In this article I am writing about the five things I do in my garden, to kill slugs without using slug bait:
Slugs and snails cause more damage, annoyance and stress than any other single garden pest. Is it any wonder then, that even the greenest and most Eco friendly of us resort to killing them with pesticides and other commercial slug baits and pellets, But, (yes it is a big but) there is a problem with using slug bait or pellets.
Slug pellets also kill the birds, hedgehogs, frogs and toads that are the natural predators of slugs and snails.
The more slug bait we use the more natural predators of slugs we kill and the more dependent we become on, guess what slug bait.
The metallic mesh fence is an effective, non-toxic way to protect your plants from slugs without using chemical slug bait. The barrier acts as an electric fence for slugs and snails. They are repelled because it feels similar to an electric shock - they are not harmed, they just go the other way!
It is effective all season and is totally weatherproof, very easy to install, and can be joined to encircle larger plants.
Slugs don't like certain types of soil and terrain, knowing this can make it easier to take action to deter slugs from entering a garden. Some gardens, especially those with sandy soil, won't attract slugs and can actually deter them..
For all types of soil that you are not going to dig over to often it's worth spreading a load of gritty sand over the whole surface.
Because slugs have to produce mucus (slime) to move, they prefer not to move over soil that is dry, dusty, sandy or rough grit. They would need to produce so much slime that they exhaust themselves and die.
On gritty sandy soil, especially during the hot dry weather that would normally kill slugs they sit tight in the moist conditions below ground waiting for rain. Or more likely we get the hosepipe out to water the garden at just the optimum time for slugs. Which is late evening, allowing the soil to stay damp for long enough for slugs to come up to the surface. Also, for snails to crawl out from under rocks and together rampage through our plants for the next eight hours.
Watering in the morning helps control slugs.
I know popular advice is to water plants at night to reduce condensation and save water. However, to stop slugs from eating our produce by up to 80%, on dry sandy or dusty soil. It makes more sense to do the watering in the morning benefiting the plants, but allowing the surface to dry out by evening trapping the slugs underground.
Habitat slugs and snails thrive in.
Slugs and snails like the same gardens I do, nature friendly, damp and shady with dry-stone walls and moist spots, piles of leaves, old nursery pots, weedy areas and low-hanging leaves at the base of plants.
Slugs like almost anywhere at ground level that provides moisture and shade,
The dilemma gardeners with damp shady gardens have is this. Clearing the garden of hiding places for slugs also destroys the habitat that attracts wildlife, including predators that eat slugs. You might protect your plants, but end up with a sterile boring garden. Using toxic slug bait and pesticides is even worse over the long-term, it is effective in killing slugs and snails, but is destroying our natural environment.
If you want to keep your garden as natural as possible Nematodes are the best slug killer to use. They are effective almost straight away, easy to apply and a single application is effective for up to six weeks.
Why did i have so many slugs in my garden last year?
Wet summers, followed by warm winters mean that slugs will have been eating and breeding all through the winter months.
This causes a slug population explosion, so from about now through to next winter be prepared for about 20,000 slugs to be active in your garden, chomping away at and destroying your flowers, fruit and vegetables.
You will find slugs and snails in almost every garden, although they do seem to prefer some gardens more than others, chomping on our flowers and fruit and vegetables.