How to Control Slugs In Your Garden

Use Natural, Organic Methods of Eliminating Slugs In Your Garden

If you`ve got shade, especially moist shade, then look out for slithering, slimy—bodied molluses! Spring is when slugs get moving, as the rain and luscious new growth tempt them out from their hiding places. Let the battle begin! Gardeners have many weapons in their arsenal against slugs, from innovative traps to barriers and slug pellets. Here are some natural, organic ways to keep these pesky molluses under control, but they are not all tasty!

  • Beer traps provide a perfect lure for slugs to get sozzled. They’re easy to use, but they need regular emptying. TIP: If you don’t want to share your favorite brew with slugs, make your own: 1 cup water to 1 tsp. sugar to 1/4 tsp. yeast. It’s the yeast that attracts slugs, so why waste good beer?
  • Use non-toxic slug bait made from ferrous sulphate pellets, which don’t harm birds, pets or wildlife. When slugs eat this they crawl away and will eventually dehydrate.
  • Copper barriers create electrical currents that repel slugs but do not kill them.
  • Barriers of anything with sharp edges (e.g. hair, crushed egg shells, sharp grit) keep slugs at bay, but have to be renewed as they break down.
  • Lay wooden planks around the garden. Slugs will take refuge beneath them. Regular checking and removal help keep populations under control.
  • Spray blenderized slug spray (ugh!) into nooks and crannies where slugs hide, or onto slugs’ favorite plants. You’d stay away too if your relatives were being blenderized! (Can I borrow your blender?)
  • Learn to recognize and eradicate slug eggs: they look like clusters of translucent tapioca.
  • Encourage natural predators into the garden by providing a variety of habitats such as hedges and ponds. Birds, beetles, ground beetles, garter snakes, frogs, toads and ducks all eat slugs.
  • Eliminate slug hiding and breeding places by keeping your garden free of piles of weeds, plant containers and garbage.
  • Use sharp mulches of shredded bark, crushed rock, woodchips or rock screenings to keep slugs away. Ring plants you want to protect with these sharp-edged mulches.

Slugs Love:

Delphiniums, lupins, tender seedlings, marigolds, orchid flowers, impatiens, pansies, primroses, daffodils, hostas, tulip shoots, iris, dahlias.

Slugs Do Not Like:

Scented, leathery and furry leaves, begonias, snapdragons, cistus (rock roses), mulleins, aubretia, basil, alliums, alyssum, fennel, wormwood, chicory ferns, camellias, rosemary lavender


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