Daylilies forum: What to do about slugs and snails?

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Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
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Lalambchop1
Sep 3, 2016 7:05 AM CST
I'm having slug and snail problems for the first time this year. They're on my hostas and daylilies. I have several large raised beds so buying the pre-made stuff you sprinkle around is too costly. Any suggestions?

I posted this in the question forum but thought y'all might have some suggestions.
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Sep 3, 2016 7:47 AM CST
I use a lot of mulch and compost so I provide an excellent hiding place for slugs and snails, but I have had pretty good luck using diluted ammonia with a pump sprayer. It does have to be repeated, but how often depends on the severity of the infestation and the weather. I usually gauge how often I spray by the number of slugs or snails I see, or by the damage to the plants I find. I don't think the ratio is really very specific, but I think some where around 10 to 15 parts water to one part ammonia, you might even dilute it more just trial and error mostly. I have sprayed it all over the plants and have seen no damage to them, I tell myself I am adding a little nitrogen to their diet as I kill the slugs and snails. I use the spray on the hostas and the daylilies.
Maybe start out with a very diluted mix, spray some on a visible slug or snail and see how it reacts. I like to spray the entire plant and the soil beneath it to try and kill the eggs also.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Sep 3, 2016 8:41 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 3, 2016 8:26 AM CST
There are also some suggestions in the AHS daylily dictionary entry for slugs and snails:

http://www.daylilies.org/ahs_dictionary/slugs_and_snails.htm...

Another thing is to avoid watering late in the day or evening because that prolongs the damp conditions that they (and fungal diseases) prefer. My grandfather in the UK used to use a tin can with beer and sink it into the ground so that the slugs that go after it fall in and can't get out. I've never tried it here - they don't have skunks in England Hilarious! There might have been some inebriated hedghogs though......
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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crawgarden
Sep 3, 2016 8:34 AM CST
Mom use to place 2 inverted pots, that would fit inside each other throughout the garden, the slugs would crawl up between the sides of the clay pot for the cool and shade. Than you pick up the pots and dispose of the slugs.
I have been lucky enough not to have to use it, not sure how effective, but my mom swore by it
[Last edited by crawgarden - Sep 3, 2016 8:38 AM (+)]
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South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Sep 3, 2016 9:22 AM CST
They do crave cool and shade... earlier this year I was having some patio plants chewed to nothing, until I found some snails hanging on the reverse (shaded) side of a stone tile, which I had leaning up against another pot.

I'm not sure how the slugs and snails would get up in between two inverted pots, though... the pots are presumably touching the ground all around, unless they were deliberately propped up on one side to allow access.
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Sep 3, 2016 9:36 AM CST
I envisioned one taller pot on the bottom and one shorter pot on the top, the top pot being larger in diameter than the bottom one. Thus creating a shade like effect with a gap in between the pots.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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crawgarden
Sep 3, 2016 10:25 AM CST
Seedfork said:I envisioned one taller pot on the bottom and one shorter pot on the top, the top pot being larger in diameter than the bottom one. Thus creating a shade like effect with a gap in between the pots.


Thats exactly it!

Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
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Deebie
Sep 3, 2016 10:44 AM CST
Leslie, I saw that the above mentioned AHS article mentioned that slugs don't like oak leaf mulch. I don't remember where I read it, but I think that it is said that pine straw mulch also repels them. I use pine needle mulch, and I've never had slug problems. Maybe it does work. It's worth a try, as pine straw is inexpensive or free, if you have a friend or neighbor with pine trees. Thumbs up
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
"As for me and my house, we will se
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Keeps Sheep Daylilies Irises Hostas Hybridizer
Cat Lover Hummingbirder Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Lalambchop1
Sep 3, 2016 11:02 AM CST
Thanks everyone. I feel much better about my infestation. I'll try different things and see what works. Group hug
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Sep 3, 2016 2:40 PM CST
If you don't want to give up your beer to slugs, I have used leftover coffee. Yeast, like cooking yeast added will really attract them, however, I have had them come to just the coffee. Apparently coffee is a neuro toxin for slugs, at least this is what I read and I found dead ones around the coffee.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Sep 3, 2016 4:00 PM CST
Ah, the shorter pot on top of the taller but narrower one. NOW I understand! Doh!

Interesting idea - I may have to give it a try! Thumbs up
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Sep 4, 2016 8:51 AM CST
Beer traps got four snails last night. Many more to get!
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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crawgarden
Sep 4, 2016 3:08 PM CST
A pic is worth a thousand words, use clay pots so that the distance between the small one leaves a small gap for the slugs to go between.

Thumb of 2016-09-04/crawgarden/f62756

Thumb of 2016-09-04/crawgarden/53c07b
Thumb of 2016-09-04/crawgarden/17c138



Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Sep 4, 2016 3:11 PM CST
Pictures are worth a thousand words, MJ! Now I get it for sure! Would it work on snails??
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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crawgarden
Sep 4, 2016 3:25 PM CST
Not sure, can't hurt to try!
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Sep 4, 2016 5:07 PM CST
Well, darn. I had it just backwards. I was expecting just the opposite of that! How to they get in? Don't get the point of the small pot inside the big one, totally threw me for a loop.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Sep 4, 2016 5:09 PM (+)]
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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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crawgarden
Sep 4, 2016 5:10 PM CST
They were just placed in the garden on the soil or mulch, they didn't seem to have any issues getting in, don't imagine it would take much of a space for them to crawl in. I was always amazed how Palmetto bugs were able to get into my house in Fl.
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
"As for me and my house, we will se
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Keeps Sheep Daylilies Irises Hostas Hybridizer
Cat Lover Hummingbirder Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Lalambchop1
Sep 4, 2016 6:51 PM CST
Ain't that the truth! They can get in anywhere.
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Sep 4, 2016 8:07 PM CST
My usual method of snail and slug control is a late afternoon watering, followed by a 10:30 pm search-and-destroy mission. Use a headlamp, rubber gloves, and a bucket. Slugs are pretty slippery, so a piercing instrument will be useful.

If you have earwigs disfiguring the segments of the flowers or destroying the pollen, take along a pair of hemostats for a quick grab-and-squeeze. This will really sharpen your skillz, because at the slightest disturbance, they'll run and drop to the ground for a quick escape.

For the less squeamish who wonder why gloves are necessary—I don't remember the source or the particulars—I read that terrestrial mollusks commonly carry a nasty parasite that can cause big problems for humans.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Sep 4, 2016 9:09 PM CST
I used to do the night time Snail Patrol back at our old house. Flashlight, disposable gloves, and a gallon sized Ziploc bag were my tools of choice. (Apart from being squeamish, I too had some concerns about parasites (and what does that say about the safety of our fresh lettuce and herbs and green onions? Confused ).) But that yard had some scattered light from the street lights, even without using a flashlight (though, of course, you still needed one). (Nowadays, if I were still doing Snail Patrol, I would use one of my hiking headlamps. I didn't have one back then/there.)

At the current house, it is too dark and creepy outside to do Snail Patrol, unless maybe right off of the patio. There are too many critters, no street lights (and not many yard lights) and I don't fancy a nocturnal encounter with the resident rats or raccoons. Not to mention that with the creek, it is definitely too mosquito-y, and I am more sensitive to their bites than most people.

* Rustle * * Creak * * Snap * * HMMMMMMMM *

I'm outta there and back inside!

(Fortunately, the bird population here has been somewhat helpful in keeping the snail numbers down, and maybe also the slugs. I keep coming across empty or broken snail shells, and I know they weren't from Warp or me. We do have crows and scrub jays resident in the neighborhood, so one has to wonder. However one year we had a bird that kept knocking the little irrigation valve covers off (because snails like to hide down there below ground by the valves), leaving smashed snail shells nearby, and otherwise scattering the mulch around. I finally managed to spot what it was and (with my Audubon handbook) solve that mystery - it was a California Thrasher. http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/california-thrasher )
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.

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