Organic Gardening Tips for Slugs

slug treatmentsBe on the lookout for slugs in your garden.

The rainy weather is sure to bring out these slimy critters. Slugs may look like harmless pinkish-blobs of goo, but they can cause a lot damage in the garden.

These disgusting pests usually appear in my garden after prolonged periods of rainy weather.

It can sometimes be difficult to find slugs because they do their damage overnight and hide out during the daylight hours. You can use a flashlight to go slug hunting at night or look for slugs along plant stems and under leaves in the early morning hours.

You can also search for their clusters of clear, round eggs by looking under rocks.

Slugs will feast on anything from vegetable and flower seedlings to ripe fruit. I’ve even found their telltale chewing damage on ornamental plants. Look for missing leaves or irregularly-shaped holes on the edges or in the middle of leaves.

Because slugs thrive in moist conditions, a good preventive method is to let the garden soil dry a bit between waterings. Slugs can hide under plant debris and organic mulch, so removing their cover is another way to control them.

Once slugs show their telltale signs, there are a number of methods for dispatching them. Here are some simple ways to take the “ugh” out of slugs:

I always prefer to use natural or organic repellents and barriers before resorting to pesticides. Diatomaceous earth, coffee grounds, dryer lint and other abrasive substances placed at the base of plants keep slugs away because they serve as an irritant. Refresh materials as needed.

Slugs are also attracted to sugar-water and yeast mixtures, as well as to beer. Place a dish filled with liquids and the slugs will come crawling and then drown in the brew. A single serving should last for several days.

If you have other ideas for getting rid of slugs, please share them here!


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