Totally off topic for my usual posts, but I had to share this, since it’s well worth passing along my discovery.
The back story for this, in a nutshell: My daughter brought home a strawberry plant from school, which we planted in the back garden. Shortly after planting it, it started growing a single strawberry, which my daughter was absolutely excited to eat – figuring it was the first thing she’d grown from seed that had produced a fruit. However, as soon as it turned the slightest bit red, the berry was eaten by a slug, in what must have been a magnificent feast for the slug, and a very sad moment for my daughter.
Consequently, I declared war on the backyard slug. I was going to take it out – and I was going to keep the next strawberry safe, as long as it didn’t require me staying up all night with a pair of tweezers. If you look online, there are a lot of things you can do to get rid of slugs, which include covering your garden in diatomaceous earth or chalk, and a host of other somewhat annoying remedies. I opted for the least destructive and least costly: beer. If you put out a bowl a beer, the slugs (theoretically) will come drink some, fall in, and die in the alcohol. While I rarely celebrate things dying, this sounded like the perfect vengeance on the slug in the back yard… and of course, revenge is a dish best served cold, even for slugs.
First day, I put out a bit of beer from some fancy micro-brew that I was trying, with moderate success. I think we caught a slug or two overnight. That blew my theory that there was only one slug in the back yard, so obviously, I had to keep going. The next time, I put out a bit of cheap Trader Joe’s Simpler Times beer… again, it caught a couple of slugs.
The next night, my wife and I were sampling Trader Joe’s Grapefruit Ale, since it sounded interesting, and we do like a good white beer with orange in it – a great hot summer’s day classic pairing. However, to my dismay, Grapefruit flavour Ale is possibly one of the most horrifically unpalatable beers I’ve ever tasted. I have no idea how this got onto trader joe’s shelves, though it seems to get decent ratings from other people… though it sounds like a reason to have your taste buds checked. Rather than pour it out, however, I used it to refill the slug trap in the back yard.
Instant results! Where I was catching one or two slugs a day before, suddenly, I was catching 4-5 slugs every time I went outside to check on the trap. Over 24 hours, the slug trap was catching 20-30 slugs. They’re flocking to the grapefruit beer, and I can simply walk up and poke them in to their deaths with a trowel. After a week of this, I’ve easily caught close to a hundred slugs in a garden that’s not much bigger than a couple of sandboxes.
Anyhow, the point of this story is that you should stock up on grapefruit flavoured ale at Trader Joes, before they sell out. Just in case the slug invasion ever happens, you’ll be prepared. I don’t, however, suggest drinking it, unless you’re out of other beers and the slugs are on your side, when the snails begin their quest for world domination.