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why is mostly the slugs that get a bad press?



  • mikeymustardmikeymustard Posts: 495
    edited August 2019
    Earlier this year there were so many, ALL of my plants seemed to be sacrificial! :|
    If you saw our lawn of an evening you would've thought you'd walked into one of those "swarm" type horror films - like a sluggy carpet!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,925
    They multilpy so quickly though - I've been renovating some areas and every other plant I lift, to divide or move, has a clutch of snail/slug eggs. 
    They just eat the hostas and lettuce and then move on to something else  :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    There are a few myths here, I think, but Fire and Mikeymustard have it right. I think most people mean slugs AND snails when they refer to slugs but any idea that only little grey ones are a problem or they just eat rotting material is a fantasy. Also, slugs breed more successfully if they eat well, so sacrificial plants are just a feast that will enable breeding. If you really have a slug problem you will find that they eat just about everything and that they don't take a bit, they take the lot. I have found the best way is to pick them off, no other method has worked for me.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,925
    I find it the best way too @Posy. Sometimes you feel like you're losing the will to live though.... ;)
    I grow as few susceptible plants as I can though. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    Oh, that's so sad, Fairygirl! I don't think I've got that fed up yet and I have gone from finding hundreds last year to only twenty or thirty each time this year. It's true that I wouldn't recommend slug picking as a leisure activity, perhaps, but it has revealed all sorts of things I'd never noticed in the garden before. The night-time scents and sounds, the range of creatures that share the garden with me. It hasn't all been bad!!!
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    @Posy - I think this has not generally been a bad year for slugs. I went from picking four hundred in a small back garden a few years ago, to finding a dozen most nights this year. I don't think that's anything to do with my picking. 

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    Well, I don't know about where you are, Fire,  but we have had a fierce drought and that has certainly helped. However, I really do believe you can cut the numbers,  especially if you work hard in early spring before the little dears get to breeding size.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    @Posy, I'm in London and we have had a pretty good summer of a mix of rain and warmth. No drought here.
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 2,267
    I have both. They eat different plants but they are both destructive. Slugs are more disgusting (while snails are almost cute) and harder to pick. And they usually appear in greater number when it gets wet in August (exactly the moment when it's time to produce for many vegetable plants).
    I think that manual picking (and killing them because otherwise they will find their way back) is the most effective method. I don't believe in sacrificial plants - more food => happier slugs => more slugs.
  • My main problem with slugs is the keel slug eating into the potato tubers and the swedes.  They are very small black slugs which obviously live below the ground where you cannot get at them and too small and numerous to hand pick.  Are nematodes any good in this case?
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