Quick & Dirty: Beer as Slug Bait


Did you ever hear the tip about using old beer as slug bait? I hadn't, until I had something eating my cauliflower leaves and saw one on my garlic. 2+2 probably = 4. Enter: the beer that's been skunking around in the garage for a good long while, which Mr. Moon and I are too afraid to taste test in case it has in fact gone bad.

A couple cups of beer set near the cauliflower and broccoli, removal of any chewed leaves, and we haven't seen any more damage to them. I did, however, have to snag Mr. Moon to help me save the garlic yesterday, as I went out to pick some herbs for the fish and saw at least a dozen munching on the garlic scapes. We used a skewer and a chopstick (I recommend the former rather than the latter) to pluck them off and drop them into the beer. Later, I stuck my head out and watched another one crawl its way into the bowl. I want to feel bad about killing living creatures, but as far as I'm concerned there are worse ways to go than drowning in beer (say, for example, the slug bait/poison I saw in the store, and what does that do to my food?!). Putting the beer elsewhere didn't seem to keep the slugs off my plants!
*Tip: Putting the beer amongst the brocaflowers seemed to keep them off those, but they're still eating the peas. It seems like one cup isn't enough for a 3x5 bed, so expect to have a few placed strategically near the plants they seem to like the most.

It didn't occur to me until hours later that almost all the slugs were at the bottom of the stalks, and they might have only been eating the mushy outer leaves from previous scape harvesting, which wouldn't have been so bad. Does anyone know if that's the case or if I happened to catch them before they climbed further up? Are there any real benefits to letting the bugs stay in the garden, and if so, ways to let them live without losing my own food?

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