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
The only drawbacks are that it also eats worms too
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
- 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
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
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
These can encouraged by building a pond or by introducing newts into your existing one
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
- A hopefully slug/snail free summer? (asurreygarden.wordpress.com)
- Beating The Slugs And Snails With Copper Tape (thecosmicgardener.wordpress.com)
- Controlling slugs and snails (asurreygarden.wordpress.com)