Forum home Problem solving

Garden is a restaurant for slugs.

Hi folks.

Read a fair bit on the net re dealing with slugs, but you've all been so helpful and knowledgable I thought I'd ask about slug problems here.

As my garden is starting to develop and thrive, more and more wildlife is being introduced (good!). However, this year a host of slugs have destroyed so many of my plants.  We grow giant pumpkins every year (the kids look forward to it) but this time, every single one has been chomped (I end up filtering down to two good pumpkin plants). Same with my sun flowers (also a kids thing). Same with my rhubarb (I've waited two years to pick some...and it's all but gone!).

I also planted around 20 Bella Di Notte seeds (started off in pots but transplanted).  Ended up with two decent sized plants that survived (getting to around 5 inches) but then two days ago these were eaten! They've even started on my wisteria.

Last night I went out and caught around 30 of them.  Deposited them in a bucket and let them loose in a field some distance away (I was in a caring mood!).

I don't want to use slug pellets due to kids, but I'm thinking it's time to get harsh and use the old beer in a sunken dish method. Also heard of wool pellets (been warned off using salt, besides, rain tends to wash that away).

Unless I caught them all last night, I fear they will return! Any fail safe methods from you folks would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers image



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520

    There are lots of threads on this subject and everyone has a different view on the  best solution unfortunately! Vigilance and night hunting seem to be the most effective methods but it's hard in the early part of the season if you have a lot of young vulnerable plants. Some years are worse than others - cold, frosty weather can help, while mild wet winters are perfect conditions for them and if they then get a foothold early on and then breed....image

    It might take a few years to get a good balance of predators to help too. Perhaps you could grow a few less 'vulnerable' plants until that happens, or grow them in numbers that are easier to keep a watch over. Keeping  plants undercover till they're  a good size also helps. Strong sturdy plants can withstand the onslaught more easily.

    Destroying them when you catch them is a sure way of making sure they don't return for seconds at your classy restaurant  somapop  image 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • sybillesybille Posts: 76

    Somapop, forget the wool pellets! I've tried them and the slugs and snail were just crawling over them ( laughing at me )

    I even tried sheeps wool, didn't work either.... image

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,629

    my tip is to scatter " suet treats" bird food around and the blackbirds and thrushes will rumage around for them, finding slugs  and snail as they do so, and you have the joy of them in your garden.

    I have over 300 hostas, ( yes three hundred ) and rarely use pellets. 

    Oh, and don't have a cat, they don't get on with birds.

  • EsspeeEsspee Posts: 272

    If you caught 30 of the little blighters last night you can be sure that is only the tip of the iceberg.  I used to give my children tongs, torches and buckets with a couple of inches of salt water and send them out to see who could collect the most.  The excitement of a slug safari and being allowed to stay up until it was dark made it a favourite treat for some time.  Unfortunately children grow older (and wiser) and the novelty wore off. ????

  • Rodgy-dodgeRodgy-dodge Posts: 115

    we've introduced beer traps at the allotment and they seem to be working a treat. I even poured a can of cheap beer into a bucket in the backgarden and everytime I find a slug or snail I pop it in at least they'll die happy image I even saw a snail climbing up the side of the bucket the other morning so I'm just leaving it out for them to party!

  • Flora rosaFlora rosa Posts: 261

    What a great idea esspee lol, nematodes I swear by especially early in the season to give little plants ability to get going!  Then it's snail hunting too ...... Found about five MASSIVE ones today, hiding under pots and stones - in the bin , 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,629

    I'm not a fan of the salt or beer methods. I want them dead, but not a slow , probably painful one.

    If I find them I stamp on them, or snip them in two with secateurs, grim, but instant.

  • PassionatePassionate Posts: 225

    Hi somapop I agree with fairygirl, late night collection is the only way, plus buying plants that are hardy to withstand slugs, hairy leaved plants, shrubs, grasses, clematis, phlox hydrangers are all immune to slugs.

    i have an head torch, a tool like large tweezers and a jar of salted water, I can pick up 80 to 100 slugs a night in spring. I find after a couple of nights there a much fewer so two nights on a weekly basis usually keeps them at bay, until things get going.

    Also summer plants grown from seed need nightly inspections until they get big enough to withstand a bit of munching. Plus always water beds and borders in the morning because wet soil helps slugs to get around.

    i hate slugs and snails with a vengeance, i find they come out of crevices at the bottom of walls and crawl up at night to pots on walls or hanging baskets, they hide under stones and plastic bags in the daytime so anytime a see a slug or snail its  got to die there and then there is nothing on the market that is better than killing them yourself or  in salt water.



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,629

    Please don't take this the wrong way Passionate, but if you're collecting " 80 to 100 slugs a night", you're not winning the battle.

    I'd respectfully suggest you need to let natural predators have their way.

  • PassionatePassionate Posts: 225

    Hi  Hastfan yes I can understand why you would say that and no I won't take offence, what I should have made more clear was that while I have collected 80 to100  that wouldn't be EVERY night, usually it's the first couple of times I go "slugging" as I call it on the arrival of spring. What happens then is I have a garden with very few slugs although I still go "slugging"  but on less occasions and collecting less and less.

    i have tried slug pellets, beer traps even Nematodes and nothing works more effectivley than night collection but as I say with less and less frequency.

    At this time of year I don't need to go at all, because everything in my garden is growing beautifully. 

Sign In or Register to comment.