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Pests Destroying Vegetables and Flowers

I have a major problem with plants being destroyed by some sort of bug or at least I think it’s an insect of some sort. I have had trouble with slugs in the past and this issue is definitely not caused by slugs or snails. There is a silver residue on what remains of the leaves plus a black substance that looks like excrement. I have tried sprays both chemical and more recently organic. I have tried companion planting e.g. marigolds in the same bed as courgettes without success. Can anyone throw some light on what the problem is and what can be done about it.


  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    Silver trails and black left-overs are typical of snails..  why don’t you think it is snails?  

    Spraying random chemicals is rarely a good idea if you don't know what you are trying to control as you can easily end up taking out the good guys.

    Can you post a photo as that makes ID much easier.
  • LadyG2LadyG2 Posts: 29
    Certainly sounds like slugs and snails.
    I agree with Helix, random chemicals are not good at all.
    Slug nematodes work well at controlling them.
    Also organic slug and snail pellets.

  • T WellsT Wells Posts: 3
    Many thanks for your thoughts but I'm 90% sure that it's not slugs or snails.  In particular there are no slim trails on the ground around the plant or even on the plant.  The silver residue I mention is like a coating over th leaf.  Also I have not physically seen any around the plants.  I had an infestation of slugs a couple of years ago and now treat the area around all plants with an organic product from envii which seems effective.  I attach some photographs as suggested by Helix.  There are three photographs showing attacks on the leaves of courgettes and one showing the remains of a marigold.  The marigold had been perfect the previous evening and overnight had been reduced to three stalks.  

    If I cannot find a solution my vegetable patch will be turned into a bed of shrubs in 2020.

    Any help is appreciated.


  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,118
    Looks like slugs to me 
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    100% slugs 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • T WellsT Wells Posts: 3
    OK.  If its slugs then what's the answer.  I already put down an organic barrier sold by envii on the ground and I don't want to use chemical slug pellets. Is there an organic brand that works?
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    Lager or beer works to some extent, get little dishes sink into the ground, put a slate or something over so there’s just a small gap, or,   or as well, go out at night with a torch and a bucket of salt water and catch them in the act.  
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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