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Killing animals in the garden

(70 Posts)
hub2dee Wed 13-Apr-05 18:05:22

Erm... bit of a strange one...

Planted up the allotment yesterday. First year of giving it a go seriously... call it male nesting... lots of broad beans and lettuces (from large plugs), onions from sets, tatties from chitted ones we couldn't get through in time.

My experienced friends (who helped) advised I should come and regularly kill the slugs so the lettuces stand a chance. Thing is, I just can't kill stuff... Might consider beer-trap drowning, I dunno... and I don't really want to use the slug bait as it's an extra chemical I guess we can do without in our soil / bodies...

What's your take on this ? Has anyone faced similar (moral ?) dilemas ? Or is it a 'them or me' survival thing ?

I'm also posting because I've discovered more newts in my little pond (including Greast Crested which are reasonably rare) and I thought it would be good for them to get some extra food - like a nice juicy worm, so I dug one up and tossed it in... but I just couldn't watch it swim / drown and had to take it out after 30 seconds and put it back in the soil...

Can anyone relate or am I just being soft ?

It's not my life to take away, IYSWIM...

(Interesting discussion on termination could be relevant in a way I suppose too)...

I've done some boiled lettuce ice cubes for the tadpoles / newts and I guess they can just eat that, or crawl onto land and hunt for their own stuff... and am considering taking slugs from the lettuce patch and ploking them in the pond for the newts, but it's just all a bit nasty...

This 'problem' extends to other areas... I'll be putting up a bird table soon, and during nesting time it's useful for the birdies to have some fresh maggots etc. and you can buy them by the tin... but again, I just don't think I could do it...

BTW - I have no issue with the birds eating the worms they find themselves... it's not the predatory cycle of nature that bothers me, just the death-by-human-intervention bit.

Perhaps I'm just too soppy, but would be interested in a general discussion around these issues. FWIW, yes, I'm veggie. Yes I eat eggs, yes I wear leather shoes. Maybe this thread belongs in 'Religion / Spirituality' ?

<<sorry to rant on a bit.>>

Mud Wed 13-Apr-05 18:06:41

Slugs - upside down grapefruit

Mud Wed 13-Apr-05 18:07:18

as for the rest of your post - oh you big jessie

hub2dee Wed 13-Apr-05 18:09:47

Thanks for the grapefruit tip. Will try that tonight.

I think I could get over the squeamy side of killing stuff / leading stuff to the altar... maybe it's more the 'live and let live' side of things that jars ???

Perhaps I am destined for Jainism ??

rickman Wed 13-Apr-05 18:11:27

Message withdrawn

SoupDragon Wed 13-Apr-05 18:12:19

<<chuckles to self>>

Slugs I don't have a problem with killing. I use "Growing Success" slug stuff which is good because a) it doesn't harm other animals and b) you never see a dead slug, they just kind of dry up. I can therefore pretend to myself I've not killed anything. I couldn't do the beer trap thing - you have to see the bodies!

Wouldn't bother with maggots and stuff for the birds - they can find them themselves. Seeds, water, peanuts and those seed cakes made with fat are all you need. No bread in nesting season as it can choke the little birds.

And why on earth are you feeding your tadpoles??? Just let them eat the pond weed We never fed ours when we had a pond in childhood and had loads of them as well as toads and newts. They don't need feeding if you get the balance of weeds etc right in your pond

SoupDragon Wed 13-Apr-05 18:13:24

Must say I thought this an odd thread title as I had visions of mass slaughter of large animals.

Enid Wed 13-Apr-05 18:15:06

Well you are a soppy so and so.

Beer trap drowning works a treat for slugs if you do want to kill them. Coffee grounds round the lettuces, mixed with sharp sand, this will deter them. Have you asked others on the allotment what they do?

We don't use slug pellets (grow organically). Dh tends to pick them off every few nights and flings them into the field next door ("I can fly!! Oh, no I can't" ).

I predict after a few seasons of decimated lettuces you'll be drowning the little buggers.

We have deer, badgers and pigeons to contend with down here, its like the Wild West

hub2dee Wed 13-Apr-05 18:31:14

Hi rickman: I personally don't have a problem with slugs / worms / maggots etc. would not go out of my way to pet them, but am fine with touching them and enjoying their magical slipperyness.

Soupy: I can understand the 'do not see the result' with Growing Success etc... it helps put the killing in a different compartment of the grey matter because you never see them... but they will be off to die in a corner, poor ickle slugs.

I feed my tadpoles as a gesture of paternal love - oh yeah and we had a lettuce going off and I know they eat that, and as I established the pond last Autumn have not really had a chance to establish much in the way of weed. Will be hunting down some elodea crispa this weekend.

Thought the thread title might add some gravitas to this issue.

Loved Enid's dh and the flying slugs. That's what I'd do...

Mud Wed 13-Apr-05 18:33:05

oh so you worry about killing them with beer but letting the last thing that passes through their tiny little brains be

"arrrrrrrggggghhhhhh" ... SPLAT is OK, is it?

SaintGeorge Wed 13-Apr-05 18:35:51

You really don't want to pick them up and throw them hub2dee, honest.

We had a whopper of a slug a couple of weeks ago - about 8" long by 3" wide - even I shuddered at that one. Got DH to do the grab it and throw thing. PMSL when it moved about 2 foot from his hand and then rebounded back on the mass of slime it was extruding. 15 minutes later he was still removing slime.

Bet DH won't appear next time I call him to slug duty

alux Wed 13-Apr-05 18:41:41

Well h2d, you may have done the right thing with the pond. Aren't tadpoles carnivores? I thought they ate water grubs and fleas etc. I read somewhere that frogs & toads LOVE slugs. Also heard that hedgehogs do too.

I salt slugs when I find them out in the garden: a quick and gruesome death.

morningpaper Wed 13-Apr-05 18:41:45

URRRRRRRGH Saint George!

I also second the 'big Jessie' comment.

I go round just before dusk with a sharp rock and crush them all.

roisin Wed 13-Apr-05 18:48:57

I'm a very non-violent, peace-loving person, honest. But I love killing slugs

I'm almost ashamed how much pleasure I get out of it! I have a very sharp half-moon lawn edger tool, and go out early morning or at dusk and chop them all in half! I figure it's probably more humane than the other methods of slow-poisoning or drowning ...
and besides I really really enjoy it!

I wish I could do something similar to the cats who keep coming and digging up and damaging my fragile seedlings! What are we allowed to do to cats?!!!

marthamoo Wed 13-Apr-05 18:50:22

Where do you get the Growing Success stuff, soupy? My garden is full of slugs and snails and I can't chuck 'em anywhere - I live in a terraced house and my neighbours wouldn't like me chucking molluscs in their gardens (what are slugs? Not molluscs...isn't that just things with shells? I'm digressing again aren't I?)

hub2dee, may I be the first to call you a Big Girl's Blouse?

SoupDragon Wed 13-Apr-05 18:51:43

Just a garden centre - you can get it in big tubs (were white with a green lid last year)

marthamoo Wed 13-Apr-05 18:52:44

Ta - I will look out for it.

Enid Wed 13-Apr-05 19:06:04

actually my dh flings them as he doesn't like killing them either . I do like to shout 'Oi!' from the upstairs window just as he has flung a particularly fat one (yes those winter evenings fly by )

Enid Wed 13-Apr-05 19:06:57

and if you have the same sensibilities as him, hub2dee, you won't like the beer trap either, not to mention the waste of beer

marthamoo Wed 13-Apr-05 19:12:29

Surely you don't have to waste the beer - just strain the slugs out with a sieve.

debs26 Wed 13-Apr-05 19:13:41

i cant kill things either. anything with slightly prickly surface should deter slugs because they dont like having their tummies tickled! we kept some tadpoles in a tank last year for the kids to watch grow and fed them on fish food. they were monster sized when we released them as frogs! the feeding frenzies were amazing!

roisin - water pistols work quite well on cats because they dont associate the nasty shock with you as you are too far away, they associate it with the place they are when they get shot

Enid Wed 13-Apr-05 19:15:14

no the goo that leaches out thickens the beer too much

marthamoo Wed 13-Apr-05 19:15:55

Bummer, enid.

SaintGeorge Wed 13-Apr-05 19:19:15

If you want to try the beer trap without wasting beer, try talking to a local friendly landlord and asking him for an occasional slops bucket.

SaintGeorge Wed 13-Apr-05 19:20:24

Thats pub landlord obviously, so don't ask the Housing Association when paying the rent

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