The Q&A Archives: Control Of Garden Slugs

Question: How do I control garden slugs? They are really getting out of hand.

Answer: A couple of suggestions! How's your "constitution"? Could you pick them off? Me either...just thought I'd ask!

Next, sprinkle them with salt. Yukkie, but it works. They'll shrivel before your eyes. Or, sink a few glass jars in the garden with the necks a bit above the level of the soil and fill the jars with beer. The slugs will stop in for a "brew" and drown! This REALLY does work! Then just empty the jars every few days and refill 'em with beer. (Burpee offers a "Slug Bar" for this very purpose.) Slugs never heard of AA!

Also, they won't cross anything with sharp coarse wood ashes, or crushed shells. 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, ashes, 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 eartharound the base of your plants can help, too, the sharp particles slice open their tender bellies.

Also, many gardening catalogs carry copper slug barrier tape (Gardener's Supply Co. 1-800-863-1700; Garden's Alive 1-812-537-8650). If slugs attempt to scale it they'll sizzle to death. There's also a product called "Slug-Out" which comes in flake form. You spread it around the plants, much as you do diatomaceous earth, but you don't need to reapply it so often. It is available from Garden's Alive, ph# 812-537-5108

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