The battles have begun…and it’s official, I HATE SLUGS!!!!
I am now in full battle mode. The slugs started it! The sneaky little people haters have been out, undercover of darkness and enjoyed a slap up meal on my rhubarb and comfrey plants. Consequently, I’ve spent two days looking for ways to KILL slugs without resorting to pesticides. My ‘slug problem’ is most definitely exacerbated by the fact that plot 5A hasn’t been cultivated for several years. According to research (what a project!! haha) the average garden ‘homes’ around 20,000 slugs and snails and each slug/snail lays approximately 100 eggs several times a year! This could mean 6,000,000 eggs per garden or more! Flipping heck!
So what are my options?
Option 1: Beer Traps
Slugs are party gastropods, living it up all night and rampaging through my beloved plot 5A! Well, apparently they love a pint of beer too! Slugs find beer irresistible and are attracted by the smell.
I clearly don’t know anything about slug anatomy but was curious to find out how they sniff out tasty snacks (and beer). One quick ‘google’ later and…‘slugs smell with their whole body!’ They are giant snotty noses!!!! They also have green blood, and 27,000 teeth!! 27,000! No wonder they are such successful munchers!
Anyway, I’ve rummaged through the kitchen cupboards, found a number of glass ‘posh pudding’ jars, stolen a can of beer from the fridge and placed beer ‘slug’ party pools around my plants.
Option 2: Give them a hearty cereal breakfast
Slugs love to scoff cereals only one slight problem…once eaten it swells inside the slug causing, well, I don’t think I need to spell it out! Cereal also mops up their slime making it difficult for them to slip away. Fat slugs are literally breakfast for the birdies!
Bags of cheap porridge have now been added to the weekly shopping list.
Option 3: Eggshells or Grit
Another ‘google’ later… ‘A slug’s slime enables it to glide without difficulty over glass shards, or even the edge of a razor blade.’
Okay, scribble that one off the list.
Option 4: Wool Pellets
‘Wool pellets are manufactured from the fleece of sheep. Wool fibres have very fine scales with small barbs on the tip called cuticle cells. These cause wool fibres to felt and matt together. Wool fibres are very hygroscopic and this plus the sand and grit already in the compound and the potassium salts from the sweat glands of the sheep absorb some of the slime from the slug’s foot.
As soon as water is added the fibres swell. The fibres irritate the slug foot so, in theory this causes Mr Slug to find an easier snack.
I’ve purchased a small bag and have wrapped my rhubarb, borage and comfrey in a snuggly blanket of wool. We shall see!
Option 5: Nematodes
Completely harmless to humans, birds and animals, and perfectly safe around food crops. Apparently nematodes are already present in my soil! However you can purchase a ‘micro’ army to help fight the war. Definitely adding this to my list of weapons but would like a few opinions…Has anyone tried nematodes?
Option 6: Slug-lamping!
Yet to be tried but I have a few brave ‘Tiddlers’ that love a gruesome battle, if I supply them with head torches, a bucket and a weapon of their choice…
Option 7: Prepare a Battle Plan
Thank you once again ‘Little Ears’ for my Christmas present now I can fully prepare the next stage of my battle plan…