Slugs On Perennials - Knowledgebase Question

Southfield, MI
Question by DAG1619
January 17, 1998
What is best way to prevent or eradicate slugs on perennials? My garden was chewed up by slugs last summer, especially hostas, dahlias, and daisies.


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Answer from NGA
January 17, 1998

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There are lots of ways to foil slugs, and I suggest using a combination of tactics. 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. Many folks use beer traps, Burpee offers a "Slug Bar" for this very purpose. Simply fill with beer at night, the slugs crawl in...but they don't crawl out! You can obtain it by calling Burpee at 1-800-888-1447 or by visiting the website. I have heard that slugs are more attracted to non-alcoholic beer, but any beer should do. 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. One other bit of trivia for you, the variety of hosta 'Sum & Substance' is highly slug resistant if you ever want to give it a shot!

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