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Garden party gluttons

By Carol Clark

Throwing a beer party for the earwigs and slugs in your garden may seem a little generous for those leaf loving gluttons, but it can help to save your plants.

To say we have an earwig infestation is putting it mildly. Last year we used a spray bottle of water with a couple drops of dish soup. Spraying this on our plants makes those nasty vermin move; unfortunately, they just move over to the next-best tasting plant. Furthermore, once our sprinklers watered the garden and washed the soap off, their midnight dinner parties were back on! Because I don't like sharing produce with uninvited guests I resorted to a poison made for kitchen gardens. Making me feel a little uneasy while eating our well scrubbed veggies.

Well, this year I learned to attract those lush slugs with a kegger. Filling empty shallow tuna cans with beer and burying them at ground level in my garden did the trick. Saturday night was the first "woodsie" with cans in each garden bed filled with a little Bud Light. The next morning it looked like a frat party gone bad, several dozen earwigs, zillions of tiny sugar ants, and a cricket all dead or passed out at the bottom of the can. I figure this is a fairly painless way to die.

I have discovered vegetable oil works as well. It's just not as fun as having an opened can of beer you have to finish. So, we will continue these evening get-togethers until the problem drinkers are taken care of.

"I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends
A chance to share old memories and play our songs again
When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name
No one recognized me, I didn't look the same."

— Ricky Nelson

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