I want to have a garden party. I'm feeling a little defeated so I need a pick-me-up. You see, something has been munching away at my chard, kale, leaf lettuce, radishes and green beans in the kitchen garden. So having a party will help me get through it all. Now, planning one is half the fun, but this party only needs one thing...
When I look at this bottle of beer I see a really nice invitation: "To all the creepy crawlers! Come one, come all! Earwigs, pill bugs, slugs and snails! You are invited!" Yessiree. They want it, they drink, they drown. So let's grab a bottle* along with our least favorite cereal bowl (the slicker the surface the better) and get it started.
Find a spot where you have the most damage. Guaranteed the little buggers aren't far away.
Bury the bowl so that the rim sits about a 1/4 inch out of the ground. You want to make it easy for the critters to crawl in.
Now sacrifice your beer. Pour in enough to fill the bowl only about half-way so that it becomes hard to crawl back out.
It's the yeast that attracts the little creepers, they'll start to smell it right away. Do this in the evening and the beer should stay somewhat bubbly most of the night. I've found that putting it out at night spares me the heartbreak of also seeing ladybugs, bees and worms inside too. Just about everything likes beer.
And in no time...
Cheers! Welcome to my party! We're just getting started.
The next morning...
Three earwigs, two crickets, two millipedes and a slug showed up to our fabulous little shindig. Well that was so much fun... how about we party all week? Do this each night until the population dwindles away (a week seems to be the average amount of time around here). Move the bowl around your beds each night or use more than one if you have a large garden. You should be able to get the bug problem under control.
I'll drink to that!
Info: The damage a field cricket can do is small when alone, but it will usually attract more crickets and together they can wreck a garden good. While you can find a commercial bait that covers larger areas, the beer works just as well in my opinion. You just have to stick it out a bit longer. Put the glass down dude, party's over.
Tip: Pill bugs and earwigs can do a lot of damage because they are quick to set up nearby quarters and make large families. Go on the hunt for the gangs first; turning over rocks and what not. (Give 'em to the chickies.) Then bring out the beer for the ones that got away.
*Tip: Technically, this can be any type of beer. But for some reason Budweiser and Bud Light work the best. I suspect it has more yeast - giving it a more enticing smell and helping bugs to find it quicker. It just works.
Tip: Empty the bowl nightly, and make sure to do it far away from your garden so you don't accidentally attract more buggers to it!