Youve spent hours and hours planning, preparing, planting and tending your little plot of earth, only to walk over for an admiration session and discover the horror. Slugs have chewed and slimed their way through your lovely broccoli, cabbages, carrots, rhubarb and pumpkins. Whats a gardener to do? Stop feeding those slugs, and find out how to get rid of pesky garden slugs and protect your progeny properly.
What is a slug? Slugs are terrestrial mollusks. Slugs are related to clams, snails and octopuses. Most gardeners find slugs positively repulsive looking, aside from being so destructive in the garden. Garden slugs arent just gross; they have been known to cause serious illness when eaten raw.
Protect your plants. If youve discovered slug damage, youll need to arm yourself with knowledge and get rid of the buggers. Check out these top 10 tips for preventing and removing the garden slug.
- Keep it clean—Your garden should be free of debris, which gives slugs a nice place to hide out. All you should see in the garden are plants and soil.
- Share your beer—Keep a flat container full of beer next to and in your garden. Pie plates, empty tuna cans or any flat container can be submerged in the earth and filled with beer. The slugs will slither over for a sample and drown.
- Coffee, anyone?—Slugs arent so fond of coffee. Spread coffee grounds in your garden as a natural pesticide. You can even squirt coffee on slugs to kill them.
- Police slugs with copper—Once your garden is free of slugs, you can prevent them from coming back quite simply. Strips of copper tape neatly lining the perimeter of your garden will act as a deterrent for future meandering mollusks.
- Iron phosphate pellets—Once a slug has ingested iron phosphate, it doesnt have long to live. The iron phosphate is also purported to be safer for animals and humans than chemical bait.
- Diatomaceous earth—One of the best slug barriers and killers is diatomaceous earth. It is a white powder made of fossilized diatoms. These dead one-celled algae have a silicon skeleton that is razor sharp and lethal to the slithering garden pest. Be sure to line your garden perimeter with the stuff after each rain, as it washes away, according to Organic Gardening.
- Talcum powder—Lining your gardens with talcum powder is similar to the diatomaceous earth method.
- Seaweed, not slugs—Seaweed is a natural slug repellant, and its a great garden additive.
- The lure of clover—Red clover is a slug favorite. Planting a patch of the stuff will cause the slugs to leave everything else alone. Plant red clover next to garden beds. Once the clover dies out, you can cut it and till it into the soil for a nitrogen boost.
- You can pick 'em. Its nasty business to be sure, but you can hand-pick and remove slugs. You know the results work, and there is satisfaction in ending them.
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