Pest and Disease Control

Slug

Slug (Photo credit: Marj Joly)

Slugs

Identification

These Pests are the most destructive creatures to Man next to caterpillars they devour a single large leaf in a single day.

Most of us know the tale tale signs of them

The  slimy trail  they leave behind –  Is, in fact, the mucus they extract so they can move  freely

And also the extensive leaf damage they do to the plants –   not eating it from the outside like caterpillars but from in the inside out.                                                                                                                         Many of those tiny holes you see in soft leafy plants like lettuce and cabbages are made by slugs and snails.

However, there is one slug that is the predator of the baby slugs and that is

sluga  testacella  sp . note its pinkish body and an external mussel-shaped shell on its back.

The  only  drawbacks are that  it  also  eats  worms  too

Prevention

The best way to control the slug population  is to maintain a clean environment.

removing any thick slabs of stones which they can hide under.

Mowing  in  the  evening  also  restricts  them  as  they  prefer  long  grass  to  hide  from  the  birds  and  other  predators

  Control

Cultural  control 

  • As I said  above to keep  your  garden  clean  as  possible
  • the first step is to eliminate, as much as possible, all places where they can hide during the day. Boards, stones, debris, weedy areas around tree trunks, leafy branches growing close to the ground, and dense ground covers such as ivy are ideal sheltering spots
  • Locate vegetable gardens or susceptible plants as far away from the snail and slug hiding places as possible. Reducing hiding places allows fewer snails and slugs to survive
  • Choose snail-proof plants
  • Go on  a  Slug  and  snail  hunt    picking  them  off
  • Set  simple  traps  like inverted  melon  rinds  and  cardboards  where  they   take  shelter
  • lay a beer  trap  like  the  slug  pubs I mentioned  bellow
  • Now you can create barriers with  a copper ring that gives off an electric shock when  as a slug or snail passes over it
  •    another Method is to scorch the earth to prevent the eggs from hatching If you do try this make sure all the snails are picked off first from the compost.  then apply a clear tarp 

    .  the sheet  over  the  compost  and  leave  out  in  the  sun  the  sun  rays  will  bake  the  earth  and  thus  kill  off  any  eggs

  • putting  down  a  barrier  of  1″  wide  and  3″  thick of a layer  of  silica  over  the  ground  can  deter  them  from  crossing  over as  the  sharp  strands  of  shell  pierce  their  underbelly and  they  then  dehydrate
  • but  the  only  disadvantage  that  it loses it  effectiveness as   soon  as  it  becomes  wet

Organically

The first line of attack is cultural Slugs like wet grounds which aren’t all stony.We have often seen dried up slugs on the hard gravel ground all swiveled up in hot weathers as they didn’t quite get to safety.

Birds  are  the best  predators  for  slugs  esp  the  thrushes  who  smash  open  the snail’s shell  with  stones

Thrushes

Therefore leave tiny stones near where you expect the slugs and snails live.Go green and try and use a chemical that doesn’t affect the thrushes population.thrush with  snail

How to attract  thrushes  into  your  garden 

Song Thrushes are ground feeders and they love raisins, sultanas and other fruit including windfall apples, especially in the winter when there are fewer earthworms and snails around for them. Put food on a low table or onto the ground to tempt this impressive songster.

One  tip  if  you  put  fallen  apples  down  by   where  the  snail  and  slugs live, blackbirds  and  thrushes  will  feast  on  them   with  the  apples  thus  clearing  the  slugs  for  you

Frogs  and  toads 

frogtoad and  frogs  a  voracious  slug  eaters  esp  toads  as  there  more  amphibious   mammals

These  can  encouraged  by  building  a  pond  or  by   introducing   newts   into  your  existing  one

Nematodes

This is only last result in the biological list of defense.

These  are  tiny worms like  organisms  that  feed  on  slugs  from  underground  & are  used  exclusively  by  farmers  in  the  war  against  the  slugs  and  snails

However, there  are  some Nematodes  which  aren’t  beneficial  to  the  plants  but  eat  at  the  roots  as  well

image12

Copper  bands

mUD9rvGA_cva6orEtsx4_vQThis is recent deterrent to deter slugs and still in its infancy. When the slugs cross these bands they are submitted to an electrical chemical reaction that deters them.

The only drawbacks are that this product is expensive to use.But according to some forums they can be easily made by stripping wire and copper cables. Although they work to look the rings they might be cheaper and produce the same result.

These  rings  or  coils  are  placed  around   crops  and  flowers  with both  ends  touching

51dIGNSdYDL

Soils

Slugs  and  snails  don’t  like   a  rough  surface  as  it  scratches  there  underbelly  so  introduce  loose  gravel  around  affected  plants Also  now  you  can  get  the  latest  killer called  diatom earth

Diatom  Earth  is fossilized  earth   containing  millions  of  these  diatoms  minute razor  shell  like  insects  that  have  been   fossilized  over  time  and  made  into  fuller  earth Here when the  slugs  and  snails  move  over  the  earth it dissects into  there  underbelly then exposing their waxy  cuticle   layer  leaving  then  dehydrate

The best method of using fuller earth or use the food Grade the others are toxic so don’t use them

you apply it early spring and till it into the soil.                                                                                                                                                     Or as a spray by following these guideline

add 1/4 lb. DE to a 5

gallon sprayer, then add a quart of warm water containing a teaspoon of flax perma-guard-d21-237x345soap, then top off with water and
mix thoroughly. One part D in 3 to 5 parts of water has also been used. This mixture can be sprayed on trees

and vegetation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth

This However is only effective in the greenhouse

Because once the soil is wet it loses its power. However, you  can  use   crushed  eggshell  outside  and  have  the  same  effect  without  the  leaching  effect

There  are  off  course  Slugs  pubs  which  attract  the  slugs  away  from  the  crop  or  plants  but  you  will  need  to  be  able  to  destroy  them  all  if  you  want  to  keep  up  with  them

Diatom earth  in  useHere  in  the  picture, you  can  see  it  just  looks  like  a  white  powder  like  chalk

The good thing about this is that is “green”  & therefore it doesn’t affect the food chain.Which  is  the  why  the  population  of  thrushes  are  slowly  dying  out  because  of  the  toxic  poisons  in  slug  bait

This product can be obtained from the Green Gardener as a Ant killer & also sold by RentoKill for professional use. But it can  be used as  slug deterrent  also

http://GreenGardener.co.uk  

youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKaAt4KxJyw]

Slug  Pubs

These are getting popular as the slugs and snails are attracted to the smell to stale ale or yeast and  water. These  like  other  snail and  slug  baits  are better placed  a  few  inches  away  from  the crop or  plant  cause  it  just  might  decide  to  go  for  the  leave  instead  so  best  not  to  give  them  an  alternative

slug pub This idea is ideal what you do is invert a plastic bottle top inside the bottle and place the bait or ale inside once the slugs are inside they are poisoned and cant gets out

thus preventing the poison from getting in contact with the earth. There  are  two  type  of  chemical  slug  bait  that  you  can  get  on  the  market   here  is a site  that  gives  you  advise  on  what  slug  bait  to  use  http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7427.html

As  the  information, there  is  more  complex

 

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