Unfortunately, the slugs have not changed their minds this year and are already slowly starting to make gourmet trips around our garden. Save your crops while you can and find out with us how to get rid of slugs and what works quickly and effectively on slugs.
Slug or slime?
Before we take a look at them, we need to clarify one important detail. Many of us think that the slug and the snail are the same representative of the slugs that are damaging our gardens.
For the Spanish slug, this assumption is correct. It is an invasive species that became established in this country in the post-revolutionary period and is native to the Iberian Islands. It is an enemy of gardeners and can take over entire crops.
Slimes are, however, native Czech inhabitants that have always belonged to our gardens. They act as health police, taking care of the dying and decaying parts of the plants while despising the fresh leaves. Even the slug and the ash slug relish the creepers.
Now that we’re clear on which slugs to keep in the garden, we take a look at 10 tips for getting rid of the unwanted ones.
1) Hand-picking slugs
… is clearly the most effective. However, slugs don’t like the sun very much, so they crawl out of their hiding places in the evening or when it’s raining. So equip yourself with gloves, a suitable container that they won’t come out of during collection, and you’re good to go.
Once you’ve finished collecting, the question becomes where to take them. Even though slugs destroy our crops, they are still living creatures and so their disposal should be humane.
Therefore, we definitely do not recommend salting creepers. For one thing, they would face a long and painful death, and for another, a melting creeper is not a pretty sight. So you have a choice of more gentle options:
- Leave the creepers away from your garden. But forget your neighbour’s garden, that’s too close. Instead, find a place where the slugs have no one to harm.
- Steam the slugs with boiling water. That way they should be over quickly, just plug your nose for good measure.
2) Try chemistry
You can buy a range of snail killers – mostly in granular form. The problem is that they have become partly accustomed to their existence and just can’t be tempted. The pellets also have to be sprinkled directly around the crop, which is not ideal for organic growing.
You can, however, also buy Ferramol, which kills the creepers thanks to a compound of iron and phosphorus and these are commonly found in nature.
3) Nematodes as a natural enemy
A more expensive but very effective way of killing slugs is to acquire microorganic nematodes that infest slugs and are thus a natural parasite for them. The nematodes are long-lasting and the slugs die of starvation, usually underground.
4) Get a runner
The Indian runner is the breed of duck, for whom slugs are a favorite delicacy. They are easy to care for and the little penguins will make a beautiful addition to your garden.
5) Invite the slugs for a pint of beer
Don’t feel like collecting snails by hand? Cut open a pet bottle and gently bury it in the ground. Then just pour the beer (beware, slugs don’t like soft drinks) and collect the drunken slugs from the container, topping up the beer regularly. You can also buy all sorts of slug traps that slugs can’t get out of.
6) Plant herbs that slugs don’t like
These are mainly lavender, stonecrop, watercress or other aromatic herbs, including garlic, parsley or sage and chives. Ideally, a combination of these looks great in the bed and can be used in the kitchen.
7) Build obstacles for the creepers
High coarse-textured curbs that are difficult for slugs to climb can help, and you can also line the bed with crushed eggshells, nut shells, sawdust or soft sand that sticks to the slugs’ bodies.
8) Adjust the watering of plants
Snails usually emerge after sunset and love the humidity. So unless you want to give them a delicious nighttime feast with all the comforts, always water in the morning! The plants will like it and the sun’s rays will keep the slugs out.
9) Think slugs in autumn
Are you looking for chickens? Then let them into your garden regularly after the season is over. It is in autumn that creepers lay their eggs, which are a delicious and healthy treat for the burrowing birds.
10) Keep your garden clean
High grass, stacked bricks and beams, piles of branches … any patch of shade that holds a comfortable moisture is an ideal home for slugs.