Author Topic: Slugs and snails  (Read 4560 times)

Offline TacticalToxin

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Slugs and snails
« on: July 01, 2011, 04:48:59 PM »
Hey all
So i live in a small suburban plot and Ive got a slug and snail problem. what are good ways to combate them? obviously a couple chickens or ducks would work but i cant have those in my back yard for various reasons. Does anybody have any tricks to keep them away or any slug eating creatures that are easy to keep with a cat and a small lot?
Thanks! happy fourth to all!

Offline rustyknife

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Re: Slugs and snails
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2011, 03:41:33 AM »
When I was a kid (about a bazillion years ago) we would pour some table salt on the slugs to kill them, but kinda messy. Best thing to get the snails is crows.  Wondering what is attracting them to your space? I remember that it seemed like they were in everybody's yard and garden.

Offline paul wheaton

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Re: Slugs and snails
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2011, 05:11:55 PM »
I made a video today that shows ducks eating slugs:

Offline cigarmitch

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Re: Slugs and snails
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2012, 04:06:40 PM »
I have a gigantic slug problem here in middle appalachia. I have used 5 major tactics to combat them and most have worked but take time.

I used crushed up egg shells on the soil to not only slice the little buggers, but to add calcium to the soil.
I have also used lime when the plants are small, I heard tale that slugs do not like lime.
I have used small containers of stale beer that the top rims of are level with the soil. They just simply drown in it.
I have sprinkled salt on the soil around my garden boxes (not in) and found several slime piles the next day.
I have also went the low tech method of hunting them with bbq skewers. In fact on of the first dates with my gf was doing this!!! 

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Slugs and snails
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2012, 05:53:29 PM »
Beer traps.  Bury a container down to the rim.  Fill half way with cheap beer and put a bit of yeast into the beer.  The slugs are attracted to the beer and yeast.  They crawl in and drown.

Offline Roundabouts

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Re: Slugs and snails
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 07:05:14 AM »
We have or had tons of slugs.   I slug hunt every AM pick them up and dispose of them.  Can take time to get the numbers down.   Have heard that you don't have a slug problem you have a predator deficit.  I guess in some areas snakes will eat slugs.  So I have build some snake habitat.  I have also heard DE works or copper.  If by chance you are growing slug loving plants that could be a problem.  I chucked all my hostas because of that.  It helped.  Keeping the slug and snail habitat down can help.  They follow their own slime trail back to the food.  So it may help to wash the slime trails away.  Dawn and vinegar with water solution.   Of course you may have different slugs than I do.  So what works for me won't work for you.  I would research the type you have and become knowledgeable about them.  The better you know your enemy the easier it will be to defeat them. 

My slug hunting song 
Going on a slug hunt but i'm not afraid
picking up a slug
put it in the bag
bump bump

Just gotta have fun with it or go crazy.  Of course family thinks I am crazy walking around the yard singing and carrying a plastic grocery bag full of slugs. ;)

Just as a fyi I have 2 plastic grocery bags one to put the slugs in and one to put over my hand. 

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Slugs and snails
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 10:21:41 AM »
There are various species of Salamanders that are acclimated to nearly every zone in the US.  They will eat slugs and snails.  These are not the tropical Pet-store salamanders, in all likelihood, you would have to capture them yourself. The same is true for corn snakes and rat snakes who will eat more bugs than you would think possible. 

Frogs and toads aren't big on eating snails and slugs, but their young will attract birds who will eat the slugs. Increase the food supply for predators with things that are not harmful (or in this case, are themselves beneficial). Understand, the predators won't spend all their time targeting your one pest species.  Would you stick around a place that always had the same stuff to eat, day after day? No.  Predators are the the same way.  If you want to keep them working, build a diverse menu for them.

Observe the slugs and snails.  You will usually see them eating wet, partially decaying leaves.  Leaves that are still attached to the plant, but also resting on the ground, no longer green but light brown or translucent, and usually slimy.  Now consider what plants have this tendency (anything that has a head like cabbage, or a crown like rhubarb, strawberries, palms and ferns etc).  The old growth is pushed to the outside of the plant where it droops and contacts the soil.  Put a small ring of stones around these plants so that growth doesn't touch the ground, or at least maintains some airflow under it so it dries.  Remember to prune dead or dying leaves and stems. This cuts back on the available food and protection the pests rely on.  That alone won't solve your problem, but it can dramatically reduce it.

In grasses and lawns, it's a great time to do a soil test.  If you need Lime or Sulfur, either will kill slugs on contact.  It's cheaper than pesticides and will help the soil (and thus your plants).  Don't over-do it obviously. 

Chrysanthemums are toxic to snails and slugs (they will still try to eat them, but they die soon after). 

Offline Bloodyboots

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Re: Slugs and snails
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2012, 07:40:53 PM »
Something I found worked pretty good for us last year. We lay a barrier of ground corn along the tops of our garden beds. The Slugs and Snails won't cross it, and it's cheap enough to replace every time it rains.

Also check out this site for some other ideas.

Offline bsteimel

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Re: Slugs and snails
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2012, 12:38:35 PM »
I to just found a huge slug problem in my garden.  I have placed coffee ground throughout the garden and around the plants they are attacking. 
Basil and peppers for now.  I'm sure they will attack the lettuce once it gets larger.  They like the large strong leaves of these plants. 

I'm going to try the beer traps when i get home, with a pie tin.  I'm so mad at these suckers.  I have holes in a lot of my leaves.  At first i tried soapy water, but that didn't seem to work.  I didn't realize at first it was slugs, but realized that after I never saw any bugs in the day time and one morning I saw some slime on one of the plants.

Thanks for the tips. 

Offline cohutt

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Re: Slugs and snails
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 09:25:13 PM »
Toads live to eat slugs and snails, contrary to a previous post.
put in a frog pond an they will come.

it only took me a couple months and I have toad eggs in mine as of two nights ago.

Offline Skunkeye

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Re: Slugs and snails
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2012, 01:39:53 PM »
Yeah, toads will pretty much eat anything that's alive and small enough to fit in their mouth.  I've noticed a lot more toads in my yard the last couple of summers, which coincides with a greatly reduced slug and snail population (we had a ton of the slimy buggers when we first moved in).  Make some "toad houses" (out of logs, rocks, broken flower pots, whatever you have) and scatter them around the yard.  Providing predator habitat is a great long-term control method.

In the short term, the beer trap has worked well for me in the past.

Offline LibertyRevival

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Re: Slugs and snails
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2012, 08:26:18 AM »
I ordered some ducks to deal with the slugs i have ,  Toads seem like great idea except my rodent controllers (cats) kill them also .

Offline ironfish

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Re: Slugs and snails
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2012, 10:14:15 AM »
 It took me awhile to figure out what was eating my tatsoi in the greenhouse, then I found them leaving the beds one morning. I made a perimeter  of DE around the beds about a month ago. No problems since then.


Thox Spuddy

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Re: Slugs and snails
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2012, 09:47:33 AM »
You can make little boys out of them, here's the recipe:

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
and everything nice.
What are little boys made of?
slugs and snails
and puppy dog tails.