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Managing snail/slug populations

Hi all,

What would everyone recommend for managing snail/slug populations? I've just taken delivery of several hostas which look lovely at present and I'd like to keep them that way. I put slug pellets around the hostas in my front garden but not the rear garden as I worry about the dog eating them. Currently I'm using broken egg shell but I've ordered a couple of beer traps too.

I've read about nematodes, pellets, garlic spray (hate the smell), copper tape, night time hunts with a torch, horticultural grit and also increasing my bird and frog population.

What works best in everyone's experience?

Thanks 🙂🐌


  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge Posts: 2,452
    Cruel but saves my hostas every year
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • micearguersmicearguers Posts: 621
    A pond.
  • CumbriManCumbriMan Posts: 67
    @amancalledgeorge and @micearguers thanks, I'm just lobbing them in the garden bin when I find them at present. I'm not sure I'll be able to convince the missus to get a pond. She's as scared of frogs as the slugs will be 😬
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,412
    I was told it's important to get on top of it early, so they don't get out of hand later in the year - get the mollusc R rate below 1 ;)
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    There's no law says you have to rely on a single method of slug control.  I don't think there's any one method that works better than any other:  the more methods you use in combination, the better.  I can't bear killing things, so I use slug pubs (I tell myself it's not killing, it's assisted suicide) and egg shells and coffee grounds around vulnerable plants.  Plus not attempting to grow things which are notoriously slug-prone.  Fortunately I love aromatic plants, which slugs mostly leave alone.
  • CumbriManCumbriMan Posts: 67
    Thanks @josusa47. Not looking for a single method just interested in the experiences of people probably more knowledgeable on the topic than me as there's a lot of conflicting opinions (particularly on copper tape). Not growing slug prone plants isn't an option for me as I love Hosta's. I just have to tolerate / manage the little blighters 😂
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    Unfortunately any unnatural method of 'control' is ever lasting. As doing so ensures natural predators never hang around to do the job for you.

    Pity the pond is not an option. 
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,240
    Hi @CumbriMan ,

    I've used slug nematodes for a few years now and they work well .... I don't re-apply every 6 weeks as recommended as I've found that an application in Spring and then again in Autumn works OK.
    I used to be able to collect 400+ slugs on a damp evening ....  now it's hard to find any.

    You do need to get the right sized rose on your watering can or it will clog up and the job becomes a nightmare.
    I speak from experience o 

    The rose that works best for me has holes which are 1mm. 
    Don't be tempted to buy an applicator ... I found that they all clog.

    Bee x
    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • CumbriManCumbriMan Posts: 67
    Thanks @Bee witched I'll read up on nematodes a bit more. Are they wildlife safe - Particularly for dogs and birds?
  • CumbriManCumbriMan Posts: 67
    @GemmaJF I'm still trying to sell the idea of a small pond 🤞
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