Thanks for the responses guys. The problem with slugs is I live in arizona and they are quite hard to come by. I used to live in New York and I raised them for my turtles. It takes a few generations (equals about three months) to get them reasonably clean) gastropods do carry all sorts of nasties including typhoid causing pathogens) as far as earthworms go. i have only been able to get one of the snakes to eat them. The red backed salamander is still thought to be among the most abundant vertebrates in the northeast of the u.s. and they do breed in captivity. i agree a captive bred food source is usually a better choice insofar as goes being gentle to already pressured animal populations. So, any other ideas?