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California Slugs

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California Slugs

Post  Shoda on 4/28/2010, 1:58 pm

I grew up on the Pacific Northwest and up there a slug is a slug -- you know, 6" - 12" long. You can see them and they can probably see you!

Now I live in California. This morning I went to check on my beautiful strawberries. They are not yet in a SFG bed and I don't plan to move them until fall. However, I did make covers for them and have been watching them slowly ripen. So I finally pick the first berry and the underside is totally eaten away. When I looked at it closely, there was the tiniest slug I have ever seen. I am talking 1/8" long. There were a few eating away at the poor berry.

I really wanted to eat come berries this year. I am thinking that standard slug and snail bait won't do very much because I suspect these slugs only move 1" in their entire lives.

Should I mix up some Mel's Mix for compost (to keep the berries off the dirt) and throw in some snail bait or would that spoil the fruit.
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Re: California Slugs

Post  Wyldflower on 4/28/2010, 2:10 pm

Drown 'em in beer!
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Re: California Slugs

Post  boffer on 4/28/2010, 2:13 pm

Wyldflower wrote:Drown 'em in beer!

Silly goose! You're supposed to drink the beer and throw the empties at them!
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Re: California Slugs

Post  boffer on 4/28/2010, 2:22 pm

Slugs were a big incentive when I started moving everything to table top sfg's. They would have babies in the middle of lettuce plants, and I'm sure we missed some while washing the lettuce (extra protein?)

How about covering the soil with newspaper or plastic? As you know, slugs are insidious-you can fight them, but there's no winning.
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Re: California Slugs

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/28/2010, 2:44 pm

boffer wrote:snip ....drink the beer and throw the empties at them!

Then, while you can still see clearly, since they don't go far, pick off the slugs you can see with chopsticks and drop them into the empties as you pick them up. Put them into ziplocks and throw them away.

I do this at night because 1. the little plant lice (I call these tiny slugs and aphids plant lice) come out where you can easily see them by the light of a hikers head lamp (holding a flashlight might take too much coordination with the chopsticks in hand after drinking the beer) and drop them into the can. 2. The neighbors are less likely to see you at night.....though the light bopping suspiciously about the garden might encourage them to call 911, do not offer the responding officer a beer, offer him a strawberry. In the dark the hole will not show and a doughnut is too cliché.

Deborah ....who has seen the little guys in the pnw.
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Re: California Slugs

Post  Odd Duck on 4/28/2010, 3:33 pm

Deborah,
You're killin' me!

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Re: California Slugs

Post  Shoda on 4/28/2010, 11:10 pm

Gee thanks for the suggestions! I did stop by the local garden center today and do I feel like a doof... they are not midget slugs at all. They are BABY slugs. YUCK!

I got some of that "iron based" killer and sprinkled that around. I might try some newspaper or other compost to try to keep them off the dirt. If I drank beer, I might try the beer trick but since the slugs are so tiny I am pretty sure I wouldn't see them at night (or if I had been drinking!)

The store mentioned that our recent rain is hatching the baby slugs from the dirt. So if I move these plants next fall, am I just going to move the slug eggs from the dirt. Can I say YUCK again? YUCK YUCK YUCK. (Ok, I am done).
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Re: California Slugs

Post  Wyldflower on 4/28/2010, 11:38 pm

Hi Shoda...
I know it sounds silly, but I was serious about drowning them in beer. Get a can or bottle of beer, and put some in a shallow dish. In the evening, set that on the ground near where you find the slugs. They are attracted to the beer, fall into the dish and drown. (Since like me, you're not a beer drinker, I'd opt for a bottle ... the slugs don't care if it's flat, so you can keep it for a bit.)
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Re: California Slugs

Post  Shoda on 4/28/2010, 11:46 pm

Thanks. I guess I am going to buy the slugs a beer.
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Re: California Slugs

Post  Icemaiden on 4/29/2010, 7:14 am

The beer works well. When I was a kid we usedd to put out grapefruit halves, after we had spooned out the grapefruit for breakfast. You put them cut side down and the slugs crawl inside, then you just check them every day and dispose of teh slugs you have collected.

I also saw somewhere that you can fasten lengths of plastic guttering to you bos (so a cross section looks like a question mark ? with the vertical line the wooden side and the curved bit the guttering. Then you spray veg oil on the guttering and the poor little slugs just slide off! Wonder if it works? It seems a lot of effort to me.

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