I There is a strawberry patch in my yard. My children love to leaf through the broad green leaves and seek out the luscious strawberries. My wife has been known to carve up a few of them and place them on her morning cereal.
However, my family is not the only ones looking to snack on these red berries. A few years ago I had to construct a netting to cover the patch because birds have an incredible appetite for strawberries. There was one morning when I looked out the kitchen window and saw a bird caught underneath the netting. I had to literally cut the bird loose from the netting - which was not something the bird was very happy with.
I have also discovered another predator with a taste for berries - the common garden slug. There have been several berries that were rendered useless by these slimy critters. In fact, just this morning I went out to my berry patch and harvested about 20 of these little guys.
Having these neighbors in my berry patch, I decided to find out more about them. What I discovered doesn't really endear me to the little guys. They glide along on a muscular foot and ooze mucus, which later dries to form a silvery slime trail. Being hermaphrodites they all have the potential to lay eggs (sometimes as many as 40 at a time and as often as six times a year). They hibernate, so they'll be back next year too. Oh yeah, they also like to eat plants.
My neighbor has constructed a slug trap. He uses a two liter plastic bottle, and then he cuts the top off and turns it so that the spout is placed inside what remains of the bottle. He places slug bait inside and when the little guys climb up the ramp they check in, but don't check out.
It turns out that the experts have a variety of options in controlling slug populations, they recommend things like, handpicking, installing barriers, introducing natural enemies to the snail world (which can open up a whole different can of worms), and you can use baits (which they liken to the bug zappers that kill a few and attract a bunch).
Isn't our world filled with its own variety of slugs? There are a variety of things that will damage the growth in our lives and they are willing to bring their friends for the banquet. We have to be intentional about resisting the enemy of our growth. We hope you find tools that help you resist the enemy in one or more of our ministries - but more importantly we hope you find tools to resist the enemy in God's Word.
Copyright Glenn A. Hascall 2004
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