Stop garden slugs from ravaging your vegetables and flowers with these strategies that are proven to work while protecting innocent bystanders.
Slugs do serve a purpose in your garden’s ecosystem: They break down plant debris into organic matter for the soil. You would appreciate slugs more if they waited until the plants died before starting to break them down, though we all know that is not always the case. Slugs also are a valuable food source for backyard wildlife. That’s probably not sufficient cause for you to tolerate the damage slugs do to your garden, but it does bring up the first strategy for keeping the slimy pests from becoming your public enemy number one.
Tactics to Control Garden Slugs
- Activate the food chain. Keep water in a birdbath and leave a few natural hiding spots for toads and snakes, and they’ll hang around and eat the excess slug population for you. Avoid using chemical pesticides that may harm wildlife and kill other important food sources for birds and reptiles.
- Modify the habitat. Slugs lurk in clumps of weeds, ground covers, and other low-growing plants, as well as in mulch and anyplace else they can find warm, damp shelter near their food supply. Clear the space around plants where you see slug damage and they’ll head for less exposed environments.
- Plant unappealing flowers and herbs. Plants with thick leaves or a strong scent, such as begonias, geraniums, lantana, lavender, rosemary, and sage, tend to attract fewer slugs than others do. Even if you don’t want a whole garden of them, include them in your flower beds and around your vegetable plot to help ward off the slimy pests.
- Water in the morning. Slugs favor damp, dark environments. Water your garden early in the day rather than in the evening so that when the sun goes down they are not drawn to moist soil around your plants.
- Pick your own. For a frustrated few (you know who you are), there is a certain pleasure in handpicking slugs and tossing them into the chicken pen or a bucket of warm, soapy water. For the rest of us, it can be effective, if not therapeutic. Rather not touch the little slimers? Many gardeners pick them up with chopsticks instead of their hands.
- Lay a trap. Slugs congregate under boards and other places where the soil stays damp. Place a board in your garden at night, lift it up, and look beneath it in the morning, and you’ll find many mollusks you can scrape into a bucket.
- Bait them. When your garden is overrun by slugs, you need a solution that’s effective and at work all the time. Safer® Brand Slug & Snail Killer contains sodium ferric EDTA as its active ingredient which triggers the dehydration process, then eliminating the mollusks. Best of all, it can be used in edible gardens up to the day of harvest.
More Help to Stop Garden Slugs
Are you at war with garden slugs? Let us know about your tactics the next time you visit Safer® Brand on Facebook. You can also get your questions answered by reaching out to our consumer care team at 855-7-ORGANIC. You can also subscribe to our E-Newsletter for links to articles like this one and announcements of new gardening products.