Become an Expert Slug Hunter!
Every year at some point the slugs start to win the battle! Become a Slug Hunter and turn the tide without using chemicals that can harm pets and wildlife. Learn how being a champion slug hunter is quick and easy and guarantees results against this pesky beast before your lettuce and dahlias are reduced to ruins!
Natural Slug Hunters:
The Hedgehog is a great natural slug hunter!
If you are lucky enough to have a hedgehog in the neighborhood then this can save you a lot of time..why? Because they simply love eating slugs and snails. Toads, ground beetles and slow worms also eat their fair share as well. So what does this tell us? Quite simply that if you make your garden as natural as you can, so that you encourage plenty of wildlife, then a good proportion of the slugs will be eaten by natural predators. If you adopt a “scorched earth” policy and blast everything with chemicals then not only will this be costly but you will probably also be eliminating or discouraging the beneficial critters that can help you. These natural slug hunters are simply worth their weight in gold since they save you both time and money!
Learn to be a Slug Hunter:
However, most years the slugs will get the upper hand at some point…perhaps early in the spring when all the tender seedlings are just coming up…or maybe later in summer following some heavy storms. So what to do? Well, the first thing is to learn what we can from the natural slug hunters. They are most active at night since slugs and snails can’t survive long in the hot sun so tend to hide under stones or in the soil during the day. The next thing is to get equipped!
||You need a torch because you are going out at night…and you want to be able to spot the slugs…as well as be safe and not fall over…
||Slugs are slimy so if you are at all squeamish then thin rubber gloves are a must!
||Just like any gardening activity you need a bucket for your harvest! Collect the slugs in the bucket and then put them on the bird table in the morning as a nice breakfast for the Blackbirds!
Ok, so now you are ready to go slug hunting……..
- Wait until it is dark…ideally at least a couple of hours after sunset
- Put on your rubber gloves, grab the bucket and torch and head out into the garden
- Generally you will know the plants that are being attacked so go there first…..no need for a systematic sweep of the whole garden
- Use the torch to get close to the ground and look for the slugs or follow the tell tale slime trails….
- When you find one pick it up and bung it in the bucket sharpish!
- Checkout all the plants that you know have slug damage…then spend a few minutes looking at the rest. Slugs are creatures of habit and don’t move that far each night so if you concentrate on the plants being attacked then this is the most efficient approach
- Dump the slugs on the compost heap well away from your flowers and vegetables or save them for the morning and put them on the bird table. You can also take them to work and put them in your bosses drawer but you might regret that….
- To clear the greedy slugs that are damaging your plants will really need you to go out slug hunting three nights in a row…after that you should have cleared the worst and then maybe just go out once a week
Alternatives to Slug Hunting:
|This is the kind of damage that slugs can do overnight
||This is a natural slug killing product…but it doesn’t really do much good!
Maybe you think that there is an easier way of dealing with slugs and snails?
Nasty Chemicals: Chemical slug pellets dry up the slime and so have a rapid effect. But they are also attractive to pets, children and hedgehogs…so apart from the cost they should be avoided
Natural Slug Killers: There are some ferric based slug killers that are approved for organic growers….you have to use quite a lot and the slugs just don’t seem to like them that much so the impact is small.
Nematode Inoculation: This is a powder that you dissolve in water and apply to the soil. The tiny nematodes multiply in the soil and attack the slugs. This does work but takes many days…by which time your prized plants may already be in ruins.
Beer Traps: You can make one of these out of an old yogurt carton and some beer. They catch plenty of slugs…as does the old favorite of the upturned grapefruit skin. However, my impression is that they tend to attract slugs rather than catch the ones that are doing the eating. Best off to drink the beer once you have returned from a successful slug hunting sortie!
Individual plants can be protected with barriers such as collars made from milk cartons or plastic bottles. These are great for protecting just a few plants. Other barriers can be made from used coffee grounds or even crushed eggshells…mostly these don’t do much good.
So, take a Frugal Tip from the MeanyGoat and become an expert Slug Hunter! This costs nothing, only takes a few minutes and is highly effective….but much better carried out with rubber gloves!
More Slug Hunting Ideas Here: A Slug Blether
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