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My slug bait challenge

Posted by coll_123 10 (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 11, 12 at 22:35

Years ago, I used to put down copious amounts of iron phosphate pellets (brand name I used was Sluggo). Despite that, I still had tons of slugs and slug damage. Some days, I'd actually watch slugs bypass the stuff completely. Other days I would just watch chipmunks stuff their fat little cheeks with it. Anyway, I gave up on it.

Many people swear to me it does work for them, so I wanted to put it to the test on the slugs I have in MY yard. I have a couple different colors, but primarily it's these orangey brown ones I'm dealing with.

So I set up a little habitat today, complete with a rock to hide under, a smorgasbord of three different hosta leaves to choose from, and exactly two pellets of Sluggo.

Today was day one. First observation- he just wants out. As of 9:30 pm, not hungry. I fear this may be akin to keeping a Great White Shark in captivity. I will update later.

My goals are to see:

1) does he eat the Sluggo?

2) does he eat the hosta?

3) does he eat both?

4) does he in fact die if he eats the sluggo?

I feel a little cruel about this, but I really want to know if the stuff does or does not work on the slugs in my garden. Maybe I did something wrong years ago, I don't know.

Here is the set up
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He's going for the Sluggo!
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or maybe not...
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: My slug bait challenge

I so congratulate you on your experiment. I, too, went through this conundrum a few years back.

I landed on products using the chemical 'metaldahyde', even though we avoid, normally, any chems.

This mosuskhide, err, snail killer, has a bad rep for being dangerous to household pets.

Today, this is a bad, false rep, when properly used, else I would not have tried it, as our cats are revered vole patrolers!

Suffice to say that folk who tour here are amazed at the lack of slug, cutworm, et. al. damage here, even in late season.

That is, until this season, when dummy me didn't process the idea that the awfully early spring would mean the baddies would require me to apply the slug/cutworm/otherbaddies stuff at least a few weeks early.

Live and learn, drat,

hh


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RE: My slug bait challenge

  • Posted by babka 9b NorCal (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 12, 12 at 0:31

I cannot explain it. Can you duplicate the same circumstances with the metaldehyde kind just to see. Needing to be scientific here... ;-) Can you use the same slug? Is it still hungry?

Sluggo works for me here in a place where they are a problem all year around. I toss it around every couple weeks. No bodies. When I use the metaldehyde products I get piles of shells and lots of goo.

Do whatever works best for YOU.

-Babka


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Metaldehyde (BugGeta Plus) used here too, once a month. It does fine, I see the silvery slime, some areas are free of slugs now. No complaints by squirrels, chipmunks, cats, dogs, neighbors.
Rodents get other pellets in their holes.
Bernd


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RE: My slug bait challenge

I can't test the Metaldehyde because I don't have any. I feel it's too big a risk for me to use with my dogs around. I hear it works very well, though.

Last night the slug was just hanging out in the center. This morning he was asleep under his rock and the hosta and the Sluggo both appear untouched- although, I'm not sure how much of the grain of Sluggo a slug will actually eat.


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Are you sure that's enough Sluggo in there? When I checked it out years ago it seemed to me like I'd need to use tons of it per year here to get the recommended coverage.

I use Deadline (metaldyhyde) twice a year and spread it so lightly that you barely even notice it, but the recommended amount is about 5 to 6 pellets per square foot, and I know sluggo is a lot more than that.


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RE: My slug bait challenge

chris, there was just a conversation about this not long a on the HAllson board. I remarked that a woman I know that lives here would order Sluggo in bulk from the manufacturer. She would literally mulch her hostas with the stuff...crazy, crazy amount of Sluggo. And still, they ate her hostas anyway. So she gave up and switched to metaldehyde. Some of the members advised that you were not supposed to use the Sluggo that liberally (when I used to use it I would just take a handful and scatter that all over the place...I didn't take it to the extreme that the other woman did, but our results were the same- still lots of slug eaten plants).

Metaldehyde is such bad stuff for dogs if they get into it...I just can't chance having it around. I wouldn't even want them eating the dead slug goo or whatever.

This year I have been using Sluggo Plus, which I place under those black wire baskets from the dollar store. This allows the bugs to get it, but not the chipmunks. I was doing this more for cutworm and earwig control, but I still seem to have plenty of those to go around, too.


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RE: My slug bait challenge

I just checked the cannister and it says .5 to 1 lb per 1000 square feet. One cannister is a pound. My slug is contained within about one square foot, so I'm not sure how to measure out 1/1000 of a pound, lol. What I was really hoping to learn was if, given a side by choice, does he choose plant or poison.

I just checked on him and he is just staring at the wall. Seems very depressed.


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Coll, maybe he is lonely! Haha. I use Bug Geta Plus. I was putting a ring around each plant but someone here said I was using it wrong. I needed to lightly broadcast it everywhere in my hosta beds. That worked perfectly. I might add pets are not allowed to roam here and my cat is strictly in doors so I am not fussy about what chemicals I use. I had lots of dead slugs and snails when I used the broadcast method and have had no trouble since.


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RE: My slug bait challenge

The thing about Iron Phosphate (Sluggo) is that it doesn't kill slugs right away like Methaldehyde does. In fact slugs don't even have to eat the Methaldehyde all they need to do it go near it and it will kill them. Iron Phosphate works differently. It gives them a bad bellyache and makes them stop feeding. It will eventually kill them but usually back under their rock or leaves or where ever they live. I have seen evidence if Iron Phosphate killing slugs. I have some boards that I use as traps and I've seen moldy dead slugs under these boards a few days after application.

As Coll says Methaldehyde is very harmful, even in small amounts, for pets. The label says that you must be able to keep pets and small children out of the application area from the time you put it out until it disappears. Since I can't do that, I choose not to use it.

Steve


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RE: My slug bait challenge

I think this is the same story several times a year with proponents of various slug medicines posting. Here is something Bill Meyer wrote about Sluggo :

Here is a link that might be useful: Is Sluggo safe?


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Coll, i am in hysterics! You are so funny! Here I am on vacation in Paris and I thought I would just check in tonight. I am so glad I did! Can't help with the slugs since mine at home are fat and happy-I am sorry to say. You know, I think beer actually worked better for me than anything else. Maybe I will try that again when I get home.

Thanks again for the giggles!


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Same here, beer always works great for me...


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RE: My slug bait challenge

  • Posted by babka 9b NorCal (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 12, 12 at 17:21

I'd drink beer before I would drink ammonina too! How will you know when he gets thirsty?

-Babka


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RE: My slug bait challenge

I like this a lot lol
John


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RE: My slug bait challenge

you can watch that slug while drinking beer. Give him some BugGeta.


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Beer has not worked for me in the past, for whatever reason. The other problem with beer is that my garden is really spread out...I'd have to put out a lot of beer to cover all the hosta area and then I'd have unsightly saucers of beer everywhere, and it would just be a lot of work. That, and dogs are really attracted to the scent of beer so that would be a hassle too.

I have the best results with my copper rings and my lettuce traps/ammonia spray. But it would just be great to have an even easier solution like a safe bait that actually works (for me- I'm not disputing that it works in other gardens).

Metaldehyde will always be a no go for me as long as I have dogs.

One thing I should test next is cornmeal. That's supposed to make them stop eating too, I heard. And then while I'm at it I should snag a daylily with an earwig in it and toss that in another pot with some Sluggo Plus, and see if that works! Oh, and a cutworm....boy I missed my chance last night on that. I killed a BEAST out there on Stained Glass...biggest cutworm I ever saw. I found it by shining a flashlight under the leaves.

So I checked on my little friend at lunch and he was wandering around his crib. I thought he was finally gonna go for the hosta but he did a u-turn at the last moment. Perhaps he thinks it's a trap? Then he went back to staring at the wall, which is where he is as of an hour ago. Maybe Cindy is right and he needs a buddy. Gah, there I go, getting attached to him.

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RE: My slug bait challenge

Beer has not worked for me in the past, for whatever reason. The other problem with beer is that my garden is really spread out...I'd have to put out a lot of beer to cover all the hosta area and then I'd have unsightly saucers of beer everywhere, and it would just be a lot of work. That, and dogs are really attracted to the scent of beer so that would be a hassle too.

I have the best results with my copper rings and my lettuce traps/ammonia spray. But it would just be great to have an even easier solution like a safe bait that actually works (for me- I'm not disputing that it works in other gardens).

Metaldehyde will always be a no go for me as long as I have dogs.

One thing I should test next is cornmeal. That's supposed to make them stop eating too, I heard. And then while I'm at it I should snag a daylily with an earwig in it and toss that in another pot with some Sluggo Plus, and see if that works! Oh, and a cutworm....boy I missed my chance last night on that. I killed a BEAST out there on Stained Glass...biggest cutworm I ever saw. I found it by shining a flashlight under the leaves.

So I checked on my little friend at lunch and he was wandering around his crib. I thought he was finally gonna go for the hosta but he did a u-turn at the last moment. Perhaps he thinks it's a trap? Then he went back to staring at the wall, which is where he is as of an hour ago. Maybe Cindy is right and he needs a buddy. Gah, there I go, getting attached to him.

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challenge

  • Posted by babka 9b NorCal (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 12, 12 at 21:26

I never, EVER, thought I'd be following the escapades of a slug. I think you may be correct in assuming that he is depressed. Or perhaps throwing a tantrum and refusing to eat.

It is time you named him/her and elevated him above the mere class of an anonymous slug.

-Babka


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RE: My slug bait challenge

I can't name him because then I'll REALLY get attached. It's like those people who raise certain animals to eventually eat. Don't name them for crying out loud! Then you're eating your pet.

Well I think I picked the wrong slug, or there really is something to my Great White shark in captivity theory. He still hasn't touched his food and the rest of his clan is out there having a field day with my hosta!


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RE: My slug bait challenge

  • Posted by babka 9b NorCal (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 12, 12 at 23:44

Coll123-

You could name him "Mother Theresea" and I would be still be happy to dispatch him. Think about what they do to your hostas and get strong. Perhaps you need to spend $50 on a hosta and have his kin gobble it overnight.

Maybe you captured him after he already had his lunch. Stick with with it, you ARE stronger than he is and can see this through...in the interest of science, after all.

-Babka


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Cyn, are you actually in Paris, France? How exciting- I hope to get there one day. Be sure to let us know if you see any fabulous gardens over there. Now that I am interested in gardening, I would love to revisit Europe and see the gardens there.


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RE: My slug bait challenge

But Babka, they are just doing their thing, like the rest of us...just trying to LIVE, man!. And they are sorta cute with their slow way of going about things. I am less likely to feel sympathetic to anything that scurries or flies at my head. Imagine a fast slug!!

I'm about ready to concede the battle for this year, though. I have to start a whole new thread on which hosta are supposed to be slug resistant but are really not.


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RE: My slug bait challenge

  • Posted by babka 9b NorCal (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 13, 12 at 1:14

Yes, Coll, but they have the whole rest of the world to "do their thing". Just NOT IN MY BACKYARD. When it comes to my hostas it is WAR! You have only been conducting this test for 24 hours. Please continue.

Slug resistant? That has to be a joke, at least out here. We have snails and slugs that will devour even Rhino Hide, and Blue Mouse ears.

-Babka


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RE: My slug bait challenge

This post is hilarious. Thank you Colleen for allowing us to share in your slug-capades.

I was doing some separate reading on slugs, earwigs, and cutworms earlier this week, then POOF it seems to be the hot topic all of a sudden.

Anywho, what I was able to glean is that slugs while using the beer method are attracted to the yeast. So being the tight a-- that I am I was thinking save a trip to the store and just mix up some water, sugar and yeast and pour those into HH's party cups.

I saw them using pans and bowls but the point is to drown them in the beer/yeasty water, so I am not sure how effective a shallow pan would be. I am all for HH's party cups. Just dig, plunk, and pour. I do understand that my garden is substantially smaller than most of yours so it would be a lot less maintenance for me than most, but still a dead slug is the best slug no matter how you go about it.

But other than the different chemical treatments and beer I seemed to find most had the best success with traps. Whether it be old boards, cement blocks with the holes in them, flat rocks, any place cool and wet to hide. I also read to soak newspaper in sugar water and place those under your board or rock traps. Helps to herd them to your desired trap for easy "removal" (I am being cautious with that word since we all have our own sick pleasure with regards to their disposal).

THE OTHER really cool thing I found was a video for trapping earwigs. Not sure if this would work on cutworms (couldn't find much on prevention of cut worms).

I digress, they took the same plunged beer cup method only they poured olive oil (or any cooking oil) into the cup and the next day the guy had like 60 earwigs in his one cup.

So my contribution fwiw is get your slugs drunk and deep fry your earwigs.

Ludi


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Coll, we need a live 'Slug Cam' so we don't have to wait for updates!


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Well, it's with a somewhat heavy heart I must report that there is no sign of my slug friend this today and one of the pieces of Sluggo is missing, leading me to conclude that his corpse is rotting away under that rock. Didn't have the stomach to lift and check....maybe later.

Hostas went untouched. So it's looking as though Iron Phosphate works as described. Not sure my failure with it before had to do with the chipmunks eating it all or what. I think I will pick up more of those wire baskets at the dollar store and set up more slug feeding stations.

One thing I remembered about the beer traps. One time I tried it, and after coming out the next day and not seeing any dead slugs, I got a five gallon bucket and went around and emptied the beer into that. Then I found some slugs and tossed them in there. They did not drown- they crawled right up the side.


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Let's recap : This slug tried to vote with his feet, was looking for a Bug-Geta Plus, tried to climb up and out, so after days he finally took a Sluggo. The real test would be to have a good size slug within equal distance to a pellet of Sluggo and a pellet of Bug Geta and see which he will take. Don't try to use beer, better drink it yourself while you watch the test. I read that not all beers work evenly with slugs.
Bernd


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RE: My slug bait challenge

That's true, Bern...I couldn't exactly say the Sluggo was irresistable to him, as it took him a long time to decide to eat it. Metaldehyde might be more appealing that way. But, it was interesting that he did not choose to nibble the hosta before the Sluggo. Maybe I should try the test with a fresh slug.


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RE: My slug bait challenge

coll you sure you want to do that? I'm kind of concerned about that heavy heart of yours, it kind of sounds like he was becoming a little pet. :)
Cher


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RE: My slug bait challenge

  • Posted by babka 9b NorCal (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 13, 12 at 23:49

Have you dared to look under the rock yet? Don't put that off for too long as slugs are probably 99% water and don't leave much of a corpse.

1 slug is not a very scientific experiment. You actually don't know how healthy he was to begin with. I say continue your experiments so more proper determinations can be made. Stay tuned? ;-)

-Babka


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Well, in a shocking turn of events....He's aliiiiive!
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After not seeing a glimpse of him yesterday and assuming the worst, he is back out in the open today.

Hosta leaves are are still untouched and the other piece of Sluggo is starting to get "furry".

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Cher, I know...I honestly don't enjoy killing slugs even though I hate what they do. It even bothers me that it takes them so long to die with the ammonia spray sometimes. I may have to put others to the test because I'm still trying to figure out why sLuggo didn't seem to work for me and that other woman I know. There aren't enough chipmunks in Maine to eat all the Sluggo she was putting down.


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Hey I love to see the tests done in all honesty by people we know on here. Just couldn't resist the pet thing. :)
Cher


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Well, he is still alive and kicking. Last night he was on one of the hosta leaves. This morning he was sleeping underneath it, but it did not appear to be eaten.

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RE: My slug bait challenge

Day six and he is still alive. Five days after eating that one piece of Sluggo...the other piece is just getting moldy. He may look a tad thinner, I'm not sure.


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RE: My slug bait challenge

testing something regarding receiving responses to this thread, sorry...


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Coll, I am fascinated with your experiment.
Since you are bonding....er....whatever....with this slug, when it looks like the end is near, go get him a dish of beer and let him die happy.

What purpose in this world do slugs serve anyway? Do they have any redeeming qualities? Pollenate anything? Destroy any pesty critters? Have some chemical which can cure cancer? Hold the secret to change transportation methods in the world via SLIME? So why are they here in the first place.


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Just send him over to me, he deserves a quick end. I just put down more Bug Geta Plus where there seemed to be a hot spot, and he can have some. Other slugs must have enjoyed it, seeing all those slime trails and even puddles. Some other areas seem to be slug free, no holes and no slime.
Bernd


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RE: My slug bait challenge

UPDATE

I left for a family vacation last week. Before I left, I hadn't seen my slug friend for a while and figured he finally kicked the bucket. I took a glance in there just before I left and was surprised to see holes in the white hosta leaf. Came back four days later and he is still alive and well. So he ate a piece of Sluggo 18 days ago and is still alive and hungry for hosta, apparently. I think I will take him for a ride and set him free somewhere after all this. I am probably not going to buy anymore Sluggo, though I know this has not been a scientific test. It just didn't work for me years ago and looks like it doesn't work for me now.

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  • Posted by babka 9b NorCal (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 30, 12 at 22:32

You are right. It wasn't very scientific, but it sure was fun!

-Babka


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Yeah, I was wondering how it could end. Boy, Coll, you are such a pushover for a pretty face. And it seems he did not eat THAT much...while you were looking, actually none. I bet he tells his grandkids about this strange experience he had when he had a vision about a world without a hosta, and he was being tested by the Great God of Hosta as a youth.....

Maybe my little turtle would love to have him for dinner one night. :)


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RE: My slug bait challenge

I've been following and enjoying this thread for quite some time now.

May I submit an experience with ammonia?

hh


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RE: My slug bait challenge

Sure hh, go for it.

I haven't freed the slug yet, but he is still munching on the hosta leaves in there. Surprisingly, only one is browning up and he is nibbling on that one. OT, but are hosta leaves capable of growing roots when stuck in the ground? I am just surprised they are lasting so long.

Moccasin, yeah, he'll tell his THOUSANDS of grandchildren about it, lol. Then I'll be sorry!


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RE: My slug bait challenge

I asked this threads owner for permission and got it, to post a sub-thread on this subject. I, actually, have another attempt at scientific slug killing tests, but for now, here's a recent, VERY UN-scientific run at the mollusks.

slugdiedfastmetaldahyde2012-07-14_20-21-39_913

I was resting on the front porch steps when a slug crawled up one of the runners and onto a step. I just so happened to have a jug of Ortho Bug-Geta Plus within reach, so I got out a pellet and placed it in the path of the nasty. It right away started munching on it. I could actually see it gnawing.

It never made it off that porch step. And NO, I did NOT step on it!

So why do we still have some slugs? Because the lil' buggars get eggs laid before we get them all gone.

The saga WILL continue, but Metaldahyde is allowing a lot of control, and we still have our cats (vole patrol), worms, frogs, tree frogs, and so forth.

Using this method has costs. When the first nubbins first start showing in spring, apply. First week of July, apply (adjust for your zone and this years climate). First of September, apply.

We have visited several gardens in about a 90 mile radius from us this time of year, and, no bragging, just appreciation of Metaldahyde, ours is obviously still in much better 'touring' condition.

An aside, we go for the Bug-Geta PLUS because the PLUS ingredient gits cutworms, thrips, and a few other baddies.

From my point of view, the very well buried, information wise, information is that the ingredient that does the cut worms et. al. is also reputed deadly to honeybees. YOUCH! Soooooo, the solution to that is to wait until 'O-Dark Thirty', when the bees are back home asleep, to apply this product. The nasty bee harmful ingredient is only viable for about 8 hours, so if you apply at dusk-thirty, by the time the bees are back at work it's harmless. I know this policy is working because after several years of using this product as described, we still have a plethora of, and many different species, of bees. Now if only I could figure out how to selectively make the sweat bees go 'somewhere else'.

Modern living through careful chemistry,

fwiw,

hh


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