Slugs in Garden

Slugs can cause extensive damage to plants in the garden. They are one of the most troublesome pests to gardeners. Slugs are hermaphroditic, meaning that they can all lay eggs. This means that just a few slugs can quickly overpopulate your garden. Slugs secrete a liquid as they move. This leaves the silvery trail that indicates a slug infestation. This slime originates from the muscle in the slug’s foot that propels them along.

Slugs are voracious eaters. They chew irregular holes in the leaves of several plants. They also chew on flowers, fruit, and bark. Slugs prefer areas of the garden that are shady and humid. These animals are most active in the evening when temperatures cool down. Slugs cause serious damage to herbaceous plants, low growing fruits such as strawberries, as well as citrus fruit trees. If a slug population is left uncontrolled, it may continue to grow and destroy a garden.

Removing a slugs habitat is the best method of protection. Clear up any low hanging branches and leaves. Remove boards, leaves, weeds, and any other objects that provide shade during the heat of the day. Be sure to plant your vegetable garden as far away as possible from areas of shade and moisture that you decide to keep. Handpicking slugs can be an effective form of removal. To draw out slugs, water selected areas during the day, and then inspect these places in the evening. You can control slug populations by the plants you decide to grow. Slug-resistant plants include geraniums, lavender, rosemary, impatiens, fuchias, and woody ornamental plants. Baits can be effective if used alongside these other control methods. Baits containing metaldehydes kill slugs quickly, but are hazardous to children and pets. Baits containing iron phosphates are safe to use around children and pets, and can be applied over a broad area.

By Kenith Oneal

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