Adventures in Ethics and Science

Yet another dry, overcast morning. Not the kind of weather when one feels like sliding on one’s foot across scratchy leaves or stems.

At least if one is a snail or slug.

I went right to the instant-gratification spots for slug capture. Only two out of the six locations yielded slugs today. One of them also had a wee snail.

Then, as yesterday, I peeked at the sides of the raised garden beds that are up against the fence with the neighboring yard. Today there was just one snail clinging tenaciously to a bed. I dislodged it with my garden stake, rolled it to within my reach, and tossed it in the soapy bucket of merciful deliverance.

I thought of one more potential gastropod hiding place today, near the recessed sprinkler heads on the wee lawn. I checked all the heads and found exactly one slug.

It’s been a while since we’ve watered the lawn, I guess.

Today’s take: seven slugs and two snails.


  1. #1 Lee
    June 8, 2009

    Yes, hunting and dispatching snails and slugs is so, so satisfying, in a disconcertingly joyful sort of way.

    I hates them, I hates them, yes I does.

    But you might look into another option. There is a product called “Sluggo”, which is nothing more than 1% Iron Phosphate, mixed into a general slug and snail bait. Put it into your garden, the little slimies eat it, it knocks out their appetite, they stop feeding on your garden, and then die in 3-7 days. The bait is degradable, and when it breaks down, it releases the iron phosphate into your soil as fertilizer. It is a rather strong eye irritant, and causes algae blooms if it gets into waterways, so you want to keep it away from streams, ponds, your eyes, and the little Free-Rides.

    I live in Oakland on the edge of the Berkeley fog belt – this stuff made it possible for me to grow chard, lettuces, etc, after a couple years of running a soup kitchen for hungry snails, instead of a garden.

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