Slugs at the donut shop

A friend asked me this today and I’ve got no clue. She was listening to a gardening call-in radio show where a caller noted that he has slugs that invade his deck. They go for his cat’s food bowl. If he picks up the food bowl they immediately (whatever that means in slug world) do a 180º (I can hear the tires burning) and head for the tree where he’s got a bird feeder about 8’ up.

How do they know? Is it like bees, where one has happened upon this food source and comes back and does a little slug dance (that’s tough to envision) telling where the chow is? Do they have olfactory powers that I’m unaware of?

How is it possible to observe slugs doing anything immediately? Don’t they move at about .002 mph?

Are you asking, “How do slugs find food?” or “Do slugs eat cat food?”

I don’t have a cite for this, but my 99% WAG would be that they leave pheromone trails in their slime trails, so they remember where they ate food yesterday and go back to it.

As to the cat food and birdseed: Most snails and slugs are herbivores.

http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~ohioline/hyg-fact/2000/2010.html

However, is this a Pacific Northwest call-in show? Is the guy talking about banana slugs? They eat anything.

http://www.charged.com/issue_3/columns/guest/doug_rand/slugs.html

http://www.nps.gov/alcatraz/nature3.html

http://www.naturepark.com/bslug.htm

Aren’t you glad I’m telling you all this? :smiley: Fight a little ignorance and make yourself sick, all at the same time…

At the Russian River, near Santa Rosa, CA, they have a banana slug festival every year and give a prize to the person with the best recipe as well as various and other revolting contests involving eating slugs. Ughhhhhhhh and yicky, yicky, yicky! I didn’t know they ate rotting flesh so that makes it worse. I thought they were just herbivores.