Thursday, June 12, 2008

Attack of the Slugs

I've been outside working on my house and yard recently with some vacation time and the warmer weather. By warmer I mean it's jumped up to the upper 90's to 100 F range, but that's a different story.

Anyway, you notice more when you get out more. Strange how lots of different things add up, and you should notice, which in retrospect you can't understand why you didn't catch the development. Plus my wife brought a recent disturbance to my attention.

Apparently we have unknowingly grown an army of slugs under our back deck. There are so many that they fight one another for leftover dog and cat food. Yes, we have been feeding our pets on the back deck. But they must have a taste for other things so they have also been sneaking into the house. Slugs don't take much of an opening to sneak.

It may have all started though with the gutter that was pulling from the house so that all the water was diverted to the low spot. That water then dripped onto the deck. Add to it that the water faucet (located where else? the back deck!) has a slow drip.

Simple math now-
1) the shade and hiding place of a deck
2) consistent moisture
3) a regular food source
4) some small openings into a house
5) equals a horde of slugs who slime the whole area and enter into the house under cover of darkness

The yucky parade trail has been visible in the mornings. And the dog and cat bowls are absolutely disgusting.

So, we had fought back. You know, with all those home remedy recipes that don't work. My favorite was to go outside at dark and empty a salt shaker on the deck. I'm not sure how fast a slug army grows, but even with my feeble attacks (Note: I was knocking out hundreds!) the invaders continued to attack our kitchen. That's right, I'd take the attack outside, yet the scouts would venture inside after we turned off the lights. Needless to say, the Queen of the House was not happy with this development. I even changed weapons a few different times, yet to no avail, as 4, 5, or 6 scouts would be found venturing into our kingdom.

Finally we had to bring in the big arsenal. The "bug man" had been here before the attack started. He returned, at no charge, to help us in the war with our under deck metropolis.

It was then that he pointed out the obvious to me- I was doing everything right to create the environment for the slugs. Then I was leaving us vulnerable with the small "open doors" to our home. Don't you hate that? I've got to accept blame, and do something about it.

As I took care of the problem instead of merely attacking the enemy it got me to thinking.

I wonder if there are other parts of my life where there are small, somewhat insignificant "issues" which eventually add up to real trouble. Hmm, I might need to think on that while I take care of some housekeeping which will help put our lives back in order.

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