These things aren’t really all that new to Sweden, but still considered an invasive species. They are Spanish after all. Last summer they were everywhere because of all of the rain. This summer wasn’t as bad, but bad enough that it led to debate in the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag. Finally, they decided that it was a good idea to use roundworms to solve the problem.
Anyway, with a little bit of rain, the slugs come out in full force, and the last couple of days Stockholm has seen a bit of rain, just enough to wet the ground and convince the slugs to come out. They are pretty solid size. Blackish. Imagine the long skinny pinecones and you’ve probably got the right idea. Some are fatter than others, some are longer. They come in all various sizes really.
But in my case, size does matter. Because I love to kill them. I consider myself just the next in line for the family business. Eradicating pests the world over.
A quick side note on the eradication of slugs. The summer before my senior year of high school I spent some time in France, “working,” but I was 17 and wasn’t exactly given a whole lot of responsibility. So I put labels on a pesticide. I also was tasked with scouring the internet for articles about a certain slug killing agent. This was before the widespread use of RSS feeds and news-aggregators, but basically I was a living, breathing news-aggregator. Maybe not too good at my job because I stuck to the English language sites, but so it goes. Anyway, as I searched for slug killers I stumbled across a little survey done by Colorado State University. An esteemed university that has seen plenty of my friends walk across stage with their degrees in hand.
As many people already know, beer is often used as slug bait. Take a little dish, fill it with beer, bury it with a little bit of a lip sticking out of the ground and the slugs manage to find their way into it. Whether they drown or drink themselves to death I don’t know. Maybe the old man can answer that. But CSU, putting state tax payer’s money to good use, decided it was necessary to figure out which beer was most effective in attracting slugs. Turns out that the ever-popular Kingsbury Malt Beverage took the cake, followed closely by Anheuser-Busch’s stable of beers: Michelob, Bud, and Bud Light. Here is the Colorado State University beer and slug study for the skeptics out there.
Anyway, back to the killer slugs. Like I said, size matters. The bigger the slugs, the more satisfying. Because they pop. Literally. If you step on a fat killer slug, you can hear them pop.
And I know, it sounds bad. I am heartless. How could I do that to another living creature? But whatever, it’s the same sort of sick satisfaction some people get from picking scabs or popping blackheads. I step on killer slugs. I’m just doing my part to assist farmers and local gardeners in their quest for delicious vegetables.
I have even started listening to how I get the best pop. I have two pairs of shoes I tend to wear. One a sort of hybrid tennis shoe/all terrain shoe, the other an extremely fashionable brown Nike shoe. Kind of along the lines of Pumas. But Nike. Because they were on sale at Kohl’s, and who are we kidding, I’m not really that fashionable.
Anyway, the tennies give the best pop. I’m not really sure why it is but I have a theory. The Nike’s are a little rounded on the edges so I don’t get that abrupt edge that can really seem to pop the slug guts out. I haven’t really experimented with my sandals. For obvious reasons I think. But my footwear acts as an organic pesticide. Sweden loves that sort of thing.
Welcome to Sweden. Where even you can do your part in eradicating the scourge of invasive species in the Swedish countryside.