. I check my traps an hour or two after sun set. The trap walls are black with slugs!!! Lots of big ones too. Grab a flashlight and harvest them. You don’t have to change the beer trap daily either, it tends to work for about 5 days.

Get your own gravatar by visiting gravatar.com Mary Jackson
#2. June 29th, 2009, at 1:27 AM.

If you can have them a couple of chickens would be of geat help. Or even Muscovy ducks. They’re pretty quiet.