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Invasion of the slippery slugs

I cant remember a year when i have seen so many of the slimy creatures..all this wet and warm weather is creating havoc in the far this year i have used slug pellets....i have put out beer traps...i have upturned orange and grapefruit skins...and as a last resort i have taken to going out in the dark everynight with a torch and a bamboo skewer..tonight i skewered 180 slugs   ..mostly tiny white neighbours think im barmy  but...they will NOT win  lol  Tell me your favorite method for getting rid   PLEASE...I will now try absolutley anything...Tomorrow i will cover the ground around my brassicas with crushed garlic!!!


  • fotofitfotofit Posts: 73

    Hi susan howard2 - there seem to be several postings at the moment about slugs and snails - the devastation they cause and their use as a food source for some birds, hedgehogs and other wildlife - mostly the former I think !!! They do seem to be thriving this year given the rain, rain and then more rain !!

    We have a very varied wildlife environment in and around our garden but the natural predators seem to be unable to deal with the large slug/snail population of this year !!

    It's very disheartening when established plants are eaten away and most of my annual seedlings have disappeared overnight this year - I almost lost 2 whole packets of delphinium seedlings before I could rescue them and move them indoors. My salad leaf crop is a midnight feast for the creatures !!

    Anyway, enough of this rambling !!! Sorry to say that I do not have any perfect remedy for protecting seedlings/plants from attack - have tried several but none totally effective !!!! Sorry !!! Crushed eggshells, coffee grounds, pellets, vaseline around tops of plant pots, red leaved plants etc etc have not been effective. Have yet to try beer/cider traps, salt, bran etc.

    But ... I have read a few articles recently about homemade garlic sprays for leaves which protect them from slugs/snails - I do intend trying this out as I've found that growing garlic around roses for the past 2 years seems to have prevented aphid attacks. In addition, the roses don't seem prone to viral infection. Although I do know that slugs/snails climb I'm also growing dahlias in hanging baskets so that at least I may see some flowers this year !!

    Don'y know how helpful this posting is but like you I'll be interested in the experiences of other forumites.

    Happy gardening !!! image

  • AllymcAllymc Posts: 23

    I have found that the best thing for collecting up slugs is the half grapefruit method but you say you have tried that already.

    As slugs like places to hide i was told by a wisened gardener ( my mum) that try to clear away places for them to hide ( round pots under fallen leaves and mulch) and that seems to do the trick for exposing them to predators. To try and attract predators in maybe leave a little pile of sticks in a shady corner for ground beetles to hide in who love nothing better than muching on a slug.

    I have also found coffee grounds also work I ask in my local Costa coffee ( other coffee shops are available) for some and they give me a big bag of them , as they would normally just throw them away. Got some funny looks at 1st , but the coffee grounds keep the slugs away from the plants, work in the rain and are high in nitrogen so give the plants a feed at the same time !

    If this fails then the ferric sulphate pellets , the ones safe for birds and wildlife is a last resort.

    Hope this helps.

  • fotofitfotofit Posts: 73

    Hi again - forgot to mention the plastic bottles which I seem to be growing in the garden - was reminded of this when I wandered around the garden this morning !!!

    I'm growing a clematis and an annual climber through plastic bottles at the moment as both were attacked by slugs/snails but some foliage remained and both seem to be recovering at the moment. I also tried the bottles and parts of them for newly emerging leaves of echinacea a few weeks ago - they also worked well in parts - I think it depends whether or not the slugs are in the ground near to the leaves so that when I push the bottle perimeter into the ground it's not acting as a barrier. Still any that survive is better than none.

    I'm wondering, given what you say Allymc about the coffee grounds, whether I've been too sparing in my application and hence, unsuccessful - I try not to drink too much coffee these days !! image 

  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,058

    There's an article in July's RHS mag saying that coffee solution is more effective than the grounds- may try.

    It's been sooo wet up here this year (NWest) that I've been very cross, miserable, almost thinking about not bothering with certain things, that have just been devastated.

    BTW have found that crusts of wholemeal bread- seeded types & especially Burgen Soya - are slug magnets!! Put the bread out for the birds & ended up doing a lot of very satisfactory stamping! J.

  • For the first time ever I tried nematodes about a month ago - most people give them rave reviews, though others think them a waste of time. For me, the jury's still out as I've been finding some whopping ginger slugs over the last week - though perhaps I'd have had far more but for the nems? Something that distressed me (okay, you might think this a bit pathetic) was finding several 'good' leopard slugs after applying the nems - I was reduced to relocating them next door to my ever-understanding neighbour. Another batch of nems has just arrived and I really don't know whether or not to apply them.

  • salmacgsalmacg Posts: 2

    I put coarse sandpaper collars around my most vulnerable plants, it has had some success but watch the wind doesn't blow them away. I gave up on eggshells alone, I also use crushed seashells now. (the sandpaper lasts a while but get wet eventually). 

    Human hair and sheeps wool supposed to be a deterrant. 

  • Thanks everyone...Im going to try ALL your suggestions  I think though that the beer traps have to come out ..when i went to check them this morning i found a baby newt floating upside down   made me so sad....My garden is in Devon where we are having an incredibly wet and warm summer hence the amount of baby slugs.. Colin the Comet...I have tried nematodes in the past and didnt think they made much difference  but that was in a different garden so i will give them some more thought...Allymc...Im off to get coffee grounds tomorrow and i may call in at the seaside for some shells to add to the egg shells  thanks to Salamacg'Ss suggestion but the sandpaper wont work  its far to wet here ... I love my garden  but im not prepared to shave my head for it lol  Thanks again guys   Happy gardening

  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 386

    I have tried the ferric pellets and this year they have failed. Everything has been eaten. Tomatoes gone, sallad gone, italian kale gone, sunflowers gone, beans gone, POPPIES! gone. Even my sweet peas has been killed. Nothing seems to be safe this year. The plants are either gone or chopped off at ground level like my final marrow. I suspect the weather has been so bad the plants havent been able to take off. My only surviving tom is about 4 cm high and it is almost three months old!!! As you can see there has been carnage in my garden (ok some might be the wood pigeions that used to play bats in my neighbours tree before it fell into my garden)

    I have tried planting garlic all over the borders to discurage them as I read the bulb scares them off (Might think they are in France!) but oh no. Might try beer traps again but using ale than lager. Mine slugs are definetly CAMERA members. Haven't tried grapefruit shells but might give that a go too.

    Tried grounded egg shells but that didn't help.

    .Wouuldn't using coffee granuals shift the pH over time as it makes the soil accidic?

    OK engough ramging from me.

  • fotofitfotofit Posts: 73

    Hi susan howard2 and everyone - thought you may be interested in my plastic bottle approach to slugs/snails so I took a couple of photos earlier today !!




    The first is a 1 to 2 year old clematis eaten to a 'stump' before I added the bottle top - taking the photo has reminded me that I should now remove the bottle - particularly as we've had no rain for a few days !! image

    The second is an annual climber which I think I've managed to rescue from being eaten as new growth is emerging. image

    With both of the above it must have been coincidence that there were no slugs/snails in the ground within the perimeter of the bottle - phew !! 

    I've identified some seedlings and an area in which to plant them so that I can try the ground coffee and garlic spray slug/snail repellant/protection treatment. Will report back in a few weeks !!

    Do let us know how things are going with you and what you find is working. Thanks image




  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    I have just come back in from going outside with a sturdy pair of scissors and a torch and snipping about 30 of the 'orrible little bleeders. I hate doing it, but I also hate looking at plants I've nurtured for months being munched to death.

    This evening I worked out where they were coming from and have put slug pellets down (I still say a quick snip is more kind) and will probably try a salt barrier tomorrow when I can see what I'm doing properly.

    In the back garden we have a small Marigold patch. I really don't like Marigolds very much but this year my partner insisted on some bargain ones from B&Q that were heavily reduced. Being a kind and generous guy we bought them home, I planted them up in a prime spot (a patch which by late summer will be full of Mrs Bradshaw's image)  and the slugs love them. So much so that I barely need to check anywhere else for them. Snip.

    More bargain Marigolds have been purchased since. Kudos me.

    The problem is we spend our days making almost perfect conditions for slugs and snails and our nights (well mine anyway) fighting them off our beloved, or not so, flowers.

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