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Slug problems? Why not serve them up some 'beer' at your very own slug pub!

 
Travis Philp
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Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Mock beer traps are a method that's worked extremely well in lessening slug damage on my crops. The slugs are drawn to the scent of the mock beer mixture and I've seen them pass over crops they used to decimate in order to get to the beer.

I've put the traps out on a cool damp night and within 5 minutes slugs are already climbing into the traps.

MIXTURE RECIPE: two tablespoons of flour, one-half teaspoon of brewer's yeast, and one teaspoon of sugar mixed in two cups of warm water. leave it overnight to brew and serve it up the next morning. The main thing is that it gets that 'yeasty malt smell'. If you get a 'skin' forming on the top of the mixture all you have to do is stir it in.

CONVERSION FOR 16 Litre/ 4 Gallon Pails worth

4 Cups Flour

1/4 cup yeast

1/2 Cup Sugar



For containers...500 ml pop bottles work best because that stops most rainfall from getting into the container and watering down the mix, and makes it harder for beneficial insects to get in, which will likely happen.

***CAUTION***I've seen flies, hornets, and ground beetles in the traps so only use if you're at your wits end, and only until you start seeing your crops are saved.

Its debatable where is best to place traps. Some say to place them at the edge of the garden away from affected crops, and other say to put them right near the problem areas. I'll let you decide but I've had success putting them within a few feet of the crops. As for spacing between traps I think the key is to have traps every 15 feet or so. Also, you'll probably have to bury the bottles into the ground or mulch a little to ensure that they don't fall over.



 
Travis Philp
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I've also heard of making slug traps using the same mixture but using a marjarine container placed over top of your trap with a hole cut in just big enough for the slugs. This apparently keeps all rain water out, and supposedly keeps more beneficial insects from getting into the traps.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Mosquito traps are the same mixture, but in a narrow-necked bottle.

In that case, it isn't the yeasty smell, but the CO2 that is the bait. The narrow neck makes the source concentrated enough to be attractive; I think warmth, form the greenhouse effect, probably plays a role also.
 
Travis Philp
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Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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It also works if you want to trap house flies. I  mentioned this in the first post on this thread but thought it was worth singling out
 
Scott Reil
Posts: 179
Location: Colchester, CT
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The down side to beer trapping is it calls slugs from up to three hundred yards away, so you may be attracting rather than just murderizing them (sure, it's a woid, Moe used it all the time! Nyuk yuk yuk...)

The iron phosphate in the pasta pellet form has worked well for me and doesn't have the call of the wild slug pub effect, and the PAN database says it's cool. And soil testing with worms needed a HUGE amount for lethal dosing.

Good enough for me...

HG

 
Travis Philp
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I did worry about attracting slugs from 'out of town' as you say but have found that the slug damage lessens greatly once I put the traps out. I use them sparingly and stop as soon as I've seen decent improvement in the crop health.
 
Josiah Maughan
Posts: 42
Location: wellsville, utah
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if attracting them is a concern, then have another trap away from the garden area, or on all sides of it, far enough away. then it doesn't really matter if you attract them


also:

if you think you have a grasshopper problem, really you have a grain bird deficiency. and you have a slug problem, you have a duck deficiency    -geoff lawton
 
Travis Philp
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Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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blot101 wrote:
if you think you have a grasshopper problem, really you have a grain bird deficiency. and you have a slug problem, you have a duck deficiency    -Geoff lawton


Wouldn't the ducks be likely to eat leafy crops and not just the slugs though? Also, I have seen muscovi ducks go through a bean patch and while they focused on eating 'weeds' instead, they did trample several bean plants.
 
Josiah Maughan
Posts: 42
Location: wellsville, utah
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they do, i guess trample. but for the most part, a duck will eat the pests, and your compost pile more or less.

people often use ducks instead of chickens because of this. chickens will eat everything, ducks won't though. at least that's my understanding of them, i don't have first hand knowledge of them in gardens specifically, only what i've read, and watched on the interweb.

especially once your garden is big.
even geese can be trusted with certain crops. like potatoes.
 
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