Slugs.. sod the organic approach I just want them dead!

Grrr! Just back from our hols and because of all the wonderfully wet weather here, I've found the slugs have been feasting their fat little faces on my lupins and hollyhocks in spite of the 'Slug Pubs' of real ale I kindly left for them - how very unappreciative. 

So this is war, what's the most powerful stuff I could use? 



  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,017
    Oh how I sympathise Caral. I found half a dozen of my cornflower seedlings chewed and bitten this morning,after patiently watching them burst through the compost...promising gorgeous blue flowers in a few weeks gently swaying in the breeze.But no,a fat snail was stuck to the side of the tub. I've been kind to them this spring,collecting them in a pot and releasing them at the bottom of the garden.But today my patience snapped and I launched it onto the lawn,hopefully where a passing Song Thrush might see it.
  • CaralCaral Posts: 301

    Oh poor you, how very disheartening. I've been very patient with them and even blase in thinking that we all have to eat, but seeing the flowers on my red hot pokers half eaten and huge holes everywhere, enough is enough. I'll be digging up any baby slugs today and going out with a torch tonight, but whoever taught them how to play hide and seek needs a stern talking to...          

  • DaisyheadcaseDaisyheadcase Posts: 315

    Caral, we all have our slug sob stories.  This year they've killed two emerging lilies and a delphinium (the only one out of two that came up).  I haven't grown lupins for years because it just breaks my heart when they get eaten.

    I've never used slug pellets because when I started gardening my children were small, now they're big and sensible but I still don't want little blue pellets everywhere.  I hate slugs and snails with a passion,  but over the years I've developed the following strategies:

    Slug hunt every night with a torch.  Pick them off and put them in a jar of salt water.

    Snails are crushed and thrown onto the path for the birds.

    I cut up plastic bottles and put copper tape around them then sink them into the ground to protect vunerable emerging shoots.  If I forget, then I'm punished, hence the delphinium and lily massacre this year.

    Anything I love and I know they are going to decimate, like my hosta or marigolds, goes into a pot with copper tape around the edge.

    I have a couple of beer traps which I do find helpful.  Last year a dahlia from the local gc was being chewed to death.  It was too big for a copper ring, so I popped the trap next to the plant, and that seemed to do the trick.  They came over for the dahlia but then were distracted by the beer and died an alcoholic death.  Can't say I'm sorry. 

    It's not foolproof.  I posted on a thread the other day about how I found some holes in my hosta leaves and then found a small snail nestling in the middle of the plant.  I think it crawled up the wall and then onto the leaves which were touching it.  So the pot has been moved away from the wall now.

    I had an Achillea millefolium Cerise Queen in the ground.  Last year I put a copper ring around it as they ate it almost to extinction.  I got a few flowers, but I noticed this year that even in spite of the ring they were still attacking the bits that flopped over and the plant just was not thriving.  So I've popped it into a pot and hey presto, in just a week it's sending up loads of shoots and seems a lot happier.

    It's an ongoing war, you can never relax.  Always be vigilant and you will manage to hold them back enough to grow the plants you want.  You're not alone!!


  • DogbowlDogbowl Posts: 66

    SALT, they dont like it up um. Of course one needs to locate the little blighters first and then sprinkle with the stuff.

    I find that the small sachets one finds in the till area of most high st food chains or works cafeteria ideal & I keep a supply of these in my pocket whilst I garden. Not P/C perhaps But effective

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,725

    We have giant snails here so I've been doing a lot of snail throwing image

    The slugs now get chopped image

    It's why I also don't grow too many plants which have soft sappy growth at this time of year. it's like Raymond Blanc's restaurant for them. Lilies are in pots with sharp grit. Much easier to keep an eye on them. Encouraging birds in helps but I do miss having a pond so that the frogs can have their fill. That will comelater I hope.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,621
    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,725

    I wonder if it would deter more than just slugs Dove.....imageimageimage

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 2,143

    It doesn't necessarily stop the slugs but I've found the following method very effective.

    For beer traps, purchase a 12 pack, use 2 cans for the traps and when/if that fails to stop the slugs sit down and drink the rest.  At least you don't care for a while image

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Must say, I don't quite get sprinkling salt on the slugs if you have to go out and find them first anyway.  Might as well pick them up and put in a bucket of salt water.  Salting them in situ will up the sodium content of the soil, which plants might not care for, plus leave you with an unsightly mess for several days.  Which is why I hardly ever use weedkiller, because I'm not entirely sure whether a bunch of crisp yellow weeds is any more attractive that some green vigorous ones.  If you're going to the trouble of dealing with them, whipping them out has an instant good effect.  I only use weedkiller for weeds where I know I won't be able to get the roots out.  Slug pubs will become less effective when it rains, because the beer will be diluted, and if the pub is full to the brim, won't the slugs be able to drink and go?  Isn't the point of them that the liquid level should cause them to lean over and topple in?  I don't know because I have never tried one, but that was what I thought you had to do?  If you do use slug pellets, I tend to only use them in areas where the birds can't get to them - ie under netting, and try to remove the corpses.  Unfortunately, evenings here are like Piccadilly Circus, so I can't get round to much evening gardening. 

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