Pest Management: Slugs

So, slugs have begun to intrude on your garden haven’t they? Although many prefer to feast on dead and decaying matter, there are some varieties that enjoy munching on seedlings. If you’ve been finding your plants desiccated with nothing left behind but a mid-rib and a slime trail; your plants may have just been pilfered by these pests. Let’s explore a few ways to address this mollusk menagerie!

To get rid of a slug, we first must think like a slug. By this I mean, consider the habitats they thrive in. Have you ever noticed that most of the slugs you find during the day are typically found by uncovering some form of shelter? During the day, slugs seek protection from the sun by making their homes under things such as bricks and large rocks. These cool, dark, and damp conditions are perfect for slugs and their eggs to thrive. When the sun sets and the temperatures drop, slugs come out to eat. One of the first steps you can take towards ridding your garden of these pests is removing objects that they can hide under from the growing area.

Another one of the best measures you can take to limit the presence of slugs is to avoid watering your plants later in the day. Conversely, one of the best measures you can take to limit the presence of slugs is to water your plants later in the day. This may sound directly contradictory but I’ll take a moment to explain. Watering your growing area closer to the evening provides slugs with a moist and dark environment to move around with ease. Watering in the morning prevents slugs from taking advantage of the wet soil in your garden, instead leaving them to navigate drier, less accommodating earth. However, an efficient way to tackle these tiny terrors is by watering when it’s late to draw them out. From there, you can simply peruse through your garden and pick them off by hand. This should be done frequently to keep your garden’s slug population in check.

Slugs can also be kept at bay through use of physical barriers. Copper fencing is fairly effective at preventing slugs due to a chemical reaction between the copper and the slime that slugs secrete. Eggshells work well too for this same reason! Installing copper fencing/eggshells in and around your growing area should help keep slugs away from your precious produce.