Getting Rid of Pests: Slug Control

Keeping slugs from raiding your garden is actually quite easy. There are many different methods of slug control to choose from depending on how much time and money you are willing to spend (and how squeamish you get).

 

The easiest method, when it comes to equipment, is to gout your garden. This can be done with a pail and a pair of tongs: just collect the slugs and put it into the bucket. We recommend collecting slugs at night—or after a slight drizzle—because slugs are nocturnal. If you can’t do it at night then look for them in pockets where it is shady and moist: under logs, under flower pots, or in a damp leaf pile.

 

Once you have the slugs you can feed them to ducks or douse them in beer. Putting soapy water into the bucket is also effective. It doesn’t hurt the creatures, but it makes them crawl out. Another option is to use them as fish food.

 

Slugs are a lot like balloons, try to hold them under water and no matter what they will always pop back up.  Most people do not know that slugs are hermaphroditic, meaning that their eggs can lie under the soil undetected in the soil for many years before they actually hatch. This means that you can never really be totally rid of slugs, but you can control them by reducing their numbers. Knowing that fact can really help your slug control efforts.

 

Iron phosphate pellets are available in super markets and can really help in slug reduction. Start by sprinkling the pellets in your garden. It will take roughly six days for them to actually take effect. Many people like this method because they don’t have to go out looking for the slugs. It is important to make sure these pellets are out of reach of both pets and children.

 

Probably the most popular method of slug control is pesticides. But, many worry that these could badly effect your plants and the environment. If you fall into this category than try a more organic slug control method. One such method is to adjust the times you water in your garden. Since, as we stated earlier, slugs generally come out at night, watering at night just sets the stage for a lot of slugs roaming in our garden. Try watering your garden in the morning. This will ensure that any extra moisture will evaporate prior to nightfall.

 

A less conventional method is to trap the slugs using a beer trap. You can do this by filling a small bear jug and burying it neck deep in the soil. Then cover the opening only slightly keeping the lid wedged slightly open with a stick (ensuring the slugs can enter). The beer jug is a magnet, pulling in the slugs towards the toxic beer: they end up drowning. Keeping the lid on, but slightly ajar, keeps rain from falling in and diluting the toxic beer.

 

For most of us, the battle against slugs is ongoing and can only be won with constant vigilance and dedicated treatment. It needs to be moved as a constant cycle that in the long run will keep your garden as slug free as you can.

 

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