Slugicide: does it matter how you kill slugs?

Updated: Mar 18, 2018

After the initial success of the beer traps, the suicide rate plummeted. Despite being English, these slugs don’t love their beer enough to die for it. So we gave them a helping hand, started picking them off and sending them to beer heaven.


We got a bit obsessed with flooding the beds, staring across the beaded pools with head torches late at night in eager anticipation of finding slugs… Slug hunting is serious. It's very much them or our plants and till now, they have decimated everything.

Recently however, in a sudden and unexpected moment of pedagogical self reflection, I find myself concerned about drowning these little b@5+@^&s in hop.

No one I know likes slugs. I really don't like them. (Then, I'm certain there are people who might feel that way about me sometimes.) But is that reason enough to commit slug genocide? (Sadly that's an exaggeration since we don't kill nearly enough to warrant the term.)


Is it more compassionate to place them in the chicken run and let the eco-participants play their natural part? We did try this for a while - with enough slugs for a resolute empirical conclusion. It transpires that even the chickens don't like them. In hindsight we may have had more success had they been marinated in beer first.


I have no intention of digressing into an existential debate on the cruelty to plants, insects, animals or humans, but I need a clear conscience when eliminating these critters, instead of the sadistically satisfying feeling when I find them in the jar.

My conscience says - if they choose to indulge in a yeasty demise then it is by their choice (even though I run the beer bar 24/7, a minor detail). So picking them up and dropping them in to what might be a slower demise feels a bit wrong and doesn't quite meet the humane and ethical methods I ought to adhere to... Or does it?


I think I need to research more on Slug Guantanamo. There may be chemical weapons that aren’t toxic to the fish. We could try bio warfare with nematodes. Or call them Sluganovich, Slimesky, and Gastropov, then maybe foreign agents would do our dirty work for us.


Voting is open.


PS

The slug pub appears to be a well known home-made slug deterrent. For teetotallers, it is worth knowing that there are alternatives to the slug pub: A cup of warm water with a tbsp of flour, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp yeast - apparently slugs find the scent of fermenting yeast attractive.

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