IT’S war at Cobweb Castle. I am usually turning my attention to hoards of spiders threatening to garrote me in the garden with their webs or frightening the life out of me with raids inside the house at this time of the year.
But instead I have come up against a different, though no less deadly, foe.
The garden has been taken over by a veritable army of slugs. I have never seen so many.
The other day Mrs Nurden emerged from the kitchen to see me flinging the things off the lawn so I wouldn’t mow them down. “You don’t want to do that,” she said. “Slugs are horrible. They eat all my plants.”
She had a point but being a bit of a softy I really didn’t want to be knowingly slicing the creatures up, no matter how horrible or slimy they looked.
However, she was right. Within a week I was ploughing through the grass oblivious of what might be hiding inside. But I could see where they had been. The shiny slug trails, like a ghostly slime attack, were everywhere.
The worst incident happened during a late-night sortie to the garage to retrieve a lost screwdriver when I inadvertently stood on one in my slippers. I did not realise this until safely back indoors, by which time I had trodden it into the carpet.
There seems to be no way to rid me of this slug fest. Even when I think they have all run, or squirmed, away they surprise me by emerging from beneath plant pots or bits of wood.
The neighbours must think I have turned into a girl, what with the amount of sudden squeals I have let out as my hand accidentally touches one.
I have tried to come to terms with having them in my garden but my temper is fraying. They are actually the garden equivalent of squatters, homeless snails looking for a free bed to kip on. Unlike worms, they don’t appear to do any good to anyone. In fact, it is exactly the reverse.
Whole flower beds have been decimated by the unstoppable slug machine as it munches through my marigolds and takes out the tomatoes. But they are about to meet their match. The slaughter of the slugs is about to start.
I have been told the surest way to stop a slug is to leave bottles of beer about, so the slugs slip in and drown. However, that seems an awful waste of good beer to me. Any other suggestions, which do not include poison, firearms or a nuclear warhead, would be gratefully received…