Wulf's Webden

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West Country Slug Pubs

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Slugs and snails have a role to play in the ecology of the garden but unfortunately there is no way to train them to only clean up dying and dead plants so some sort of control measures are needed to keep the edge off the population when there are tender young plants in the garden. One approach is the creation of “slug pubs” – containers filled with beer. The gastropods are attracted into these watering holes and the alcohol, in some combination of affecting their senses and affecting their ability to create a slimy escape trail, causes them to drown.

However, what if you can’t find suitably cheap beer to keep your traps topped up? The lees in the bottom of my homebrew bottles are good; in the summer, I pour myself a clear glassful but stop before transferring the sediment, giving some liquid for the traps left over. However, for humans wanting the cheapest volume of alcohol, cider is a popular choice. Having not found any cheap beer at the supermarket the other day, I picked up a bottle of cider to see if it worked on slugs.

Early indications are that it does seem to do the job, so quite a few of my slug pubs now have a cidery, West Country flavour.