It’s a good job there are so many creepy crawlies because the Weapons of Mass Destruction available for deployment on the shelves of local hardware stores are both plentiful and merciless.

Why look for some mad scientist in the depths of the Iraqi desert practicing the arcane arts of black biology when the local branch of B&Q suffices?

It’s Armageddon time for our myriad eyed friends. And what choice there is for the weekend assassin.

Dead Fast (rat killer), Sonic Mouse Repeller, Fast Acting Mouse Killer and the Ultimate Mole Trap – what the fuck does anyone want a mole trap for in east London? – are available over the counter to deal with our four legged foe.

Insects can look forward to be dusted, sprayed and carpet bombed with everything from Advanced Slug Killer and Bug Free to Vine Weevil Killer and Ant Killer Powder, while quiet old weeds face a bath in Root Kill Plus, Deep Root Ultra and Bramble Killer Ultra.

Kill, kill, kill is the order of the day if you aren’t human. Even my mum gets that mad gleam in her eyes like she’s marching down the glen to battle when you mention slugs in the garden.

“I hate them. I hate them,” she says with a passion usually reserved for anything English. She’s a Danish/Scottish cross which singles her out as potential Berserker stock. Such tempremental genes should never  be given distilled reindeer urine suffused with Fly Agaric and an axe at the same time unless you want heads to roll.

Anyway, I’ve wandered from the beaten path. My mum’s favoured coup de grace is pouring boiling water over slugs first thing in the morning while they lie bloated after a night gorging on her prized hostas. There is more than a touch of Dr Mengele about it.

Somewhere in a quiet seemingly normal compost heap the insect generals gather and prepare for battle …

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