Is it really possible to stop slugs naturally without having to resort to harsh sprays or chemical treatments?
Slugs can cause serious damage to vegetable plants, annuals and perennial flowers. In an instant, they can wipe out an entire row of lettuce. Or make a hosta look as though it is a piece of Swiss cheese.
Adding to the problem, slugs do nearly all of their damage out of sight. And all in the cover of complete darkness. Slugs are night-shift workers, coming out in the moist, cool temperatures of the overnight hours.
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By mid-morning, they take cover and hide in the soil, or on the underside of leaves. And that is exactly why they can be so difficult to combat. After all, it’s hard to fight an enemy you can barely find.
But there are ways to stop slugs in their tracks. And best of all, it doesn’t require commercial pesticides or chemical sprays. Here is a look at 5 simple and natural ways to keep slugs from ruining your plants, and your garden season.
Stopping Slugs Naturally
This may be hard to believe, but hand picking slugs from plants is one of the most effective methods for total, long-lasting control. And when done on a regular basis, can nearly eliminate the overall population in your landscape.
In early to mid morning, most slugs will still be at work. And if not, they can usually be found on the underside of leaves where damage is present.
Hand pick slugs and place into a solution of soapy water. After a few days of hand-picking, you will be amazed at the overall reduction of slugs.
Protective Collars To Stop Slugs
Slugs are not exactly the best of travelers. In fact, their only access to a plant is to climb up the stem to the tasty foliage above. So by cutting off the access, you eliminate their path to destruction.
This can be done using plant collars, and is especially effective for vegetable plants.
To create plant collars, simply cut toilet paper or paper towel rolls into 2″ sections. Then, slit the roll and slide it like a collar around each plant.
Coffee Grounds / Egg Shells
Coffee grounds and egg shells are both great natural deterrents for stopping slugs.
The soft, slimy exterior of the slug’s body are easily damaged by the rough, course make-up of crushed egg shells and coffee grounds. In fact, they are be deadly to them.
To protect plants, crush up a few egg shells, or place coffee grounds around the stem. The slugs will shy away from slithering over, and the plant’s foliage stays safe.
Even better, egg shells and coffee grounds can also have a beneficial impact on your soil! (See : Using Coffee Grounds To Power Your Garden)
Beer / Sugar & Yeast Traps
One of the most common natural methods to attract and stop slugs is with beer.
Small, low-ridged containers (tuna cans work great) filled with a bit of suds works like magic to attract slugs. Once in the beer, the slugs cannot get out.
But it’s not the actual taste of beer that slugs love. It is instead the yeast and sugar in the beer that attracts them by the dozen. So if you prefer not to use beer, you can make your own homemade solution with a gallon of water, a yeast packet, and a half cup of sugar.
You may have heard of beer traps, but how about the rinds of melon for stopping slugs?
Slugs love the wet, sweet taste of watermelon, muskmelon and cantaloupe. By placing leftover rinds in the garden (flesh side down), the slugs will congregate in droves.
You can actually re-use rinds for several nights to continue to trap the slugs in infested areas.
For more on pest control in the garden, check out our entire “Garden Pest” section on the blog. Here is to stopping slugs from destroying your flowers and vegetable plants – naturally!
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