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Garden Slug Control

Garden Slugs

Garden Slugs

Slugs are one of the most damaging, persistent garden pests to eradicate. There are numerous garden slug control methods available commercially, but some of them can be harmful to birds, animals, and friendly garden insects.

This page offers a few ideas for natural slug control methods that may be a more suitable alternative for your garden.  >> Click here for a complete step-by-step guide on how to get rid of slugs.  <<

Natural Slug Control Methods

Watering Schedule

Probably one of the best ways to get rid of slugs is to alter your watering schedule. Slugs have very delicate bodies that require a moist environment to. Slugs are abundant in the garden because it contains a great source of food and it is usually very moist from watering.

If you have a slug problem, make sure you are not watering your garden in the evening. Water in the morning instead. This simple method can reduce garden slug damage by 75%.

The Beer Trap

An age-old trick for controlling slugs is to use beer as a trap. Set a small amount of beer in a wide and shallow container or bowl and bury it in your garden soil so that it is level with the ground. Slugs will crawl into the beer bowl and drown in the beer.

One downside to this method is that the beer can be diluted by rain, attracting fewer slugs into the trap. In addition, rain can cause the trap to fill up and spill beer into your soil, attracting more slugs without trapping them. In order to avoid this problem, create a tent-like structure above the trap so rain cannot fill the beer container. Make sure you leave room for the slugs to enter.

Copper Wiring

Another slug control method is to attach small strips of copper around the sides of flower pots or raised beds. The copper acts as a barrier that slugs won’t cross. Make sure there aren’t any leaves or branches hanging over the side that will allow slugs to bypass the copper.

The copper wiring method has worked well in some gardens and not at all in others.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is the sharp, jagged skeletal remains of very small shellfish. It is used as a slug control method because the sharp edges of the diatomaceous earth can lacerate the soft bodies of slugs and snails, causing them to dehydrate.

One problem with diatomaceous earth is that is virtually ineffective when wet. It can also be very irritating to eyes and lungs, so it needs to be used with caution.

Lava Rock

An alternative to diatomaceous earth is lava rock. Lava rock has an abrasive surface that most slugs will avoid.

Killing Slugs Manually

Many of the above slug control methods have been used with mixed success - for some they work very well, for others they don’t work at all. If you are one of the unlucky gardeners that just can’t maintain slug control, you may have to try hunting them down one by one.

One popular slug killing method is to mix a solution of 3/4 household ammonia with water, shake it up in a spray bottle and hunt them down individually. The ammonia is harmless to plants but the slugs die almost instantly when hit. Go out at night with a flashlight when slugs are most active.

The main downside to this method is that it takes a long time. Many slugs will still enter your garden from outside and it can be very time consuming to turn over every leaf looking for slugs.

Further Reading

For a complete steep by step guide we recommend the following link for how to get rid of slugs.

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