Scientists are reporting that coffee has been discovered to kill slugs and snails. Naturally, Northwest gardeners began putting away their Deadline Force II Slug and Snail Bait and started giving espresso a shot. These fresh-face pansies have been brewing up extra batches of Morning Fogcutter, and squirting it around the premises in place of ecologically dangerous poisons. As little as 1-2 percent caffeine solution acts as a neurotoxin, causing the creatures to exhibit "uncoordinated writhing" before death. Hope is that they writhe out of the garden before dying in an unsightly manner.

I'll say one thing for invertebrates; They may be stupid, but they know a good thing when they taste it. Tip: One small dish of beer set out in a garden will fill up by morning with invertebrates that can't seem to drink responsibly. Next day, simply drink the beer and re-fill. [Humor]

My grandfather George, a WWI vet, had his own weapons of choice when it came to these pests. He'd save the table salt or Pine-Sol for the slugs that ripped viscous freeways through his garden. After George got ahold of them, they dramatically erupted into frothing acidic wads of themselves. I'd watch the cruel agony in all its hideousness, even catch the hissing screams of sheer slug torment if I got down close enough and listened. And it smelled pine fresh! However, if you pour Pine-Sol onto a snail, it crawls inside the shell and dies in relative solitude, requiring a different solution.

In his golden years, George had taken to walking with a wooden drug store cane to assist ambulating. Bad hips ya' know. And he would use the big rubber shoe on the end of his cane tip to 'pop' the snails. Whenever it rained, he'd go outside and start popping snails. POP! POP! POP! Then he'd take a few steps. POP! POP! POP! Occasionally I'd join him and act as caddie, ratting out any errant snails he may have missed, even suggested chipping a few out of the rough onto the fairway to get better shots.

Well, he's dead and gone now, and didn't like me anyway. A lesson learned though: If you've got dirty work to do... Do it. Or get out of the garden. Fresh face pansy.