[ExI] super soldier ants
rtomek at ceti.pl
Wed Jan 11 15:33:14 UTC 2012
On Tue, 10 Jan 2012, spike wrote:
> If anyone can figure out how to get an oilseed crop to prosper, it could be
> a minor contributor to the world's energy problem. Oilseed is used to make
> a light oil which can be used for fuel and could have plenty of industrial
> uses in addition to being a food crop.
Okay, okay, I want to be minor contributor to that :-).
Actually, since I am way behind as usual, this might have been posted
already by someone else. If not, here goes:
Frogs, toads, snakes, hedgehogs, Salamanders, eastern box turtles, rats,
Caecilians and also some birds and beetles are slug predators.
Slugs, when attacked, can contract their body, making themselves harder
and more compact, and combined with the slippery mucus is more difficult
for many animals to grasp. The unpleasant taste of the mucus is also a
Some slugs can self-amputate (autotomy) a portion of their tail to help
the slug escape from a predator.
The great majority of slug species are harmless to humans and to their
interests, but a small number of species are serious pests of agriculture
and horticulture. They can destroy foliage faster than plants can grow,
thus killing even fairly large plants. They also feed on fruits and
vegetables prior to harvest, making holes in the crop, which can make
individual items unsuitable to sell for aesthetic reasons, and which can
make the crop more vulnerable to rot and disease.
As control measures, baits are the norm in both agriculture and the
garden. In recent years iron phosphate baits have emerged and are
preferred over the toxic metaldehyde, especially because domestic or wild
animals may be exposed to the bait. The environmentally safer iron
phosphate has been shown to be at least as effective as poisonous
baits. Methiocarb baits are no longer widely used.
Other slug control methods are generally ineffective, but can be somewhat
useful in small gardens. These include beer traps, diatomaceous earth,
crushed eggshells, coffee grounds, and copper.
It is of scientific interest that salt kills slugs by causing water to
leave its body owing to osmosis  but this is not used for agricultural
control as soil salinity is detrimental to crops."
(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slug )
So, one of the most environmental friendly may be coffee grounds, perhaps
from a nearby friendly caffeteria?
Also, I wonder if it would be possible to lay barbwire across the fields,
so even if slugs eat one quadrant they will be stopped in it. But this is
probably not very good idea on the money side.
** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature. **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened... **
** Tomasz Rola mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com **
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