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Advice on

keeping Banana

Slugs as Pets

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Pet Banana Slugs
Written by: Pet Care

If you live or have traveled along the Pacific Ocean coast
of the United States, you have probably seen them. This
bright yellow, creepy crawly is often as long as your hand
if not longer. It slips along on its slime trail with its
eye stalks poking in, out and around as it looks for tasty
snacks. They can be a hazard for gardeners because they like
fruits and vegetables, but they live mostly in the Redwood
forests and are fascinating and probably one of the more
interesting small creatures to keep as pets.

Banana slugs are a bright yellow because bright colors are a
warning to predators that a plant or animal is poisonous. In
the case of the Banana Slug, though, as with some other
brightly colored animals, this is a ruse. Banana Slugs are
not actually poisonous; it is one of nature's tricks to help
them keep from being eaten. But if a predator such as a frog
is more interested in eating than in avoiding the obvious
"I'm poisonous" sign, the slug will excrete an even more
sticky slime that will clog up the predator's throat and
mouth, making it very hard indeed for the slug to be eaten.

How to get a Pet Banana Slug

I don't know whether Banana Slugs are sold in pet stores, I
have never seen them there. You might ask your local pet
dealer about this, and about the laws that apply to their
ownership. But if you live where these slugs live, you might
want to catch your own, at least for temporary study. If so,
here is some advice:

One of the more important things to do when going after a
slug for a pet is to make sure that you find a healthy one,
otherwise it won't last very long and your efforts will be
wasted. Watch the slug you found, especially if it was out
in the open, and see whether it is eating, moving well, and
seems okay. Some gardeners put out slug bait in their yards,
and you don't want to take home a slug that has eaten poison
and will die soon.

Ready to go get your pet? First you will need to put on some
gloves so that when you go and catch it you don't end up
slimed. Make sure that the gloves don't have any chemicals
on them, a new set of kitchen gloves that have been rinsed
off works well for this. Get a clean container that has
never contained chemicals or anything that might harm your

Now go slug hunting. Go to a garden or forest and when you
find a slug you like the looks of, either pluck it off
whatever it is clinging to, or if it is eating, pick the
fruit or vegetable that the slug is on and put both in your

For your slug's new home you will need a small aquarium or
vivarium with some gravel lining the bottom. You can also
get your slug some aquarium furniture, plants, and other
things to decorate the tank and for your slug to climb on.
You will need some distilled water and a spray bottle to
spray the tank every day so that your slug can drink water
from the dewdrops on the glass and plants.

You will also need to feed your slug vegetables and fruits
that have been well rinsed. It is very important that the
slug does not come into contact with any chemicals,
otherwise it will die. Slugs are not to be handled often, if
at all. They are more for watching. Make sure that your
aquarium has a tight lid and very small ventilation holes
lest your slug escape. An escaped slug will not make the
other members of your family very happy!

You may also want to put some moss that you have collected
from the banana slug's natural environment in the tank. Moss
is good for holding dew and water so that the slug can drink
throughout the day. It is also important that before the
food your slug doesn't finish starts to mold or go bad you
remove it from the tank and give the slug fresh food. You do
not want to leave mold or bacteria in your tank; it could
kill your banana slug.

With proper care Banana Slugs will live a long while and
they will slime their way up and down and around your tank.
They can climb the walls literally, and your can see their
undersides and watch them explore. Kids really enjoy them
because of their ickiness. Don't tap on the glass or
otherwise harass the slug, its not good for them. But if you
follow these simple instructions you can have a fascinating
pet for at least a year.

Banana Slugs as Pets - find out More

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