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Why I Chose the 'Death Penalty' for My Garden Slugs

Dorothy is a Master Gardener, former newspaper reporter, and the author of several books. Michael is a landscape/nature photographer in NM.

An adult garden slug

An adult garden slug

I Could Never Understand Hunters

My son always liked to go hunting during deer season, and would sometimes come back with a big 6-point buck or whatever they are called. I never could understand it and I still don't understand about killing deer.

My son would always tell me that if hunters didn't kill deer, we would be overrun with them and they would all run out in the middle of the road and cause accidents. Still, a deer is a pretty cute creature, and don't all living things have value in the balance of nature? I can now answer that question with a resounding "NO"!!!

Today I'm Going to Go and Kill Something!

As a matter of fact, I have just put on my boots, cap, blue jeans, and gloves and I am on a mission to kill something. And, yes, it will be pre-meditated. I have planned this out and expect to get away with it and never even lose a wink of sleep. I am going outside to hunt down and kill every nasty, toeless, fingerless, creepy, crawly slug I can track down.

Step 1 in this pre-meditated murder is to hunt these slimy little things down. You can go outside and brush away some leaves off the ground and there they will be...having a leaf snack before they move on to your flowers. You don't have to be in a hurry; he's not going to outrun you. Leave no stone unturned because these slimy little creeps can make themselves look like a rock if they want. Don't fall for it. Hunt them down...all of them.

Every time you find one, use your tweezers to pick him up and drop him in a two-liter bottle of water (or bleach) (or acid), so he will drown. You MUST put the lid back on the bottle because this little creep will come right back out to ruin your garden again if you don't make sure he is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD!!!

Now, what exactly is the "balance of nature" value of a slug? There isn't one. They live merely to make our lives miserable by eating our leaves and plants and leaving nasty, ugly, slimy little trails behind to flaunt their existence. As you are dropping him into the bottle, pinch him a few times so that he will recognize your superiority. Then, say the following poem I have written just for the occasion:

  • Who's gonna cry when I kill this slug?
  • Don't care what you say, no one likes this bug.
  • I will drop him in a bottle, then hunt for another.
  • Maybe if I'm lucky I will find his mother.
Make no mistake, if you love your garden, this is the ENEMY and he must be taken out.  The Navy Seals are busy, so you'll have to do it yourself.  If you have moral issues that prevent you from killing a living creature, bring him to ME!!

Make no mistake, if you love your garden, this is the ENEMY and he must be taken out. The Navy Seals are busy, so you'll have to do it yourself. If you have moral issues that prevent you from killing a living creature, bring him to ME!!

This Is Good News?

Slugs are hermaphrodites, which means they have both female and male reproductive organs. Slugs, once they have chosen a mate, will encircle each other, exchanging sperm through protruded genitalia. It only takes a few days, then they lay 25-30 eggs in a hole, or under something that will provide protection for the eggs (like a fallen tree). So, once this batch grows up, you'll have more of these little buggers around to continue making your life miserable.

I Would Start Slicing From the Head (Just Sayin')

Slug body parts...cut them off one by one if you want to.

Slug body parts...cut them off one by one if you want to.

Sleep at last

  • Now, you've hunted them down, murdered them, recited the slug poem, so what's left to do?
  • I would go take a nap and fall asleep knowing you have made the world a better place. You will sleep like a baby.


Shock Them!

You could always buy some copper barrier tape and put it around your plants. This will give them an electrical shock so these creeps won't cross it and instead go somewhere else and terrorize someone else's plants. The metal ions in the copper are great and you can think of it as a mild electric chair for villainous slugs. If you have a raised bed garden, buy the 1 1/4" tape with an adhesive back and apply it to the boards of the bed. You might have to use staples or push pins if the adhesive doesn't stick well. Go for it! Kill (or at least discourage) those suckers!

Sure, You Can Trap Them, But Where's the Fun In That??

Then There's This Way!

© 2011 Mike and Dorothy McKenney

Comments

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 15, 2017:

Murder She Wrote is an old TV show of which my husband is currently watching an old rerun. I see you have written your own version of Murder She (or He) Wrote. Ha!

Crushed eggshells around plants can repel these creatures from munching on plants. Another remedy is putting out some beer in a bowl and placing it in your garden. Snails and slugs will crawl in overnight, imbibe and be dead by morning. Then you can put them on your compost pile. Use the cheapest beer you can find. No sense wasting good money on those creatures.

Mike and Dorothy McKenney (author) from United States on March 19, 2012:

Yes, Suzanne. Do you think I need to talk to a counselor?...lol

Suzanne Jarrell on March 19, 2012:

Wow.....that was too funny...you really enjoyed that little killing spree didn't you!

Mike and Dorothy McKenney (author) from United States on July 26, 2011:

Thank you Sandy, I was giggling as I wrote it!

Sandy Bennett on July 26, 2011:

I love this! I hate those things and this made me giggle.

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