Hostas forum: getting rid of slug & snail (really) without chemicals

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Name: Kate
NEKingdom of Vermont (Zone 3a)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant and/or Seed Trader Sempervivums Tropicals Garden Ideas: Level 1
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LabourofLove
Aug 19, 2011 3:00 PM CST
Believe it or not, this comes from the University of Hawaii and was discovered by accident while trying to do something else entirely. Before somebody jumps all over me about caffeine being a chemical - take a deep breath and think about this.

COFFEE KILLS SLUGS & SNAILS. Make very strong caffeinated coffee. Mix half and half with water and put into a trigger or compressed-air sprayer. Spray on plants and the ground that snails & slugs travel on. As they move over the treated areas, they take up the caffeine through their pseudopod (foot) and it gives them heart attacks in 72 hours.

Cheap coffee works as well as the more expensive sort. I use espresso because it's more finely ground (works better in my machine). I also run the water through the grounds more than once to extract as much as possible - I'm filling a 4 gallon backpack sprayer.

My snail problem is worse in my daylily field than anywhere else, but the Hostas look better this year for this solution, too. Cheers for an elegant and simple solution to nasty critters.
Kate Kennedy Butler
Glover, Vermont

life without music would be a mistake Nietzsche
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA (Zone 4b)
enjoy the moment
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Maridell
Aug 19, 2011 3:05 PM CST
hmmmm, the slug fest is done here in my gardens for the season but this is worth a try next year! Thank you Smiling
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Heucheras I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 2 I sent a postcard to Randy! Keeps Horses
Region: Minnesota Birds Raises cows Cat Lover Hostas Farmer
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Christine27360
Aug 22, 2011 7:51 AM CST
I didnt know slugs had hearts!!! I will try this next year as well!!

PS -- you should send this tip in to Trish!!! I tip my hat to you.
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Janet
Gilroy, CA
Charter ATP Member Bromeliad Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California Container Gardener
Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Irises Hummingbirder Heucheras
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imapigeon
Oct 19, 2011 5:37 PM CST
Did you do this? Did it work?
Please visit the Clay Arts cubit

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Heucheras I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 2 I sent a postcard to Randy! Keeps Horses
Region: Minnesota Birds Raises cows Cat Lover Hostas Farmer
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Christine27360
Oct 20, 2011 6:31 PM CST
I didnt do this Janet but Kate did (above). I am gonna try this next year -- worth a shot and I hate coffee anyways so I dont feel like I am wasting anything good to drink!!! Rolling on the floor laughing
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Janet
Gilroy, CA
Charter ATP Member Bromeliad Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California Container Gardener
Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Irises Hummingbirder Heucheras
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imapigeon
Oct 21, 2011 12:07 AM CST
I'm not gonna waste good coffee on the little buggers, but my worm compost has a high coffee content. Probably not much caffeine left in it by the time they process it, though, come to think of it......
Please visit the Clay Arts cubit

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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ViolaAnn
Nov 21, 2011 11:44 AM CST
might be worth a try.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Nov 27, 2011 6:12 PM CST
I heard they really, really like beer and if you fill a tuna can with room temperature beer, that will kill them also. They dive in and they drown because they cannot get back out of the can. If you have no beer yeast and honey will work but you have to mix it properly. Big Grin

http://www.weekendgardener.net/how-to/snails-slugs.htm

susan
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood

isabella
Dec 16, 2011 6:29 AM CST
Hi Just read your article and thought you would like to know of a brilliant slug protector. Recently a lady gardener recommended a new device to control slugs and snails called the slugbell she has used it and found it to be absolutely brilliant at controlling them I have just ordered 6 of them to place around my flowers and vegetable garden ,here is there web page http://www.slugbell.com they use both Organic or Normal Metaldehyde bug pellets and that the small amount of pellets needed will last up to three months.!!! as they don’t dissolve in the soil and are pet i.e. Cat , Dog and wildlife Safe Brilliant for pet owners , I will try anything to keep my garden looking how it should whilst protecting natures cycle.

Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Dec 16, 2011 7:36 AM CST
That is very, very interesting!! Very pretty and colorful also, like little flowers. I like the price too, this is wonderful news and you have already tried them out? Beets walking around the yard everyday throwing out bait Grumbling
Thank You so much isabella I tip my hat to you.
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: 'CareBear'

Sempervivums Hostas Dog Lover Irises Amaryllis Cactus and Succulents
Region: Pennsylvania
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Stush2019
Dec 16, 2011 1:43 PM CST
I like the coffee idea. We always have some coffee left over from the day befor. We can start collecting it to spray on plants come spring. Hope the deer don't like coffee with their hosta.
Stush
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
Rabbit Keeper Bee Lover Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Butterflies Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader Bulbs Echinacea Irises
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crittergarden
Dec 16, 2011 2:17 PM CST
Thanks for the tip!
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Steve
Millbury, MA (Zone 5b)
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steve_mass
Feb 20, 2012 6:50 AM CST
Caffeine repels slugs but it does not kill them. Unfortunately for it to be really effective you need much larger amounts of caffeine than is in your morning coffee. You can, and some people do, place Used Coffee Grounds around you plants as a barrier. It's great organic nitrogen so it will fertilize them as well. Free UCG are available to gardeners from Starbucks. It's a company policy. Just call up your local Starbucks and ask them to save some UCG for you. Then show up with a 5 gallon bucket and take it away. Remember that in order for this to be truly effective you are going to have to replenish these grounds often. Rain will leach the caffeine out of them and the barrier will be less effective. Still it's a good thing to try and it will help your plants.

Steve
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
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ge1836
Feb 20, 2012 7:28 AM CST
Just chimeing in here.I plan to offer this as a Tip of the Day as soon as Hostas peek out of the ground here.Probably late April.
I have cut down on the slug population here by drenching the ground around the emerging plants.
As soon as I see the hosta eyes I treat with Amonia diluted 1 cup amonia to 8 cups of water. The sluggs are not in the armys they use to be here. Snails are another matter.
I also treat Ligularias as they emerge. Slugs on those leaves are really damaging.
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Feb 20, 2012 1:28 PM CST
Yes, the coffee grounds are very good for the soil, it adds acid. But not enough caffeine to kill a slug. If you brew highly concentrated coffee and spray it on the plants it will only kill the babies and it takes 48 hours. Sad


http://www.paghat.com/coffeeslugs.html
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Feb 21, 2012 2:33 AM CST
Just wondering what you guys do in the Spring to prevent them for becoming a problem?
They start out so beautiful and with each passing wk they seem to get bitten.
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Feb 21, 2012 8:41 AM CST
The thing that works best for me is something called Deadline,slug & snail bait. In the evening just one drop every foot all around the flower beds and where ever you see slime trails. (don't get it on your stones or concrete because it will stain them) Next morning they are all dead. Thumbs up I do it about once a month to stay on top of things. Green Grin!
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
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ssgardener
Feb 21, 2012 9:30 AM CST
I bought Sluggo, because I heard it was safe and natural. I've tried coffee grounds and egg shells, but they didn't seem to deter the slugs much. I've heard about the beer bait, but I couldn't bare the thought of a tuna can full of half-dead slugs. Yuck! Thumbs down

It was already pretty late in the season when I tried Sluggo, so I don't know how much of it was just the natural winter die off. I will be trying it again this spring. The slugs seemed to LOVE the brunnera and hucherella even more than the hostas, and I found slimy trails pretty much everywhere.
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Feb 21, 2012 11:04 AM CST
Some people have problems with the squirrels eating the sluggo, they love it. Green Grin! If your hostas have thick leaves they won't bother them, they are considered slug resistant but stuff with thin leaves like the brunnera and hucherella they will eat them for dinner. Whistling


http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?p=99930
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
Image
ssgardener
Feb 21, 2012 6:51 PM CST
Ugh, Susan, that's terrible news! Crying

The slugs are in prime squirrel territory. I was wondering what happened to all the bait. I bet those darn squirrels ate them all!

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