Slugs and snails can be a big problem for all gardeners. They lurk in damp corners waiting for dark and rampage over your crops while your not looking. Not to be underestimated, did you know they have a homing mechanism. Simply throwing them over your wall will not suffice!
There are around 7 differnt varities of common garden slugs you may come across. Sometime you can catch the culprits red handed but you may just see a slimey trail or worse the damage they have left. Some slugs are tiny and live under ground like the keeled slug, other can be a whopping 12cm long like the large black slug.
Here are our top tips for dealing with slugs the natural way
- Tidy up - slugs love to find shelter and hide in dissused pots, old bits of wood anything that provides a moist dark environment.
- Go slug hunting - a very hands on approach. If you don't have the heart to kill them yourself you will need to take them far away where they won't bother anyone, feeding them to the birds is always an option too!
- Natural predetors - Birds, Hedgehogs, frogs and toads. Encouraging natural predetors into your garden is a good long term solution to the problem
- Traps - Live or dead!
- For live trap use slices or oranges to attact the slugs, check regularly and dispose of the offenders. Not for the forgettful you might just end up feeding them.
- If you want the dirty work doing for you try beer traps. Attracted by the beer they crawl in never to return. These can be left for longer unchecked and a yeast solution made from bread yeast works just as well.
- Copper barriers - brilliant for pots. A miniscule electric charge is generated, the slugs get a little zap and think twice about crossing
- Physical barriers - Anything that is uncomfortable for the slug to cross.
- Slug stop granules, these non-toxic granules have a super absorbany action which extracts moisture on contact preventing the slugs from passing.
- Eggs shells, roughly crushed they provide a sharp surface, slugs don't like this texture and will not slither over them
- Seaweed, if you have acces to fresh seaweed surround plants with it without touching the plant. It will shrivel up and slugs hate it
- Organic slug pellets - non toxic to people, pets and wildlife. They are safe, easy and quick to use every house should have some on hand.
- Nematodes - natural parasites to slugs. They are effective at killing all slugs and particularly useful for slugs under the soil that other control methods don't reach.
You will never be able to completely rid your garden of slugs, but you can control them and what they eat.