Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Year of The Slug

We have seen a lot of slugs in the last two weeks, mostly lingering around the strawberries and one small container of bush beans.  We set out some beer traps, which seemed to be working.  Then, on the weekend, R. noticed that one of my beds of beans was being ravaged by slugs.  I went over to look, and sure enough, holes all through my bean plants.  Arhg!  And that variety (Canadian Wild Goose) had been doing so well this year!

We moved a beer trap to the bean bed, but it didn't help.  In fact, the slugs used it as a ramp, crawling over the trap to get to the bean bed!  R. bought a package of Scott's Eco-Sense Slug B-Gon and sprinkled it around the base of the plants.  Within two days, fewer slugs were messing with my beans.

I went outside around 6am this morning to look at the garden.  It was cool and overcast.  I wandered up the driveway to see how things were doing in the raised beds.  To my surprise, I saw a long slug stretched out on top of the parsley!  I barely stifled a loud, "Gross!" (okay, I didn't stifle it...) and pinged it off.  

Continuing along the driveway, I got to the raised bed that is mostly beans, marigolds, and parsnips.  I spotted a slug on a marigold!  I had never seen any kind of pest go near the marigolds before (other than the magpies this year).  I pinged it off, even more disgusted.  Within 30 seconds, it was clear that the first two were the tip of the iceberg.  The beans in this bed (Mary Ison's Little Brown Bunch beans) were covered in slugs.  I have never seen so many in one place in my life.

If I had had my wits about me, I would have come inside for my camera to capture this revolting spectacle.  I was so annoyed and repulsed by dozens of slimy slugs on my plants that the thought didn't even occur to me.  They chewed the heck out of one two-foot section of beans.  For some reason, they didn't bother the parsnips, which were in the same raised bed.  I pinged at least 20 off before heading into the house for the Slug B-Gon.  The spoon we use to sprinkle it between the plants doubled as a slug-slinger this morning.  I can only hope that the new tenant in the house next to our driveway was either still asleep or at work, at the exclamations of, "Gross!" quickly gave way to reflexive mutterings of, "Sh*t!  Sh*tsh*tsh*t!!

We'll see if things have improved for the beans tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, we'll be stocking up on Slug B-Gon, just in case.

Update - August 3rd - I only found 3 slugs this morning on the beans and marigolds.  A vast improvement!


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