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Slug and Snail Grand National - place your bets

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by BenCotto, Apr 1, 2024.

  1. BenCotto

    BenCotto Gardener

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    I’m doing a reasonably objective slug and snail trap comparison. I have four identical jam jars, one containing beer, the second yeast in water, the third diluted Marmite, the fourth molasses solution. A jam jar will be placed in each corner of a raised bed and, after one week, I’ll count the number of slugs and snails. I’ll then move the jars one position round the bed, count again at the end of week two. This will repeated in weeks three and four.

    Maybe better science would be to weigh the catch rather than count it, to experiment to get optimum dilution rates, and to try different types of beer. But this is just a fun experiment.

    Who wants to join in by guessing the 1, 2, 3, 4 order? Results will be announced on April 30th.
     
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    • Esoxlucius

      Esoxlucius Gardener

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      My guess is that all the slugs will fall at the first hurdle and end up chomping on whatever greenery is available instead, lol.

      I once thought I had a great way of reducing slug and snails numbers. Every morning, especially damp ones, when I went out in the back garden to pick the previous nights dog crap up, I'd take a plastic container with me and end up picking up between 10-20 slugs/snails just off the lawn.

      A few weeks into my slug and snail cull I was still picking up the same amount every morning. They were relentless. Their numbers weren't dwindling one bit. I soon give up, lol.
       
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      • BenCotto

        BenCotto Gardener

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        Dahlias will go in that raised bed in May. I’m trying to find the best means of diverting them from the dahlias to something more tasty.
         
      • CarolineL

        CarolineL Total Gardener

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        @BenCotto I'd also have a control jar simply containing water - they may be stupid enough!
        I once accidentally left outside a dish that had had a brie roasted in it, and some fragments were left. It was full of drowned slugs after rain. So I wonder if anything smelly might help
         
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        • BB3

          BB3 Gardener

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          I suppose it's depends what was eaten, but fox vomit is a slug delicacy.
           
        • BenCotto

          BenCotto Gardener

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          We quite frequently have fox scats in the garden but ours are robust eaters - no vomit. But if I do see some, I’ll dutifully scoop it up in jam jar #5 and incorporate it into the experiment (he lied)!
          @CarolineL I like the idea of a water control jar. I’ll pop one into the middle of the bed and leave it there, emptied and refilled weekly, for the duration of the experiment.
           
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          • Thevictorian

            Thevictorian Gardener

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            I'd be careful with beer, not sure if it's the same with the other baits you are trying, bit I have read in the past that beer can attract slugs and snails from 200m or so which means you will be helping to clear your neighbours garden. I'm also not sure if it's a come for the beer, stay for the dahlias, type situation.
            I welcome scientific approaches and look forward to what you find out but the best slug detergent I have ever found is a plank of wood layed on the soil surface which you flip over every morning. The slugs like dark, moist, hideouts and so retreat under the cover to be easily removed.
             
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            • BenCotto

              BenCotto Gardener

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              At the end of week one the tally is no snails and 60 slugs with one of the four baits being a clear favourite at the moment. Results in three weeks.
               
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              • ViewAhead

                ViewAhead Gardener

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                The problem with the marmite is ... well ... it's marmite ... so approx 50% of your slugs may not like it. Therefore, it should only have to have half the highest total plus 1 to be the winner! :biggrin:

                My guess would be beer at the top of the results table.
                 
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                • AuntyRach

                  AuntyRach Gardener

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                  @BenCotto I use decoy/sacrificial Marigolds around my sweet peas and veg and that seems to work. By work, I mean the marigolds are well munched. The other plants are probably less munched.
                   
                • BenCotto

                  BenCotto Gardener

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                  At the end of the second week, last week’s leader has extended its lead. Two of the four baits are lagging behind. The running total is 98 slugs, almost entirely small black keel slugs, and no snails.
                   
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                  • ViewAhead

                    ViewAhead Gardener

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                    I am sticking with my bet on the beer. These are my placings ...

                    1. Beer
                    2. Molasses
                    3. Yeast
                    4. Marmite

                    :biggrin:
                     
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                    • BenCotto

                      BenCotto Gardener

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                      It was a very poor - or should that be good? - harvest at the end of week three. There were just 8 slugs and one tiny caterpillar.

                      The results of the four week trial will be posted next Sunday.
                       
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                      • ViewAhead

                        ViewAhead Gardener

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                        *stands firm with predictions*

                        *waits patiently for the trial results*

                        :recliner:
                         
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