Most people, given the choice of beer or collard greens, take the beer. Miraculously, so do slugs. It’s miraculous because, although beer only kills people if it’s drunk in truly heroic quantities or combined with the operation of heavy machinery, it kills slugs almost on contact.
Or that’s what I’d heard. I’d been told that, if you put a dish of beer in your garden, the slugs will climb in, drink, and die, but I didn’t believe it. I thought it advice along the lines of warding off vampires with garlic, or using tiger spray on city buses.
Then we got slugs. Bazillions of slugs, turning our collards into lace. I was ready to try anything.
We had Sam Adams and Smithwick’s in the fridge, and I figured that, since I like Smithwick’s, the slugs might, too. I was about to open one and pour it into my four little dishes when Kevin, who also likes Smithwick’s, asked me what I was doing. “I’m baiting my slug traps,” I told him.
“Don’t we have some Sam Adams?” he asked. I told him we did, but I was afraid the slugs might not go for Sam lager. After all, Kevin doesn’t care for it. Kevin, though, was pretty sure slugs, if they drank at all, would drink anything. “Let’s keep the Smithwick’s for the vertibrates.”
So yesterday evening, I poured a bottle of Sam Adams into my dishes and distributed them through the collard patch. This morning, I went out to check them, and I was floored. Not only do slugs drink beer, they text all their slug friends when they discover it. “Party! Free beer in the collard patch!” I counted 34 beer-soaked dead slugs in the dishes.
When the slugs had the upper hand in my garden, I thought of them as wily garden pests I was matching wits with. Now that I know they willingly crawl into dishes of stuff that kills them, my opinion of them has gone down several notches, and I’m figuring they’ll drink anything. Next time, it’s Coors Light.