There are many ways to reduce slugs & snails in the garden, but here are the top five easy methods.
Slugs & snails cause the most damage in spring when they attack our vegetable seedlings and munch on the new shoots of perennial flowers that we are trying to grow. There seem to be even more of them this year so they must be dealt with before they can become prolific again next year.
Slugs don’t even need a mate to reproduce, but when they do mate, both can lay between 20 and 100 eggs! These are mostly laid during the spring but this latest warm, wet summer a second generation of eggs is getting laid this month.
To reduce the effect and prevent a double whammy next year, here are the top 5 ways to get rid of them:
1. Kill on sight
Cut them in two using your trowel or pruning knife – a quick and effective method.
2. Get rid of hiding places
Mulching your garden helps to keep moisture in the ground, but when it’s warm and wet don’t put grass clippings or dead leaves on your borders as this provides the perfect hiding place for slugs & snails. Instead, put compost in a proper compost bin.
3. Collect them up & remove them
Just leave damp newspaper or a board of wood for them to hide under in a problem area is all it takes to lure them in.
Turn the newspaper or board over in the morning and either cut them in half or drop them in a bucket of soapy or salty water which you can throw away somewhere you are not growing anything.
4. Set traps
If you don’t like the idea of slicing them in half or dissolving them in soapy or salty water, beer traps are also very effective.
Put beer or just a mix of water with sugar and yeast into a dish set in the soil and they will be attracted. Throw the mixture away every day and replace it with a fresh one.
5. Slug pellets
There are many organic slug pellets available, such as Slug Gone and Grazers G2. According to the charity Garden Organic, sales of these non-lethal slug controls are up by 50%.
Westland Horticulture’s Eraza Slug And Snail Killer is not organic but is very effective despite using 50% less metaldehyde than other slug bait products. It does this by crushing the poison into smaller particles so it is easier for slugs and snails to eat, but less dangerous for other animals. It’s also waterproof, so when the new slugs mature this autumn you can carry on destroying them and reduce their numbers next spring.