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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Slug Hotel/Pub

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Slug Hotel/Pub Empty Slug Hotel/Pub

Post  Ret EE 3/31/2021, 6:58 pm

Slug Hotel/Pub Slug-h11
Slug Hotel/Pub Slug-h12
They check-in but they don't check out!  Very Happy

My SFG isn't up and running yet.  Slugs also like flowers.  We tried beer in small dishes and it seemed to work so I designed & built this slug Pub for my wife's flower garden. After the first night we found 18 dead slugs.  They apparently drank too much, passed out and drowned. LOL!  I took a sheet of copper, scribed a circle on it and cut it out.  I then scribed a wedge so that when I cut the wedge out and soldered the ends together I ended up with a conical roof.  I then hammered the copper and dosed it with salty lemon juice to obtain a classic weathered appearance.  I sized the roof so that it was larger than the pot base that I intended to use to contain the beer.  I then glued a post onto the center of the container and screwed the roof on and added a clear acrylic ball for a final touch. 

You don't have to build a 4 star Hotel/pub like I did, but a roof is good to prevent dilution of the beer.  BTW, cheap lager seems to work best.

Let's see what you folks come up with, post pics.

Thanks,
Keith
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Post  markqz 3/31/2021, 10:52 pm

@Ret EE wrote:
You don't have to build a 4 star Hotel/pub like I did, but a roof is good to prevent dilution of the beer.  BTW, cheap lager seems to work best.
That's cute! Now you just need some clay/plastic gnomes sitting on the edge with little fishing poles!

The problem with beer traps is that you need to spread them everywhere the slugs will be, and you pretty much need to refill them every day. And of course there is that eternal question, "Why should slugs have all the good beer?" Before the pandemic, I used yeast in traps, and it seemed to work at least for the small snails. During the pandemic, there was a run on yeast so I started hoarding what I had for actual baking. Oddly, there was no run on beer Laughing

Sanderson and Ohiogardener put me on to Sluggo last year and I think that it's been working pretty well. There's always a bit of subjectivity with these things.
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Post  OhioGardener 4/1/2021, 12:30 pm

@markqz wrote:
That's cute! Now you just need some clay/plastic gnomes sitting on the edge with little fishing poles!

The problem with beer traps is that you need to spread them everywhere the slugs will be, and you pretty much need to refill them every day. And of course there is that eternal question, "Why should slugs have all the good beer?"
 
lol! 
I'm not sharing my beer with any slugs! Shocked

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Post  Yardslave 4/1/2021, 4:16 pm

I'd rather enjoy a beer while planting my size 11's on those slugs.
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Slug Hotel/Pub Empty Some of the stuff they call beer, I won't drink!

Post  Ret EE 4/1/2021, 8:11 pm

Cheap lagers stay in my fridge until someone with no taste drops by.  They don't get the ales!

The lid keeps the beer from being diluted so it last a week or so if you clear out the dead drunks.

I like making things!

I may create a smaller one-piece unit that I can print on my Formlabs 3 3D SLA printer.  I would add the fishermen except then I would have to paint them.  I wonder if I can find some in a MRR catalog.  darn, I may have a new product here!
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Post  markqz 4/1/2021, 11:44 pm

@Ret EE wrote:
I may create a smaller one-piece unit that I can print on my Formlabs 3 3D SLA printer.  I would add the fishermen except then I would have to paint them.  I wonder if I can find some in a MRR catalog.  darn, I may have a new product here!
Whoa! That's a snazzy unit you have! Instead of gnomes, you could have slugs a la Alice-in-Wonderland. Or slugs quaffing beer. Then if you use gray resin, you won't have to paint the slugs -- just the big outer parts. Oh! And the top roof could be a toadstool! So that would be like what? 24 hours of printing? Well, gardeners are a patient lot. Wink
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Slug Hotel/Pub Empty Toadstool

Post  Ret EE 4/2/2021, 2:05 pm

I love it!  24 hours is nothing, I've had 50+ on the patent!  The real problem is resin cost versus acceptable sales price.  The least expensive is $150/liter + WSST & S&H.

I think I'll make a model, determine my cost and test the market.  What the heck, I can always use the prototype in my garden.  Smile  Making it a single print may be challenging.

Keith
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Post  sanderson 4/4/2021, 1:37 pm

@markqz wrote:. . . Sanderson and Ohiogardener put me on to Sluggo last year and I think that it's been working pretty well. There's always a bit of subjectivity with these things.
I use Sluggo PLUS. Very Happy

Ret EE, Here are my 2 attempts years ago at making protected containers for Sluggo Plus. Razz  Now I just lightly sprinkle in the beds or around the feet of the beds. Your design is pretty.

Slug Hotel/Pub Snail_11

Slug Hotel/Pub Snail_12

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Slug Hotel/Pub Empty Subjective?

Post  Ret EE 4/4/2021, 2:30 pm

The nice thing about the slug hotel/pub is that it's not subjective.  If you have a number of dead slugs, you know it works.  If there are none, then relocate the trap and see what happens in the new area.  Either they moved out, don't like the beer or you got all of the locals.  I agree that there is some subjectivity in that conclusion.  It worked for us and I intend to keep using it. Slug Hotel/Pub 3170584802 With the new garden more of something will be required.  I think that I will also try some sort of barrier for the raised beds.  Slug barbed wire?   How about a strip with spikes or pyramids arrayed?  Say 1"-2" wide strip all around the perimeter of the side of the bed?  I just had an idea, standby.  If a barrier works then when the hotel/pub comes up empty it can be relocated with some assurance that they probably won't return?  I love experimenting! Laughing

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Post  sanderson 4/4/2021, 3:06 pm

Snails will climb up and over a razor blade.  Remarkable creatures. Oh, and feel free to patent my prototypes. lol!

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Slug Hotel/Pub Empty Slug Barrier test

Post  Ret EE 4/4/2021, 3:46 pm

OK folks, I modeled a test piece.  Each array of spikes is 1"x3" with 90 spikes per Sq. In.  If the test is successful,  I will try a "fence".  Given printing time and resin cost, I think i will print one array, make several molds and cast enough to create the proper length "fence".  I should overlap the corners.  Hopefully the spikes provide les traction than the side of a razor blade.  Hey if eggshells work...

What item(s) provide the best temptation for slugs?  1:10 between the idea and the model!  Smile Slug Hotel/Pub Slug_b10

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Slug Hotel/Pub Empty Mounted on the sides of the beds

Post  Ret EE 4/4/2021, 4:02 pm

I'm thinking that climbing a vertical wall of spikes will be a more daunting challenge.  If required the spikes could be tapered such that they were longer at the top creating an overhanging wall of spikes.  

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Post  markqz 4/4/2021, 5:53 pm

@Ret EE wrote: Hey if eggshells work...
Based on various videos, I don't think eggshells work as a barrier. It's possible that the slugs like the protein remaining on the shells so much that they get distracted and never get to the plants. If slugs can go over razor blades, and if they aren't bothered by diatomaceous earth, I doubt that shells will pose a challenge.

Re your design, I'm not sure what the point of the "fence" around the bait is -- won't that work both ways? Prevent the slugs from getting to the bait?

I'd go more for a venus fly-trap approach -- A series of downward pointing barbs along the sides of a shallow cup, with the beer/bait at the bottom. A removable lid would prevent rain while allowing the trap to be cleaned.

Ok, I just remembered. Slugs won't cross copper (or is that vampires?). So a slanting cup where they drop down to get to the bait but would have to cross a copper strip on the way back up. One thing for sure -- slugs don't jump!
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Post  OhioGardener 4/4/2021, 6:16 pm

@markqz wrote: One thing for sure -- slugs don't jump!

lol!

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Post  markqz 4/4/2021, 10:35 pm

Something like this, maybe.

Slug Hotel/Pub LsR1lM6
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Slug Hotel/Pub Empty More difficult barrier

Post  Ret EE 4/5/2021, 2:18 pm

@markqz wrote:
@Ret EE wrote: Hey if eggshells work...
Re your design, I'm not sure what the point of the "fence" around the bait is -- won't that work both ways? Prevent the slugs from getting to the bait?
It's simply a test to see if slugs can/will cross the spike barrier.  If they can't get to the bait then with proper prep they won't be able to get to the crops.  The horizontal array will be the easiest to cross.  So if it works then a vertical arrangement (mounted on the sides of our SFG will certainly work especially with an overhanging spike arrangement.

The image requires a little interpretation/imagination.  Picture a 1" tall barrier of the spikes installed around the perimeter of your SFG.  THE SLUGS WOULD HAVE TO CLIMB THE SPIKE WALL.  I think it will be beyond their capability, not enough traction surface.  In any event I will try it and let you know how the tests comeSlug Hotel/Pub Slug_b12 out.  What would be the best bait?
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Post  markqz 4/5/2021, 4:00 pm

@Ret EE wrote: Picture a 1" tall barrier of the spikes installed around the perimeter of your SFG.  THE SLUGS WOULD HAVE TO CLIMB THE SPIKE WALL.  I think it will be beyond their capability, not enough traction surface.  In any event I will try it and let you know how the tests comeSlug Hotel/Pub Slug_b12 out.  What would be the best bait?

I think you could just run a copper tape around the perimeter of the SFG. But, alas, I suspect that once you have slugs they're hiding out IN the SFG. I don't imagine that their little brains can slide them 10 feet from cover outside the SFG, find the plant, climb it, and then slither back to cover before sunrise.

Edit: Beer works well. So does yeast in water. But I'm not sure if yeast water kills them.
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Post  OhioGardener 4/5/2021, 6:29 pm

Reminds me of the old engineers saying about using an elephant gun to shoot gnats.   Think I'll just throw out some Sluggo Plus every once in a while....  Smile

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Slug Hotel/Pub Empty Let's see a photo of the working model

Post  Ret EE 4/5/2021, 7:26 pm

@markqz wrote:Something like this, maybe.

Slug Hotel/Pub LsR1lM6
And hear how it worked. That's a good sketch, how are you going to fabricate it?
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Slug Hotel/Pub Empty Is it Organic?

Post  Ret EE 4/5/2021, 7:39 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:Reminds me of the old engineers saying about using an elephant gun to shoot gnats.   Think I'll just throw out some Sluggo Plus every once in a while....  
Is it absorbed into the crop?  I don't mind beer being absorbed.  Slug Hotel/Pub 3170584802
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Slug Hotel/Pub Empty Copper braid is readily available

Post  Ret EE 4/5/2021, 8:04 pm

@markqz wrote:Something like this, maybe.

Slug Hotel/Pub LsR1lM6
There are many sources for different sizes of copper braid on the web.  It may be that the texture of the braid would add to the deterrent effect.  I wasn't aware that copper was a deterrent but then I'm not familiar with Sluggo either.  My wife used some sort of bait in her flower beds.  Since this is my first foray into growing food items I have much to learn.  However I did build one confirmed killer of slugs and it works quite well.  I'm curious enough about the efficacy of the fence that I will try it.  Copper dust/powder is available, I wonder if coating the fence spikes with copper dust would help.  Mixing it with the casting resin might also work.  However, much of the copper would be insulated in the interior of the spikes.  I could also copper plate the fence spikes.  Hmmm...
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Post  markqz 4/5/2021, 10:47 pm

@Ret EE wrote:
There are many sources for different sizes of copper braid on the web.  It may be that the texture of the braid would add to the deterrent effect.  I wasn't aware that copper was a deterrent but then I'm not familiar with Sluggo either.
It may be just a myth. There's a lot of ideas floating around in garden space, and very few of them have actually been researched. Apparently the copper thing may be one of those. Outwitted again, by a creature with as few as 4000 neurons!
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Post  markqz 4/5/2021, 10:49 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:Reminds me of the old engineers saying about using an elephant gun to shoot gnats.   Think I'll just throw out some Sluggo Plus every once in a while....  Smile
When all you have is an elephant gun, everything starts to look like an elephant Wink
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Slug Hotel/Pub Empty It works!

Post  Ret EE 4/6/2021, 1:12 pm

An elephant gun (.375 H&H or larger) will kill any living thing.  If it's what you have...
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