Slugs provide food for snakes and toads. It seems like poetic justice that they get munched up as they feast on so many of our flowering plants. Their predators also include birds, ducks and geese and turtles love them too, but gardeners definitely don’t! I have never met a gardener who does not have an aversion to them. During times of drought slugs are not a problem in the garden, but when the weather is rainy, these slimy creatures seem to be out in full force. To control them, gardeners use chemicals, traps, barriers and hand picking which is especially nasty. Anything that is gritty and difficult to slide over, such as gravel or coffee grounds, can be used as a barrier around plants. The most popular trap is a saucer of beer which entices them to slide in. The poet Sharon Olds describes her reaction to slugs in the following verse:
When I was a connoisseuse of slugs
I would part the ivy leaves, and look for the
naked jelly of those gold bodies,
translucent strangers, glistening along the
stones, slowly, their gelatinous bodies
at my mercy. Made mostly of water,
they would shrivel
to nothing if they were sprinkled with salt,
but I was not interested in that. What I liked
was to draw aside the ivy, breathe the
odor of the wall, and stand there in silence
until the slug forgot I was there
and sent its antennae up out of its
head, the glimmering umber horns
rising like telescopes………..
While slugs may be fascinating to some people, I would much rather look at a flower.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on slugs.
Photo by papalars