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Slug invasion

Despite a very dry start to the year where I had difficulty getting seeds to germinate, or plants to establish ( we don't have piped water on the allotments, and the captured water ran out very early), the end of the year has seen a massive slug invasion. I have lost a lot of potatoes to them, and my over wintering greens are being eaten alive.

I know one cure would be a good cold spell but has anyone else suffered, and what have they done to overcome slugs in epedemic proportions?



  • Hello Campbell,

    As you say, both the warmth and the recent rain will have helped the slugs thrive. Have a look at our advice on dealing with slugs below:

    If you're still looking for solutions after that, type 'slugs' into the search box and you'll find plenty of information about how others have dealt with infestations. Pippa Greenwood, who is an expert on garden pests, has written quite a few blogs about these pesky beasts.

    Emma. team

  • I've tried most of the ways suggested in both the link suggested and by Pippa in her blog. 

    I have successfully reduced the slug abd snail population of my small house garden, mainly by early evening hunting with my 'snail scissors', but that wouldn't work on my allotment as it has to be done frequently. 

    I've considered nematodes but have baulked at the cost of treating my plots. I have resorted to usuing slug pellets, which I apply under the nets to keep birds of fruit and brassicas. 

    However the slugs that are doing the most damamge and are at epedemic proportions are the tiny black/brown slugs which don't seem to be attracted by the pellets (or I can't find their dead bodies).

    It's frustrating, and means that veg needs to be very scruporously cleaned, but hasn't put me off yet! I'm actually praying for a week of good cold weather!

  • Hello Campbell,

    I'm glad you're soldiering on! I agree that a spell of good cold weather is a great thing for many reasons in our gardens.

    Emma. team

  • I put down some beer traps and was amazed at how many of the small slug were caught and died. In one small trao no bigger than a jam jar in width, I had about twenty. It needs to be emptiedon a  regular basic or the stench gets unbearable.


  • I also go on a 'slug hunt' in the evenings and early morning. Planting garlic helps

    a bit because they don't like the smell.

  • i also put down slug traps which i empty every day otherwise ths smell is awful also much to the amusement of my hubby i go on slug patrole armed with a jar with salt water an a old pair of tongs to pick up any others not in slug trap 

  • It is a never ending job, I just leave them for the hedgehogs.

  • I would love to entice a hedgehog into my garden.  I haven't seen one for years.

  • Egg shells and sharp sand or grit around the base of the plants for organic control - has to be re-applied frequently for any lasting success.

  • The trouble with many of the chemical free methods of slug attack is that they are not suitable for a large space like an allotment. I have got on top of them at home and can now grow slug delicacies such as delphiniums and lupins, but it is a different matter on my allotment.

    Part of the problem is that there is plenty of wildlife there (pheasants, partridges, ans pigeons) many of which want to eat my plants as well. I'm sure the anti-bird netting I use also keeps birds that might eat the slugs away from the plants.

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