Earwigs and slugs are two of the most common garden pests. They can go unnoticeable in small amounts, but when there are a lot of them they can ruin an entire garden. Slugs may be cute and fun to play with, but they can cause serious damage to the garden. They normally munch on broadleaf vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, kale, chard, and cucumber.
Getting rid of them is very easy. And if you enjoy beer, this is a great reason to knock a few backs! Just grab a twelve-pack and tell your wife that you invited all of your drinking buddies over to help with the yard work.
Both of these pests are attracted to sugar and yeast, so this method takes care of both. In my own experience, every time there is an earwig problem, slugs are there too (and vice versa).
How Do You Know If It’s Earwigs?
Take a look at the picture above. This type of damage is typical for earwigs and slugs. Smaller slugs eat the outer parts of the leaf, while the earwigs go to town on the rest.
If you are still unsure, sneak out to the garden in the very early morning (between 2 AM and 4 AM) with a flashlight to see what’s eating your plants. If you are unable to decipher what they are, take a picture and look it up.
So What’s The Trick?
The trick is very easy and cheap. Buy a 12 pack of your favorite soda or beer (it HAS to be in cans) and drink 2/3 of each one. Dig a hole roughly the size of the can and bury it in the garden wherever there are broadleaf plants. Level the dirt around the top (see photo). Use one can per two plants if there is a major infestation or one can per four plants for a minor one.
The bugs will be lured in by the sugar or yeast. They fall into the liquid, get trapped, and drown. This certainly isn’t a prevention method, but it will help if the damage is already done.
This could certainly be considered an organic pesticide if you drink organic beer! Even if it isn’t organic it’s certainly safer than most pesticides on the market. No need to worry about your dogs or kids being around while you’re applying it!
TIP: If beer is your weapon of choice, I recommend digging the holes before you start drinking. If not, you’ll have a patio full of half drank beer cans to contend with within the morning.
When watering your plants, remove the cans from the ground and be careful not to flood the holes that they go in.
The cans should be emptied as needed, every couple of days depending on the population you’re dealing with.