Seems my slug rant struck a chord with lots of you, as anything on this theme usually does. There's always some gardener's enemy for us to lie awake at night plotting to eradicate (or is that just me?). My friend Lisa is battling slugs and cats in her garden, investing in lion dung at great expense to see off the latter. The bad news is it doesn't look as if it works (do let me know if it has worked for you so I can give Lisa hope).
I suggested grapefruit halves as slug traps but that hasn't worked for her so far. Meanwhile Trev is "nuking" slugs on his veg plot by all manner of means. i told him about the Perrone-patented slug sleeve for his squash and beans, and he's giving it a go ...
Meanwhile the slugs on my patch seem to have beat a (no doubt temporary) retreat in the face of an array of tactics: nematodes, Perrone-patented slug sleeves, liberally applied coffee grounds and nighttime slug patrols. It seems the Slug Buggers PR people are keen for some publicity (they added a Q&A to the comments on my last post which I'll leave up as some people may find it informative) but I'd like to hear from anyone who can testify whether they actually work. And if they do, where do the slugs go?
My personal pest battle has moved to ants, an utterly different proposition. When I moved my wormery outside for the summer, black ants took up residence. They then began to expand their territory inch by inch until it included my kitchen, accessed by a tiny hole in the skirting board; god knows how they got from the outside to there. They thought the kitchen caddy filled with veg peelings on my worktop was the ant equivalent of a roadside burger bar. I sought advice from Allan Shepherd, who knows about these things, and apparently the worms won't be bothered by the ants.
He'd read somewhere that a good way of stopping ants getting into the Can'o'Worms in the first place is to place the wormery's legs in containers of water about one half to three quarters full. Keep the containers and water clean of debris so there are no bridges for the ants to cross. Now I just need to figure out how to get the ants that are in there, out, if you catch my drift. I might just dump the top two layers (which aren't very wormy) into my new beehive composter (yes I have fallen for the trend) when it arrives and hope the ants disperse from there.
Allan also said ants won't eucalyptus oil, lemon juice, lemon scented oil and talcum powder, while someone commented on his own blog that paprika was a good ant deterrent. Of course the old fashioned approach - provided you don't mind a few hundred tiny deaths on your conscience - is boiling water - I employed this method on a couple of red ant nests established in my lawn recently. Kills the grass too, but this grows back quickly. This doesn't work when the ants are living among your prize plants though, so the paprika option might come into play then.