Slugs -- Control

By The Old House Web
There are several management/control options for slugs. First and foremost is to remove their habitat. Avoid debris left in the garden that provides a hiding place. Encourage air movement. Using less mulch may not seem practical but will reduce the slug population. Some plants may be mulched that don't need mulching; a mature hosta plant will shade the ground and limit any weed competition.

Some plants may appear less desirable to slugs. While many hostas seem to attract slugs like a magnet, many of the blue types and/or those with "waffled" leaves seem unaffected. Succulents, ivy, and ripening produce are also attractive food sources.

Certain mulch material tends to be less attractive to slugs. Cedar chips, pine needles and rinsed, crushed egg shells tend to repel slugs, either due to odor, resin and/or sharp edges. In fact, many hosta growers are reporting remarkable successes with pine needles applied two to three inches thick. Needles will not significantly disturb the soil pH.

Hand picking slugs and crushing them (or placing them in a jar or bag for disposal if you're squeamish) is another alternative, especially during the evening and early morning hours. Slugs can be trapped under boards or overturned flower pots and removed. Keep the traps in the garden several days before removing to allow slug populations to discover a new "hiding place."

See: Slugs--Baits; Slugs--Barriers; Slugs--Biology


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