Source: Sherman Publications

Wild Ideas A column by Mary Keck
Report from the front line

by Mary Keck

June 27, 2012

Slugs have broken through our first line of defense: the robins.

Covered in translucent mucus, the marigolds lining our garden bed can’t hold on much longer. Under ruthless slug attacks, some have lost leaves, blossoms, and a few are nothing but chewed up stalks.

We vow to make our enemies wish they’d never squirmed into our flowerbeds!

Thursday, June 14, 2000

Operation Slug Termination begins. Armed with bottles of Pabst Blue Ribbon, we leave a minefield before the next slug invasion begins at dusk. Filling leftover take-out containers with beer and placing them in the soil around our gold and orange marigolds, we lie in wait for slimy intruders who we expect will slide into our garden at moonrise.

Friday, June 15, 0630

We wake early to find dozens of gray slug corpses drowned in their wet, fermented graves. Like the others, our enemies couldn’t resist the sweet smell of PBR. Although victory seems certain, a few slimy adversaries still cling to our marigolds’ stems and petals. We also notice a few empty beer bombs with their bottoms busted out. After a thorough investigation, we realize the drunken slugs made easy targets for our bird allies whose sharp beaks broke through our take-out cups.

Saturday, June 16, 2045

A few old Tupperware containers replenish our broken defenses, and we unleash a new weapon in our arsenal: eggshells. After some Googling, we discover the snail’s intolerance for gliding across broken shell pieces, and drop shell crumbs around the base of our flowers. Operation Slug Termination: Beer and Shell Defense is initiated!

Sunday, June 17, 0930

The battle against the slugs is almost at an end. The robins, PBR and eggshells have overtaken our gastropod foes, and we have reduced the numbers in beer-laden graves by half. Birds fly crookedly in the morning air after enjoying a breakfast of slugs marinated in beer, and soldiers raise their coffee mugs in salute to the fallen marigolds that never recovered from the slug onslaught.