What kind of beer do slugs prefer at a garden party?
There was a time in my life when the answer to such a question would have been "Whatever I can get for $6 a 12-pack." Of course, that was also a time when I would have been dating one of the slugs, and the "garden" would have been the overgrown, weedy yard of some house six of my friends were renting off-campus.
Fast forward (insert a number that will remain forever a secret here) years, and the slugs are little slimy critters consuming the cucumber starts I planted two weeks ago. I want to kill them in a way that does not involve using chemical pesticides that also kill the neighborhood's birds and cats.
The setting for my little party is two troughs made of PVC pipe that, when filled with beer, will attract the slugs. They will die in the beer, of course, but they won't care.
I covered the rough edges of the cut plastic pipe to help them avoid hurting their sticky little bellies as they crawled into my Evil Plan.
After getting the troughs seated in the soil, I peered into our basement fridge and wondered which variety of micro-brew would draw the little buggers. I settled on the Harvest Moon pumpkin ale. It wasn't because I thought slugs would prefer "ripened pumpkin, cloves, allspice and nutmeg for a lightly spiced finish." It was because, as the name of the beer suggests, it had been in the refrigerator since last fall -- Halloween, if I remember correctly.
The Evil Plan most certainly would have worked better if an inch of rain hadn't fallen overnight. Still, I found four or five slugs floating in the beer bath this morning, leaving me only four to pick off my plants.
And you know, I could swear that late last night I heard tiny voices singing, "Ohhhhh, I'm a lumberjack and I don't care ..."