Cruelly, perhaps. Unromantically, for sure. Killing slugs is never more satisfying than when you catch them two at a time. Dead slugs don’t lay eggs.
Yes, the singleton (top left) is coming to join in. I did not wait, with my camera, for herm to reach hir goal. But I have seen them at it in threes. If any polyamorists out there want evidence that nature does not abhor a threesome, look to slugs.
There were a lot of them again this year. (Does anyone else in Edmonton have slugs, or do I have them all?) Maybe it’s one of the downsides of an organic(ish) garden. Mulching and composting, leaving leaf litter on the ground, not keeping the veg patch separate from perennials and shrubs, never using a rototiller — all mean there are places for slugs to hide and lay eggs that will not be disturbed before ideal hatching weather (be it next summer or three summers later).
It would be nice if the magpies would make themselves useful and eat some of them. Slugs are easy pickings. No need to tear open a garbage bag and strew litter around to get at them. Come on, you hungry birds. The internet says you are natural predators of slugs. Help out. I think they enjoy too much watching me crouched over slug-hunting.
Garden scissors are best (after boots). I tried bran for bait, and it did attract some, but relatively few. A trap crop works, if you have room to spare. Lay out pieces of cardboard for them to hide under, and then scrape them off. Also, leafy crops (lettuces, brocs, chard, spinach) planted out as seedlings in late summer grow well in cool weather, and the slugs tend to be fewer and less voracious.
Look, their engorged stroker organ thing COMES OUT OF THEIR HEAD. (Click to enlarge.)