If you have a slug infestation and don’t know how to deal with it, then keep reading, as I will be giving you tips on how to get rid of slugs on the porch, hosta, in a garden, yard; and other areas in your house.
Slugs may be slow-moving animals, but they cause extensive damage pretty fast. They feast on garden fruit plants and other shrubs and leave them in terrible conditions.
These devastating pests can cause a whole lot of damage to your garden plants. They thrive mainly in humid temperate climates. For this reason, you can find more slugs in the rainy season than any other season.
Garden slugs are usually 1 to 3 inches long and are usually colored gray or dark brown. They love to hide in dark areas that have sufficient dampness during the day. The night time is when you will see slugs searching for food.
You may be confused as to where slugs come from. Understandably so, being that you can hardly see them when they plant themselves in the soil during the day. I already mentioned that they feast at night when you’re indoors or asleep so you’ll barely get the chance to notice them.
What Attracts Slugs?
Slugs are attracted mainly to moist, warm areas where they can hide. They are also attracted by garden vegetation.
How Do I Know If I Have A Slug Infestation?
It would be hard to spot a slug when they are hiding in the soil. This is thanks to their color, which blends in.well with the sand or mud they hide in.
One way to tell you to have slugs in your garden is by the secretion they leave behind as they move through spaces. Even if you don’t see the slugs themselves, their excretion will let you know they passed through and are hiding somewhere around.
Be on the lookout for slimy excreta on your garden plants and around the soil. The best time to check for slug slime is early in the morning since they would’ve dropped it off just the night before.
To spy on the slugs, you can dig some holes in your garden and cover the holes with aboard. The holes should be about four inches wide and six inches deep.
Return after about 3 days to check on the slugs. If you see lots of them, then your suspicions are correct.
Slugs lay their eggs in compost or moist soil, as this helps them expand in population rapidly.
What Kind Of Damage Do Slugs Cause?
Slugs are very destructive pests, being that they will eat practically any plant your garden produces. If you find holes or jagged edges around your leaves, then you need to look closer.
This is because slug mouths have a file-like feature, so the holes in your plants should have irregular shapes. With careful observation, you can tell of the holes in your plant leaves are actually from slugs.
A slug can digest tissues from almost every plant, but for some reason, their favorite meals are cabbages, tomatoes, lettuce, and beans.
How To Get Rid Of Slugs In And Out Of A House
Thankfully, slugs are very predictable animals, and they move pretty slowly too. This makes them very easy to control.
Below are some tips you can use to control the slug population in your garden.
Trap The Slugs
You can make a simple slug trap to catch the pests. All you need are small boards or pieces of cardboard. Place the pieces of cardboard on the soil surface near your planted trees.
In the morning, go to where you placed the boards and flip them over. You will see slugs attached to the underside of the board. Scrape them off into a large container and seal it.
You can incapacitate the slugs by freezing them. Simply place them in a freezer for about 4 hours. They will become stiff afterward and you can simply dispose of them. Dumping them in a compost pile will be your best option.
Get Them Drunk
Funny but true, slugs can drink beer they are attracted to it.
Get some shallow plates and pour some beer inside. The slugs will be attracted to it and drink it. Unfortunately for them, the beer will kill them.
You can also mix some water with molasses, flour, baking yeast, and cornmeal and pour on a similar shallow plate. The slugs will be attracted to it and it will have similar effects as the beer.
This may not be the most effective means of extermination, being that some species of slugs are beer-resistant and will drink to their fill and move away.
The solution to this is to add another trap using the beer as bait. It should be a trap they can crawl into but can’t crawl out from.
You can use a plastic bottle to set up the trap. Using a cutter or knife, cut off the spout end of the bottle. You should cut at the point where it reaches its widest diameter.
The next step is to flip the pour-spout to the opposite end so that it points into the bottle. Stick it in and make sure it stays put, you can use duct tape or a rope to fasten it. Using a stapler for more sturdiness is also a good idea.
You can now add some beer into the bottle and place it into the garden soil near your plants. You can add some yeast to the beer to make it more enticing.
The bottle should go deep enough into the ground so the slugs can access the entry points. When they go in, they won’t be able to get out, that is if the beer doesn’t kill them.
Hand-Pick The Slugs
If you can identify them, then a straightforward means of removing slugs from your garden would be to pick them up by hand and dump them into a basket or container.
The best time to handpick slugs is during the evening or very early in the morning, just before daybreak. These are the times when they are more visible. Hunting them during the day would be harder since they will.be hiding at this time.
You don’t have to handpick the slugs alone, you can make it a fun activity for the family. If you have kids, and they aren’t going to school the next day (weekend), you can ask them to join in on the act.
Turn it into a game where the person who picks the most slugs wins. Offer them some kind of reward to make it more competitive.
All you will need are some simple items like a battery-powered torchlight and some empty containers. As you look through your plants one by one, you will find the slugs feasting away on your leaves. You can eliminate them from then on.
Introduce Natural Predators
Slugs make juicy meals for some of nature’s hungry predators. Frogs and toads are among such predators. If you won’t get freaked out, some harmless, non-poisonous snake species will eat slugs too.
You can acquire some of these natural predators and release them into your garden. They might be busy with other smaller insect pests during the day, but when its night time, they will be treated with a slug delicacy.
Some of these predators may not even be patient enough to wait until nighttime to feast on the slugs, as they can hunt them out of their daytime hiding places.
Speaking of daytime hunters, chickens are excellent natural predators of slugs. If you’ve ever watched a chicken hunt for insects then you’d understand what I mean.
Chickens scratch the surface to expose ants and other insects and pick them up with their beak. They will do the same to slugs hiding under moist debris.
Because slugs are slow-moving animals, they stand no chance against hungry chicken
How To Stop Slugs From Eating Your Plants
Removing slugs from your garden is pretty easy, but it is always better to prevent their entry or existence in the first place.
Below are a few tips to prevent slugs from your garden.
Alkaline Ground Repels Slugs
Slugs can thrive in moist soil, but they hate alkaline ground. Wood ash, sand, cinders, slaked lime, and slag scattered all over the soil of your garden plants will repel the slugs.
Concentrate your application of the above mentioned around the surrounding soil of your garden plants for best results. Also, there are certain plant species that keep slugs away.
Remove Moist Debris
Slugs love to hide beneath moist debris, so keeping piles of debris in your garden would only attract them. To make your garden more unattractive, clear out all the moist debris laying around your garden floor.
Reduce Plant Watering
Water is an essential part of a plant’s life, therefore you must water them in adequate amounts. Plants don’t need all the water in the world to survive, they only need it in the right amounts.
To reduce soil moisture which the slugs love, only water your garden plants as required, and no more than that.
I trust this article on how to get rid of slugs has been helpful.