Garden Pests Slugs – How to Eradicate Garden Slug Pests
Slugs, which are a close relative of snails, are a common pest in the garden. All slugs are hermaphroditic, possessing both female and male reproductive organs, which enable a small population of slugs to seem to explode overnight. Therefore, it is imperative to nip the problem in the bud to prevent garden problems later on.
The easiest step to take when slugs are present is to eliminate their preferred habitat. Slugs prefer moist, damp areas with high humidity. Unswept leaves will provide a safe, wet habitat for slugs, so clear the yard of any fallen leaves from the previous seasons. If logs are present in the garden, remove them, as this is also slug habitat and habitat for other pests as well. Eggs are commonly laid in safe areas, such as logs, so remove them before disposing of the decaying plant material. Clear the garden as well as the immediate surrounding area of tall grass, clumped weeds, and other plant material. Another method is to encourage natural predators to eat the slugs. Birds are the most common predator; one way to encourage birds in the area is to provide a habitat for them to live in. Lastly, manually removing slugs by hand is an option.
Next, slug barriers can be used to prevent the creatures from entering the garden. Slugs’ underbelly is sensitive to prodding. Any material that provides a hard, jagged surface will help keep slugs out; however, these materials must be kept dry in order to work. A more recent type of barrier is made of copper. It is said that the copper will react with the slugs’, or snails’, slime in order to produce an electric shock. It’s obvious to see how this works well!
Lastly, chemical control is available. Baits are the most common way of disposing slugs. Sluggo is a popular bait that will kill the slug by forcing the slug to stop eating. This bait is considered to be non-toxic, unlike other products which may harm wildlife or humans. If baiting is to be used, place the bait according to the instructions, which is usually during damp times, as the bait is largely ineffective in hot, dry weather. Sprays are also available, which may or may not be tailored specifically to slugs. Most sprays will require a uniform application over a specific surface area.
Slugs are a common garden pest. By chewing holes in the leaves and fruits, slugs are an indirect cause of rot and disease; however it is relatively easy to control slugs either through preventive techniques, or using barriers and baits.