Adventures in Ethics and Science

“It’s never going to rain again.”
— Dr. Free-Ride’s better half, contemplating cloudy skies over the last month or so

“Oh yeah?”
— The weather in the vicinity of Casa Free-Ride, at approximately 4:45 AM today

It was not a torrential downpour, but there was a good, hard rain for 15 to 20 minutes early this morning, and from the looks of things there might have been a drizzle for some time after that.

You can guess what this did for this morning’s gastropod foray.

Strikingly, the serious slug and snail action was not in the garden beds where the initial infestation was so horrific. Rather, most of the gastropods I picked this morning were on the edges of the yard. This suggests to me that, as I noted yesterday, snails and slugs don’t respect property lines — so the neighboring yards that aren’t being picked daily are acting as a gastropod source.

Nonetheless, the influx from the neighbors (and whatever undiscovered gastropod lairs may remain in our yard) still doesn’t bring us up to the numbers we were seeing before the campaign of eradication.

If I weren’t worried about goading Mother Nature to visit ironic (but probably hilarious) retribution upon me, I might me tempted to say, “Even with rain, this is all you’ve got?”

Today’s take: 76 slugs and 44 snails.


  1. #1 JohnV
    June 2, 2009

    I know its come up several times, so this can likely be filed under “not gonna happen”.

    Since it seems that the neighboring yards might be producing the gastropod hordes that continue to inflict you, do you think something like the copper barrier around the property line might work? I know it didn’t seem to help when it was just used to surround your garden (I think?), but I wonder if its a numbers game. Your yard has zillions of these jerks so whatever percentage of them are able to cross the barrier turns into a lot on your garden.

    Maybe if you reduce the influx into your yard and end up a much smaller breeding population, you’ll have fewer on a day to day basis to deal with. I mean, that’s essentially what you’ve done by picking a bazillion of them already, since today you found them on the yard-borders.

    Anyway that’s just some random thought I had while procrastinating setting up my qPCR plates.

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