Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Make a Beer Baited Slug Trap, Mark I

Slugs like beer to death and so do snails apparently but only slugs seem to come to my refurbished, Ye Happy Slug Inn (MI). It's very simple. You set up an 'inn' amongst whatever plants they are munching. Slugs go in, guzzle beer, get legless and drown - dying a happier death than they do by pellets I'm sure.

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1. Save and wash clean a small cuttable plastic container, in this case a 1L milk bottle which has a nice wide neck.
2. Using a box cutter/stanley knife, cut container into two halves to make a shorter container. Use scissors to tidy up the edges if you wish. Make sure the lower half is tall enough to contain about 1/2 cup liquid. If using a lidded tub, cut a hole about 4cm in diameter/square in the lid to let the slugs in. A lid of some sort helps to keep rain from diluting the mixture and other larger animals from getting at the beer. If using a bottle choose one with a wide neck to waft the beer scent and invite slugs in. A soft drink bottle is too narrow, but some water and energy drink bottles have suitable wide necks.
3. Put about 2 to 3cm of beer in base of container and put on lid. I previously tried Carlton Draught which works but not as well as a Corona and Pure Blonde blend do.
4. Place amongst whatever slugs are eating. If in a garden bed you may wish to partially bury the base to 2-3cm above ground level, for stability and to ensure only slugs climb up into it and no other invertebrates fall in.
5. Check every few days to fish out dead slugs, or more frequently if it has been raining. The beer is fine to keep reusing. You will find that with warmer weather a layer of yeast will form. Although icky, yeast is what attract the slugs so you should leave it. I use an old sieve to strain out the slug carcasses and bury them in shallow graves in garden beds and pots. You could also use an old spoon to fish them out of the beer.

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The sign is made of an offcut from the bottle, a toothpick and decorated with a mostly permanent pen (HDPE plastic is hard to write on).


1 comment:

Prince Pablo said...

Neat design like it. Going to make one. Thanks.