The Q&A Archives: Controlling Slugs

Question: Last year I had a terrible problem with slugs. How do I keep them away from my flowers?

Answer: There are lots of ways to foil slugs, and often a combination of tactics works best. You can make life hard for them by removing leaf litter or other mulch from the soil surface and spreading a thin layer of sand or crushed egg shells on the ground instead. This will do away with their daytime hiding places and create a rough crawling surface which they should avoid. Spreading a layer of diatomaceous earth around the base of your plants can help, too; the sharp particles slice open their tender bellies. Iron-phosphate-based slug baits also work well, and are safe to use around children and pets.

Other deterrents include beer traps and copper slug barrier tape. And it never hurts to go out at night with a flashlight and hand-pick the culprits!

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