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Talkback: Dealing with slugs and snails

I put the bad slugs (big or small black ones)out on the paths for the birds. I have robins and blackbirds who come to feed at this time of year from my a la carte menu. Any slugs with a yellow stomach are given leave to remain in the garden as these are beneficial. The berries this year are very abundant, but my bird colony likes to eat the grapes I have left on the vine for them first. Even the little black ornamental grapes on the front wall have been devoured. But then our mini heatwave in October made the grapes very sweet this year. I'm sure feeding your chickens such lovely protein from your snails will give you very rich orange yolks in your eggs Pippa. I don't mind that but cannot bear them being squashed underfoot


  • ps While I am collecting huge Bramblies this afternoon I must look for srawberries - thanks for the reminder.
  • I found not only strawberries to eat but lots more not quite ripe yet and lots in full flower. I think I might dig those plants up and plant them in pots to put in the conservatory with the hope of home-grown strawberries for Xmas. Do you think that would work, Pippa, or will there not be enough light?
  • And don't forget green tomatoes. I made a fabulous soup yesterday from all the remaining greenies!
  • I tried using nematode for the first time this year and it was fantastic - I shall definately use it again next year - the only downside is that it can be a little pricey, but it did save my precious crops!

    The strawberries and soup sound wonderful!
  • I think a lot of the reason we are all still struggling against slugs is because it's been so mild and the hedgerows are still laden with berries and fruits, this means that our garden birds such as thrushes who would normally feast in our gardens in October/November are still gorging on the natural food elsewhere. I have certainly noticed a massive decline in feathered visitors compared to last year when were in the big freeze!...

    What is everybody else experiencing as far as feathered visitors go at the moment??

    I'm sure when they return they will gladly help you out by eating the odd slug and snail or two!?

  • I have a flock of long tailed tits come to my garden every day but they don't eat slugs and snails, loads of different birds in fact but none of them are into snails and slugs, perhapes I feed them to well with my feeders, even the thrush that usually guards my holly tree isn't stripping the berries yet so it must be too warm at the moment.
  • My hens won't touch the big slugs with the "orange go faster stripe" down the side of them. They will eat anything else (although prefer me to crunch snails before feeding to them - fussy things!)
  • I comletely understand you! It is the same in our back yard!
    The snails over here in Mechelen, Belgium love my lovely basil & sage leaves a lot!
  • We had a slug come into our kitchen. No sign of a track to tell us where he'd sneaked in. Threw him into the garden and some weeks later, he reappeared. This happened several times. In the end I tipped him into a plastic box, drove to the other end of town where the fields are and tipped him out. Since when (cross fingers) we have seen neither sight nor track of him.
  • Hello Lillybell,

    I don't know whether you were able to listen to it, but Radio 4's Material World programme carried out an experiment to see whether snails have a homing instinct. They discovered that they did! Have a look at

    for more information. I think you've done the right thing taking your slug to the other side of town!


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