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Photo Credit: Rudolf-Peter Bakker | Unsplash

The slug is perhaps one of the most unlikable creatures on the planet, right? But maybe I can change your mind..

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Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

In the dead of night they slither out of their dark hiding places with a slow persistence, like zombies that have woken up-still groggy from sleep. Yet by daylight, suddenly, they’re gone! Just a shiny trail left behind. The detective starts work, but the slug eludes all!

This shell-less terrestrial devours your garden plants, fruit and vegetables at a speed equal to that of a hungry wedding party. In-fact, if you had bionic hearing, I’m sure you’d hear their loud munching all night long. Throwing egg shells and bark shavings at them won’t deter them. So what’s left to really love about this gastronomical slime ball of a gastropod mollusc?

Some animals delight in a diet of slug!

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Photo by Jane Firth elizabethwriter.com

I had an infestation of slugs in my garden once, so bad that on a warm summer’s evening you often stood on several slugs mooching upon the doorstep. That was until we acquired two great big Aylesbury ducks. They run across the garden in anticipation at the mere sight of a spade in your hand. They ate the lot and never another slug seen out in public. Problem solved! Then there was the elusive slug that each night left its silvery trail upon the lounge carpet. But I could never discover it by day! I later uncovered it in the dark, edging out from the chimney. Oh yes, they can climb to great heights!

Slugs are here for a reason!

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Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Shared family include the Steamer Clam, the Giant Squid, and the Periwinkle. Indeed, the snail, the ‘mini sledge’, my children called them, or ‘escargot’ to the French, is eaten too, by notable people! But alas, not the slug. In defense of this poor gastropod, he is always up for a night out, and a beer with you! However your beer guzzling foe may not survive the depth of your can and unfortunately for him, he will succumb to a ‘bitter’ doom!

We can find antiseptic properties in slug and snail slime.

This sticky mucus turns out to be a blessing! Antiviral properties contained within it might be used to kill the M.R.S.A bug (a multi-drug-resistant bacteria) now rampaging our hospitals. Anti-fungal, antibiotic and natural additives are other benefits that the slug could bring. An infirmary full of molluscs! Does this sound like an episode of Dr Who or some sci fi horror movie? Yet it might be the future of medicine, and it is nearly Halloween!

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Photo by Delaney Turner on Unsplash

I think slugs are smart too-I once observed them climbing up a post and sledging across a long washing line, to drop to a dish of rabbit food- pretty clever! Can we turn the slug into a hero after all? Perhaps a hand gel (it doesn’t wash off so easily) to protect us from Covid? A throat pastel anyone? The slug has thicker slime than the snail, who instead has a shell instead to protect it. So here’s the Crunch! — Escargot?- Off the menu! And slug juice here we come…!

Jane elizabeth Firth

elizabethwriter.com

True story writer, blogger and author of The Porthole Peeper; a lifestyle blog at elizabethwriter. com. I live on a boat on the beautiful Lancaster canal, UK.

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