Salt-maze kills the stupid slugs, rewards the clever

A person on the Internet is combatting a nasty slug problem with a nastier slug-maze, which promises a fiery death for slugs who stray from the true course, but rewards the cleverest slugs with all the jam they can eat. Let the selective breeding begin! Soon this person will have sentient, maze-solving MENSAslugs who'll be declaring a meritocratic revolution and dooming the poor humans in the vicinity to a lifetime of minimum wage servitude without the prospect of collective bargaining.

So a friend of mine has a problem with slugs. I think he is doing it right. ( (via Beth Pratt)


  1. Shouldn’t this person  have consulted with the rest of humanity before starting to breed super intelligent slugs?

    A heads up at least would have been nice. . . .

        1. I’m all partied out man.  I just wanna have a few friends over and watch some movies.

  2. There’s a side of me that wants to say that it could be that the slugs that make it through aren’t really smart–just lucky.

    But there’s another, much louder, much more fun side of me that wants to say, I, for one, welcome our new slug overlords…

      1.  Yes! I remember Teela Brown + I’m ready for some enterprising cable channel to adapt Ringworld into a multi-season super-epic that’ll make Game of Thrones look like a bad ep of the old Dungeons + Dragons cartoons…

  3. What if the slugs see him creating the maze? Will it be like George RR Martins story The Sand Kings? 

  4. What is a slug’s turning radius? I’m no limacologist but that last stretch looks pretty tough. 


    Full disclosure: I did not know what a limacologist was until a few minutes ago.

      1. Yeah but pretty tough to get.  Lima is a proper name.   Can’t do it off of gist either – too many letters

        1. You could do it with gist to the right and a hanging letter to the left from another word…

    1. Not a simple thing to answer.  Their turning radius depends on how fast they are going and track conditions.  After a number of fatalities, including a slug careening off the track and killing 3 spectators, technical limitations were imposed that reduced slug speeds.  This included power and aerodynamic restrictions.

      Because of all this emphasis on safety, track conditions and top speeds are fairly consistent.  The last remaining factor is a slug’s skill.  So back to your question,  professional slugs can easily turn in 3mm at full speed.

    1. For ants the same thing can be done on hard floors, substituting salt with hot sauce.

      1.  cayenne pepper is a bit easier on the finish. The vinegar in most hot sauces is not friendly to polyurethane. Someone also told me that cinnamon is also a major annoyance for ants, but I have not tested that.

    2.  My first thought was that only the most clever malevolent spirits will be able to enter his house.

  5. I see this ending only one way.  A deer smashing in the backdoor, licking up all the salt, and letting 20 slugs in.  The jam will go untouched.

    1. Here ya go:

  6. There are a couple things about slugs that we may want to review here.

    1) Slugs can climb walls

    2) Slugs leave a slime trail in order to mark a trail to food sources

    Need I say more?

  7. Idiot put the salt directly onto the carpet instead of putting something under it. Score another for our slug overlords!

    1. Aww man, if only some sort of device existed that could suck up and dispose of small particles resting on top of household surfaces. 

  8. He would need to increase the course size fivefold or more for the slugs we have here in Hawaii.  Same for California’s banana slug, mascot of the University of Santa Cruz.

  9. “Slugs! He created slugs?! They can’t hear, they can’t speak, they can’t operate machinery. Are we not in the hands of a lunatic!?” – Evil, The Time Bandits.

    I had my own battle with slugs in a college house, documented in depth here:
    I think I went a little mad.

    1. If I were creating the world I wouldn’t mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers! Eight o’clock! Day One! 

  10. Why does nobody acknowledge the anguish he’s causing the poor slugs?  How is this any different than torturing puppies? Slugs are sentient creatures, they feel pain. Disgusting.

      1. I can easily picture kittens taking dumps in your cabbage patch, and I don’t think it would be particularly okay to torture them to death. If you or this person were actually concerned about pests, wouldn’t it make sense to just use $.75 worth of weather-stripping?

        Why are we talking about your sublime victory garden, anyway?

        1. Short answer: 

          Weatherstripping.  Yes, that would be the easiest solution (or a new threshold; whichever).

          Why are you talking about torturing kittens?

          Long answer:

          A kitten (or series thereof) pooping in my cabbage patch is beneficial to me in several ways.  Their feces will fertilize the crops, and the cats themselves will discourage rodents and other pests from feasting on said cabbage.

          Cats are intelligent creatures that are capable of learning (though whether their individual temperaments reveal that or not is another matter) and expressing various emotional states.  Slugs, on the other hand, have just enough neurons to form a ganglia and only react to stimuli on the most primitive levels.

          If you’re that concerned about never intentionally and/or knowingly causing another living creature pain and suffering, well, I’ve got some bad news for you…

          1. A kitten (or series thereof) pooping in my cabbage patch is beneficial to me in several ways.

            One of these benefits being toxoplasmosis, possibly leading to blindness.

            Their feces will fertilize the crops

            In theory- but this takes a very very long time. As evinced by the amount of intact cat faeces at the bottom of my compost bin, left by the previous owner over two years ago.

            I wouldn’t torture them, though. A powerful water pistol is deterrent enough.

    1. please to notice complete lack of slugs in picture. No slug, no harm. It is a joke, get it?

    2. I agree, a more humane solution would be to get a duck, leave her by the door at night and she will gobble quickly and with glee any slug which ventures through that door! Worked for the pests in our garden when I was a kid. Organic pest control.

  11. The slugs will form a slug bridge of death and attack in force in the middle of the night. Slugs do not take lightly to attempts to stop the expansion.

  12. @ Lisa Haynes: “How is this any different than torturing puppies?”
    Unlike puppies, the slugs chose to go there of their own free will (I’m assuming here that you are correct in claiming them as sentient beings). As such, they also have the choice to leave if they sense danger.
    However, they might decide to press on. Much like humans did, in our first migration out of Africa. Dangerous, sure, but in the face of danger we rise to our full potential, and we ultimately conquered the planet. That same drive to explore and challenge ourselves and nature has since taken us to the deepest jungles and the highest peaks; not because it was imperative to our survival, but BECAUSE WE COULD. And not once was there any jam on offer that we didn’t make ourselves (until recently, when we started buying even red currant jam in shops). I say these slugs have it easy! Who are we to deny them the same opportunities we had?

  13. What would you do if you woke up one morning to find a stick bridge constructed over the salt line on the left and all the Jam gone?

  14. Beer traps are the thing. However, as was pointed out to me by a wily gardener, as they attract ALL the slugs in the area, the trick is to get your neighbour to put ’em out…

    1. When I find a scorpion in my yard, I carefully catch it and release it to the wild….s of my neighbor’s yard.

      1. What?  And waste that good food?

        First the not-killing geese, now the scorpions?  You’re obviously not Zuck in drag.

    2.  Beer traps completely failed for the Great Grey Slugs that infested my kitchen last year- they would drink (some of) the beer, sleep it off for a few hours, then leave before dawn. These were double-hard Geordie slugs, though.

      I ended up getting up in the early hours with a torch to catch them.

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