Beer For My Snails

I bought some beer today for the first time in over 28 years.  We’ve bought some wine in the past few years, but I’ve not actually bought any beer for my “personal” use in all that time.  It’s kinda funny really, but you see, here at my mother’s house we have a little problem with garden pests.  These particular pests move rather slowly, but they consume large quantities of garden flowers and shrubs and etc..  I intend to give the beer to our snail population (I don’t drink beer, or alcohol at all actually). I have always heard that snails will literally come running – for beer.  Then, sadly, they drown in it.

It beats the heck out of running around searching for them as they happily munch our beautiful garden into a nasty slime-coated mess.  So, we bought some cheap beer to try out the theory.  We were at Trader Joe’s and they had this wonderful “red label” cheap house brand beer so we grabbed it and went to the checkout counter.  I told the gal who was checking us out about why we were buying it and she said: “That’s so sad, I could never kill a snail.”  We sort of chuckled and told her how they were not native species or anything like that.  In fact, it was some snail fancier (probably a Frenchman) who decided to try and import snails to Southern California.  He was going to offer them to the local restaurants as “Fine French Cuisine” I guess.  But, a few escaped and the rest is history.

Los Angeles, and especially the beach here is littered with dead snail shells and people are always stepping on them and making messes in the parks and such.  They are a Class A pest in my book.  So we bantered a little bit more with the gal at the checkout stand about how we didn’t have any problems whatsoever eliminating these “pests” from our garden and how they would no longer be ruining our flowers, shrubs and recently planted vegetable garden.  We took our beer and headed out.  Now, I just need to find a suitable pan that they can climb in and drown in…  Must have a large one around here someplace, I’m expecting 100’s, as I used to go snail collecting around here as a kid and I picked them up by the bucket – really!  Back then my dad paid my a nickel each for them, I got rich, and the snails went to a new home – down the toilet!  There must be a place down stream from us in the sewer where there are just zillions of snails zooming (or whatever they do down there) around!

As an incidental note, I should say that Cheryl wanted to pour salt on the poor fellows.  Salt dissolves snails, a rather nasty death to be sure.  I am not that cruel.  I decided beer was as good a way as possible, since at least then they die happy!  Of course I should also note that the beer method is far easier for killing snails as beer attracts the little fellows as opposed to the salt method where you are required to hunt down every individual victim.  In this instance, I prefer the easier, less painful method though I’ve never been averse to stepping on them to hear that all too satisfying “CRUNCH!” as they are squished under my shoe!




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