With the rain, slugs and snails often come to our gardens. The wetter the soil, the more likely we are to share our crops with a large number of these uninvited guests. Although various mixtures are available to control them, the use of toxic pesticides is not good for the other beneficial garden inhabitants, plus they contaminate the soil and water sources. If you can, try to get slugs out of your garden in a more environmentally friendly way first.
Lure predators into your garden or use traps
We should be careful what new species of animals we invite into our garden ecosystem. Still, it’s not a bad idea to adjust conditions so that we get tenants who will be happy to help us with our glut of snails. These are birds, for example (you can install a bathing pond for them). Who else likes snails? Ducks, chickens, frogs, newts, snakes, turtles, hedgehogs, praying mantises.
If you prefer the peaceful way and wouldn’t hurt a fly, you can try the catch-and-release“ model. Snails like dark, damp hiding places, so place a damp piece of wood or board near them and when there are enough of them around the wood, scoop them up on a shovel and move them far enough away. Another, less gentle option is a beer trap. Bury an open container so that the rim is at ground level and pour some beer into it. Check the trap every morning and clean it as necessary.
Other weapons in the fight against slugs: shells, sand or coffee grounds
Disperse broken eggshells around the perimeter of the slug’s territory. Sharp edges are extremely uncomfortable for them, plus the shells will break down and benefit the soil.
Slugs do not like the smell of coffee. Scatter it over the plants they are migrating to. The coffee grounds will also decompose and make your plants happy.
If you are uncomfortable with the feeling of sand stuck to your feet, imagine how a slug feels when it has tiny sand fragments on its body. Scatter the sand around your plants in the spring, it will also help retain moisture in the soil.
Other slug repellents include:
- aromatic herbs,
- grapefruit peel paste.