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After creating my version of fantasy slimes (please see this and this for more on them, they're called Plops) I realized a problem with their basic physiology.

That is because in medieval times (and the past in general), hygiene really wasn't a thing. People would just dump their garbage in the streets, and dirt and filth was just about everywhere. Plops, being common monsters (like rats or cockroaches), and eat just about anything; filth, refuse, unattended children.

Most Plops are the size of a pot of spaghetti, but if they eat something large enough to distend their body, their natural magic causes them to absorb the extra mass. In other words, if a Plop eats something bigger than they are (like a basketball or a small child, they can't distend enough to consume something like a beanbag whole) they'll end up growing. The size increase is proportional to the additional size and mass of the object compared to the Plop.

This size increase does not occur all at once, it occurs as the Plop digests. Dirt and dust particles, along with most slime and grime, is digested near-instantly. However, any large solid object takes longer, but not by much; it would take five minutes for a Plop to digest its weight's worth in banana peels and (I'm guessing here) about thirty minutes for a Plop to digest the typical four-or-five-year-old.

So, obviously, something must be done to protect people from these monsters, but how? Thus, my question is: How Can Medieval Villagers Protect Themselves From Plops?

Context and Clarification:

  1. By medieval, I mean Europe from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the Renaissance. This should give you an idea of what the villages will be like.
  2. Plops are not sentient, they are relatively primitive (primitive compared to us). They can figure out that humans are reliable sources of food, that one can ooze through doorframes and cracks in the walls to enter human homes or pantries (did they have pantries in medieval times?), so basically octopus-level intelligence.
  3. Plops are capable of climbing walls and ceilings, but not smooth surfaces like pottery or (modern) glass. Trees and bricks, however, are fair game. They also avoid extreme temperatures (for obvious reasons). They move about as fast as a sped-up slug; they can keep pace with and catch up to a speed-walking human but not someone running.
  4. Plop can only grow to the size of a minivan, and when their population gets really high, they balance it out by eating each other (they aren't picky, so while this doesn't happen all the time, it does happen often). They reproduce abundantly when there is ample food (AKA garbage), which there is in medieval villages, so it's sort of like rats in NYC.
  5. Due to magic, monsters like Plop "spawn" regularly, so you can't just kill them all and be done. You have to deal with them.
  6. My question is asking about methods that would A) prevent humans from being swarmed and overwhelmed by hordes of Plop on the streets (yes, there are that many, they're like rats) and B) would keep Plop away from children, food, and sleeping individuals. Basically, making life bearable because living among swarms of gooey, rubbery slimes that can and will eat you, your cat, and your kids is kind of difficult.
  7. I'm specifically looking for: repulsion methods, to keep the Plops away from people; offensive methods, to lower the Plop numbers; and strategic methods to lessen the danger of being attacked or eaten by Plop. These methods should not be magical, as the typical medieval villager (in my setting) does not have access to magic. More specifically, I'm asking how the villagers can make themselves as safe as possible from Plops.

Criteria for Best Answer:

  1. The best answer will include active and passive methods; methods that require human action to work and others that work without interference. I count behavioral patterns as active methods.
  2. The best answer will thoroughly cover multiple viable methods and explain why they'd work.
  3. Said methods should be viable for medieval villagers, something they can actually come up with and produce. That being said, human ingenuity is quite something, so I'm willing to be lenient on this one.

As always, I appreciate your input and feedback, please let me know if there are any problems, and if you decide to VTC or downvote, please give me an explanation so I can improve the question. You have my sincere thanks.

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  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Feb 26 at 14:58
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    $\begingroup$ "Plops are not sentient..." followed by "...so basically octopus-level intelligence." <-- Pick one. $\endgroup$
    – LukeN
    Feb 26 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ @LukeN: as far as I know octopus sentience has not been proven, their intelligence has. I chose to believe octopi are not self-aware, or if they are, they are not self-aware to the same degree as a human. If you have evidence supporting your assertion that they are sentient, I'm willing to hear it. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 26 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ If your plop is super-flexible, that's not too much like rubber - rubber couldn't flow under a door. But perhaps everyone universally adopts metal-tipped tridents (worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/193778/…) where everyone impales plops, twirls and lifts, then inserts into the local fire/bucket of lye. Cooked/marinated plop is good eating for a dog or pig, and people were eaten by rats in the middle ages, so it's not so different. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Feb 26 at 22:06
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    $\begingroup$ @RonJohn: I'm sorry I'm hurting you. I have a large vocabulary but limited scientific knowledge, so I make mistakes like that relatively often. Upon reflection, I see your point and I will edit. I can't promise, however, not to make a similar mistake later; I will try not to though. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 28 at 1:41

12 Answers 12

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Sanitation made easy

You appear to be making a huge assumption without realizing it.

You see, in medieval times (and the past in general) hygiene really wasn't a thing. People would just dump their garbage in the streets, and dirt and filth was just about everywhere.

People used to do that because 1) they didn't have an easy way to get rid of it otherwise and 2) there weren't immediately apparent consequences for doing so. However, neither of those is true for your villages. Nobody will think it is a good idea to throw garbage into the streets, especially because what you think of as a problem is actually a solution.

Enter the plop-in-a-jar.

Need to dispose of some waste? Throw it in the jar. Is the plop getting too big for the jar? Kill it with something you want rubberized and then go get a new one. It's quite likely there will be people who make a living out of catching small plops that will last for a while before getting too big for their jars.

The net result is that you now have a nice, clean village that is not going to be giving rise to hordes of plops.

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    $\begingroup$ Actually, I realized there would be an impact on sanitation, I just chose to leave it so some enterprising individual would realize and expand on it. Thank you for doing that, this is a great alternative to medieval age filth! Out of curiosity, what would one do with a rubber brick? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 24 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias use it to replace worn-out bricks in your house? Or maybe slice it into roof tiles, or just use a roof tile in the first place. You could go back to your question about the uses of rubber and get some ideas from that - whatever they'd want to have rubberized is what they would use to kill it. $\endgroup$
    – Rob Watts
    Feb 24 at 23:05
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    $\begingroup$ You've invented indoor plumbing and a service oriented market in one step. The Wealth of Nations and an industrial revolution, can't be far behind. It will be a Renaissance World with nuclear weapons, before you know it. $\endgroup$
    – EDL
    Feb 24 at 23:48
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    $\begingroup$ Why not just heat the jar to kill it? $\endgroup$ Feb 25 at 19:18
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    $\begingroup$ And when they get too big, one could empty their plop-in-a-jar into the nearby landfill "Plop Lake" that used to be a quarry. Smoothe stone sides they can't climb, convenient place to throw your large garbage that won't fit in the jar, when full enough they'll just keep eating each other. Every season you burn off the top few meters. $\endgroup$
    – JesseM
    Feb 25 at 19:26
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Salt

enter image description here

Works on slugs and snails so should work on mobile slimes too. Salt works by dehydrating the creature causing it pain.

Slug cells are basically all water trapped inside very, very permeable membranes. If you sprinkle salt on a slug, the crystals will mix with the water in the slug’s mucus, creating a salt-water solution. But this new solution now has a higher salt content than that of the water within the slug’s cells. In order to even things out, water from the slug's cells is pulled out to join the salt-water mucus and dilute it, which it does, thereby dehydrating the slug from the inside out

People sprinkle salt on the floor keeping plops out. This has led to the tradition of tossing salt over your shoulder for luck and lines of salt at doorways and windows to ward off evil.

If the numbers gets too great, a simple bag of salt will cull them and cause the rest to flee.

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    $\begingroup$ Isnt salt like insanely valuable in this period of history? Spices worth more than their weight in gold sort of thing? $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    Feb 25 at 6:36
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    $\begingroup$ Salt was very valuable historically to people who lived far from the towns where salt was produced, but the actual level of technology required to get salt from seawater, salty springs or underground salt deposits is well within reach for fantasy-medieval people if they happen to live in the right place. $\endgroup$
    – Robyn
    Feb 25 at 7:03
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    $\begingroup$ Similarly, different powders could work too. We line the edge of our garden with coffee grounds and when slugs try to cross, all the grounds get stuck to them and they become incapable of moving. $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Feb 25 at 7:18
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    $\begingroup$ Aside from the obvious case of human-edible NaCl, any water-soluble substance works for dehydrating things. Salt is just a simple option in modern times because it’s cheap, dissolves readily, and is particularly effective. Sugar works too though, as does alcohol (that’s part of why alcohol has antimicrobial properties), and many many other things. $\endgroup$ Feb 25 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ This isn't going to work when it rains. Even Barcelona averages 55 rainy days a year, mostly in winter, so say 2 days a week in winter when you're unprotected. In England, the Lake District averages 200 rainy days a year, roughly 5 days a week in winter. Maybe you could use this for killing individual slimes, but it's a complete non-starter for anything more significant. $\endgroup$
    – Graham
    Feb 25 at 14:21
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In a world where there's an abundance of something, something else will have evolved to eat it. Humans would notice this and domesticate the predator, just like we domesticated cats to manage pests and dogs to help us hunt.

A slow moving slime seems like an easy meal for anything with a tough enough stomach to digest it. Maybe a pig or goat, or maybe some sort of reptile.

In the wild, there wouldn't be huge numbers of Plops or plop eaters, because there's only enough food for a certain number of Plops, and in turn that only feeds a certain number of Plop eaters. Around people however, the extra rubbish attracts extra Plops and extra Plop eaters. Troublesome Plop eaters would be driven away or killed, leaving only those that people liked - after a few hundred generations they'd probably be cute and friendly with floppy ears, and probably only have a passing resemblance to the wild ones.

I imagine that towns or houses would have a Plop pit for their rubbish, with a fence around it - not to keep the Plops in, but to keep the Plop eaters out! Young Plop eaters would roam the village looking for wild Plops, or accompany people heading out into the countryside, while older Plop eaters would doze near the pit, waiting to take a bite when a Plop tries to climb out.

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    $\begingroup$ Goats FTW when it comes to digestion. $\endgroup$
    – Graham
    Feb 25 at 9:35
  • $\begingroup$ I'd say pigs would be snacking them all the time. Plus they're widespread already so all you need is to have some communal swine around the village who're trained to not run away (pigs can be trained quite well) $\endgroup$
    – Hobbamok
    Feb 25 at 12:59
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    $\begingroup$ Great answer, I didn't realize predation was a possibility! Now, I will have to figure out what Plop eaters look like, or maybe just look at what eats slugs (I believe fireflies are one of those creatures....). As for the Plop eaters, they will be extensively Rubberized...you might want to take that into account. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 25 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ See, when a Plop is killed, its magic alters the nature of whatever item (weapon) or creature killed it, making it akin to rubber: tough and flexible, and also waterproof. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 25 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias a predator likely has an adaptation that would mitigate that. For example injects a poison into the plop that kills it and thus the poison turns to rubber and is now safe for the predator to munch on. $\endgroup$
    – Anketam
    Feb 25 at 16:56
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Some possible protection methods:

1. Build moats

Those moats can be built around villages, towns, or individual households. Fill them with something that Plops do not tolerate well, e.g. water if Plops cannot swim, broken pottery shards or other sharp objects if Plops are sensitive to cuts, natural predators if Plops have them, etc.

2. Use glaze everywhere

Ceramic glaze has been known since ancient times. Among other things, it can be used on bricks or ceramic plates that are used as house siding. This, of course, will increase the price of construction but in a face of death money means nothing.

3. Beautify your villages and towns with plants toxic to Plops

There should be some plants that Plops dislike or even cannot tolerate at all. Find those plants and use them as decorations everywhere.

4. Plop traps/Plop poison

Treat Plops the same way as we treat pests: Find the most effective ways to trap/poison/deter them and widely implement those measures.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ceramic glaze and flowers should really help the aesthetic of my story, so thanks for the suggestion! The moats should actually work well, considering the Snappers I created. You can look at "Benefits of Amphibious Items" for more on them. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 25 at 14:39
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Intoxication

How did medieval people deal with water borne diseases? By adding alcohol to it and getting drunk. Medieval times would probably drive me to drink too.

Your open sewers are filled with yucky liquid with low to mid levels of alcohol, from urination, vomit, and when the bar keep changes the kegs and tips out the waste at the bottom. When the plops consume this, they lack the digestive enzymes in their liver needed to break down ethanol, so the alcohol never leaves their bodies.

Because it's mixed with dirt and such it's absorbed quickly, and their small mass means they don't need much before they are suffering from alcohol poisoning and eventually dying from it.

When another plop consumes the corpse of another, it too gets drunk and dies.

Alcohol on the ground will eventually evaporate, so the town tavern needs to keep cranking out the ale to keep the party going to keep the plops away.

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  • $\begingroup$ You're wrong on the getting drunk part. Medieval Beer had very little alcohol and distilled spirits were quite rate (only becoming widespread with the industrial revolution) $\endgroup$
    – Hobbamok
    Feb 25 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ Solution to your last point: take the dead Plops, liquefy them, add some flavoring, and give it to the tavern's customers. They may find themselves oddly flexible and elastic when the hangovers wear off, but hey, it (probably) tasted good! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 28 at 1:47
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Spike strips

Realistically, children and pets aren't at any risk during the day. A Plop can't move fast enough to catch them, and it's easy enough to detach one if you happen to touch it. Perhaps it causes some chemical burns on your skin, which would teach kids and pets to avoid them.

The risk is at night when you're asleep. How do you do a swarm of Plops invading your house? Rats and mice aren't a problem, because they're sentient enough to mostly avoid humans. (Although even then, rat bites on children were a thing.)

Anything gelatinous like that is going to rely on its surface tension and internal stickiness to hold it together. It certainly can ooze under a door - but it can't split apart and come back together. The obvious solution then is to lay a strip of spikes around your house, similar to the "Stinger" strip used to stop cars by destroying their tyres. The Plop can't go over them comfortably, and it can't squeeze between the spikes fast enough to get through overnight. Any Plop making the attempt can easily be removed in the morning.

Rich people can have more sophisticated spike strips, perhaps made of broken glass or something like that at the high end. Poor people can do something very similar with thorn branches laid around though, or spiky bushes planted as a natural defence. Brambles would be an obvious choice.

Towns would likely have something similar. A few Plops getting through is a good thing and the spike strips will stop them from getting in houses, but you don't want too many. So town walls become town hedges.

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  • $\begingroup$ The spike strips is a good idea, you're right in that the night will be the most dangerous time. I also like the hedges-pick the right ones, and not only will you be surrounded by pretty flowers, but you'll naturally repel Plop! That being said, I disagree with your statement that Plops can't squeeze through spike strips comfortably. Where did you get that, the Plop speed I stated in the OP? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 25 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias Not so much that they find it uncomfortable - I'm not sure we can say a slime has any sense of discomfort - but they'd have to thread their way through the gaps between spikes. Jelly doesn't flow quickly, so that's going to slow them down. The exact speed they can get through, that's up to you. :) $\endgroup$
    – Graham
    Feb 25 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, now that makes sense, thank you! I'd say if there are many close-set spikes, they'd be moving like molasses, but a few spaced-out spikes and they'd flow through like quicksilver. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 25 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias there will be a sort of minimum "bend radius" their external membranes can't flex beyond, but that might be enough to ooze under a poorly-fit door. However, a close-set spike strip attached to the bottom of the door could turn this large gap into a series of narrow gaps that a Plop can't easily fit through -- at least to the point where it can't slip in at night while the household is sleeping (it'd still be midway through in the morning when the residents would find it and evict it) $\endgroup$
    – Doktor J
    Feb 26 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ @DoktorJ: very insightful comments, thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 26 at 18:09
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Village Rotation

I think that, in the world you posit, the villagers would probably have to treat them like a plague. That means, build a village where there are no plops, and then, when enough manage to make it into the village that they're a problem, move the village.

Yes, that means your villagers live in tent cities or similar, perhaps like the Mongols or the Roma - or they are really good at building houses quickly.

The problem with anything else - fences, extremely aggressive burning/etc., salt - is that the plops would inevitably invade their food-growing areas. It's too hard to keep them out of large farming areas, and it's too hard to feed even a small medieval town on anything less. Thus they need to be able to pick up and move houses, while still being able to keep their farms.

In fact, they would most likely have a rotation! Just like you rotate crops, you also rotate houses. This could even lead them to better crop rotation practices, perhaps discovering the three field system sooner. Three villages, each year move into the next one, and the plops move into the one you just left, eating your garbage and cleaning it up - then next year (or next season) you move again just as the plops find the new place. If you rotate it three times, you're never overlapping - and the plops have a reason to move each time (as they run out of food).

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  • $\begingroup$ Intuitive idea! You're right, no one did account for the danger to the food supply. However, couldn't glazed, steep walls protect crops? Or rows of certain plants? Perhaps moats? I think you might have discounted the other ideas too quickly. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 26 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ The problem is the size of farmlands - see this question/answer - a village of 500 people farmed 1800 acres of land (7.5 square km)! You can't surround that with glazed, steep walls - you'd spend all your time making pottery and no time farming. More efficient to rotate! $\endgroup$
    – Joe
    Feb 26 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I see. So my only real options is to have a cat and mouse situation, where humans utilize predators to protect their food supply, or to have them rotate. Much to consider..... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 26 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps they don't like live plants? A bit of a cop-out, but they can digest animal flesh or rotting plant matter, but actual plants just aren't on the menu. $\endgroup$ Feb 28 at 5:27
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Kill it with fire

They don't like extreme temperatures, huh? How hot is too hot? If you just surround your bedroom doors and window panes with candles, would that be enough to keep them out? If they've developed gas lighting, you could have copper piping installed and pump gas through them like in a gas oven, surround the perimeter of your house with this and light it up every night, then just turn if off in the morning. (Obviously this would be set up in a place where it's unlikely to start unintended fires, like on the top of a stone wall around the property.) Assuming they start outside of the town, you could surround the whole town instead of each individual house. If they can just drop out of the sky anywhere, you might need to ring your roof with fire instead to keep them out. (Obviously the chimney is a weak spot, but if you have a fire going at night, that's already covered.)

Additionally, your night watchmen should carry torches (they already need them for light at night, so no big deal there). They should patrol the streets at night and keep an eye out for any gelatinous activity. Swords might not be much use against such creatures, but fire always works.

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  • $\begingroup$ Plops will avoid being close to candles but will congregate around and even attempt to eat torch-holding people (they aren't that smart, they don't realize doing so will torch them). That being said, they will avoid firelight by association, so a candle and some mirrors could work. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 25 at 20:41
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Simple Rituals

If your goal is to have cities and towns clear of the plops, but the wilds and sewers full of them, then create a simple ritual that repels plops like an anit-pied-piper.

Maybe it's as easy as throwing a certain flower in a fire, and saying a brief incantation.

Make the effect cumulative, but temporary. It gets stronger if done repeatedly, but if not completed for a few days it starts to fade. The first few times it is done at any location it is weak, so you can't use it in the wilds unless you are going to spend a week or two building up the ritual's power.

Thus a city that is abandoned might become overrun with plops within a month, but a normal town is safe because each individual maintains their own ritual in their hearth every day without fail.

Bonus points - there's now a market for the ritual components that is VERY inelastic. If someone corners that market they can get very rich, because people need the ritual components to survive. Now you have a fun plot hook.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very interesting! This ritual thing could actually be quite helpful against any other species of monsters, leaving villages and cities safe while leaving monsters outside for the adventurers to deal with (and therefore utilize)..... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 26 at 1:11
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Well for one thing it wouldn't take long for people to realize plops are attracted to trash and flith and they'll learn to move their trash out of town and what not, also you didn't mention specifically that they're weak to salt but salt is a common slim weakness so you could make the villagers put out salt to protect them from the plops, and thirdly you can make villages exist exclusively in hot places like deserts and rain forests.

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  • $\begingroup$ Definitely good points; I don't want villages in only hot places, but they'll definitely have different monsters than Plop to deal with and I didn't recognize that. Moving the trash away will also relocate the Plop. Salt's already been covered in another answer, though. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 25 at 16:31
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Village and city walls were common. If they're unable to climb pottery, then glazed tile over the bottom few feet of city walls would be common.

Then just add a guard or two to keep an eye out for them, and make it a civic duty to capture any plop you see. As others have said, they'd be a useful resource for cheap vulcanization and waste disposal, so there might be a reward for them. They might even be useful as a food ingredient or additive? People are likely to even make a cottage industry of harvesting them at midden-heaps and outhouses, or even breeding them.

At first, I thought plops larger than a foot or so shouldn't be roaming in town long enough to cause significant harm, but from the sounds of it, a plop the size of a baseball in a midden heap should be able to grow to the size of a small car overnight by digesting constantly. This poses greater problems.

Wrapping each house in glazed tile would be expensive and would still leave gaps at doors, windows, eaves, etc. A waterproof house would be a plop-proof house, but waterproofing houses is expensive, and done perfectly has a tendency to suffocate those inside.

So houses are more likely instead to use another method of avoiding water in homes, and be built on piles or stilts, which could be far more cheaply glazed.

The doorway would remain a weakness if there were steps up to it, but that might be resolved with a little step ladder that is lowered from the front stoop, not dissimilar to some carriages; or perhaps with the steps at the door separated from the door by a small gap of a foot or so that the smaller plops could not get across.

If they want to avoid larger plops, then the stilts get longer, the houses become interconnected by raised walkways, and the plops become a problem only for those forced to work at ground level.

The one problem area would be the outside toilet. It could just be a hole down from a raised stilts area, but that would get stinky. Rather than just a hole cut in wood or stone, the hole could be a (glazed?) tube down to the pit, with a gap at the bottom. Children would be taught not to linger, and to check down the hole to make sure no plops are climbing up it. But not to check with an open flame!

Cheap vulcanization would also have knock-on effects. For example: waterproofing things would be a lot cheaper and easier if rubber seals could be made cheaply and easily. If you drop a tree on a plop, does the rubberization affect just one branch, or the whole tree? Does it coat the tree in rubber, or turn the whole tree into rubber? Does melting it make it smooth and shiny/glazed? Depending on the answer, plops will likely become an essential part of the construction and shipbuilding industries, among others.

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    $\begingroup$ Good points, stilted houses would definitely help against Plops. As for your question, if a tree falls on a Plop, the Plop will Rubberize an 'impact zone' proportionate to its current size. A baseball-sized Plop can Rubberize a large cudgel and a coat wrapped around it, so a minivan-size Plop can Rubberize a tree. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 25 at 20:45
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    $\begingroup$ Also, does rubber become smooth and shiny when melted? Heating rubber with certain chemicals is how vulcanization occurs, so I believe one can vulcanize Rubberized objects. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 25 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ It was more: can rubber be turned smooth enough (like shiny latex?) that plops would be unable to scale it? If so... they're kind of a self-solving problem, and everything gets sealed in a coat of glossy latex. Though, thinking more along that path, maybe you want to avoid having everyone, especially the easily-edible kids, clad in skintight shiny latex. $\endgroup$ Feb 26 at 4:01
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, wearing latex all the time wouldn't exactly be beneficial; it'd chafe and get really sweaty. At the same time, it'd also repel Plops pretty well, and what kind of monster would want a mouthful of rubber-coated human? If I go that route, though, preserving modesty is key; otherwise there will be problems later. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 26 at 5:05
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    $\begingroup$ Okay, that is hilarious, totally made my night, but if you have a better idea, I'd like to hear it. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 26 at 5:45
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Shovels and Firepits

Not a difficult task really, you dig a big hole at the edge of town and add some flammable liquid (strong liquor perhaps), use a wide shovel to scoop the Plops up and carry or sweep them into the pit. At which point you throw in a match and watch them burn.

Routine "Plop-Burnings" would become part of day-to-day life around town. Maybe once a week.

Short-term, plops could be stored in pots with lids until a burning-day.

As long as the villagers are diligent about getting rid of plops as they're found and don't allow them to grow larger, they should remain a minor pest.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure if you've noticed, but Plop are actually kind of valuable and I don't think people will go for "Burn them all! BURN THEM!" Otherwise, great answer! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 26 at 15:10

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