Slugs, as in snails without shells, are a native species living in Oregon and Washington States. The Only time I ever rid my garden of slugs is when I had chickens and geese. Both types of birds really enjoyed finding a slug and then slumping it down. Chickens will open their mouths really wide to get the slug to go down their throats. They go running toward slugs as if they can actually hear or smell them from a distance, Otherwise vegetarian geese seemed to have a taste for slurping slugs too it is probably the same sort of dietary exception that a human vegetarian makes for eating raw oysters. Oysters are fruit de mer or the fruit of the sea just not as slimy as slugs. One day people might be slurping slugs when someone discovers their slime cures a soar throat or the common cold. There is no evidence that that is true at least not yet so don’t try it unless you want to be a hero.
Yes, Slugs do climb trees. Occasionally I find them way up on broad leaf trees , in damp weather, eating the tree leaves. It is an unpleasant experience having a slug near the height of your face and accidentally walk into a leaf and getting slug on your face. Slugs can start out small , climb trees and grow much larger. I occasionally find a slug living in an apple or a pear from way high up in a tree. I have met little green tree frogs high up in trees too but had the same sort of reaction to them I have for the slugs. It has happened more than once. It is also true that slugs do like beer and with happily drown in it. NW gardeners are known to drink beer while gardening and leaving just a little bit in a can and placing it on the ground. These are slug traps and people collecting cans should know not to pick up a heavy can full of decomposing slugs who went in for the beer and could not find their way back out. Those cans smell horrible and you defiantly do not want to empty the contents out anywhere near you . It is not worth the 5 cent deposit on a slug trap can. Other gardeners who don’t drink beer just put bowls of it out in the garden and make instant slug beer soup because slugs just go for a bath there and drown one after another. Not very appetizing at least not in the northern hemisphere? If there is anything people and slugs do have in common besides being alive it is beer. Some will also go for coke cans too . Somebody wanting to make a grotesque video might lay out on the ground in a bathing suit in warm damp water and coat themselves with beer to attract slugs. Ths slugs might prove to get rid of wrinkles for all anyone knows?
There are several varieties of slugs in Oregon. The big forest banana slugs, are pleasant creatures to observe. The nasty garden dwellers are a destructive force from hell. They can use their caustic stomach enzymes to burrow into the center of a cabbage you are growing in the garden and stay there as the cabbage continues to grow around them until one day a Farmer picks the cabbage and finds out it is hollow with one or more slugs living inside as if it is the hollow earth slug theory.
There are also the dehydrated slugs that get to be a bother. Slugs come out of the garden into the house and on to dry radios and then the sun comes out and they sizzle or they run out of food in the house and die, dehydrate and stick to the floor or ground. Sometimes they do it on a wall or a tree trunk too.even that does not make them fun.
The only other thing gardeners need to know about slugs is that they attack the plants you most like to eat first and leave your least favorite plants alone–weeds. Where are the bio tech engineers when we need them to do something useful and educate slugs to eat the types of plants we call weeds leaving the rest alone? The other alternative is sending them to college. They could all major in environmental studies so after school they could go into the field of saving the universe. Some day slugs will attempt to save the human race from extinction?
What did one slug politician say to another one? I will slime you if you will slime me?