Stop slugs from ruining your garden with these natural strategies
Tuesday, July 03, 2018 by Zoey Sky
Despite their unassuming appearance, slugs can wreak so much damage in your garden. They will eat all kinds of plants, from annual flowers to different vegetables.
Slugs will chew on any part of a plant, but they tend to leave their telltale bite-marks on plant leaves. The holes in the leaves will then leave the plants weak, and they will eventually get destroyed.
Slugs tend to be active in both spring and fall. These pests thrive in cool and damp conditions. Slugs will also decimate plants overnight. This is one reason why they’re hard to get rid of. Since slugs are nocturnal, your garden usually gets damaged while you’re sleeping soundly at night.
6 natural ways to get rid of slugs
Use these methods to get rid of slugs in your garden: (h/t to OldWorldGardenFarms.com.)
- Beer traps — Beer traps are a tried-and-tested way of eliminating slugs in your garden since slugs are very fond of beer. Get smaller flat containers filled to the halfway point with beer, like small plastic food containers or tuna cans. As the slugs attempt to reach the beer, they will crawl into the bowl and drown. Hide the beer traps near the edge of your garden so the slugs will be drawn outward. Add more beer to the traps every night. (Related: A simple 5-step guide to starting your own vegetable garden.)
- Coffee grounds — Coffee grounds have rough edges that will act as razor wire if slugs attempt to climb over them. Aside from keeping slugs off of your garden, coffee grounds are good for your plants because they are a natural fertilizer. Coffee grounds release small amounts of nitrogen that are good for plants.
- Copper — Copper foil conductive tape strips and copper mesh wire will help protect your plants from slugs. It’s not clear why, but copper works well against these nasty garden pests. Some say that the wet and slimy outer skin of slugs reacts negatively to copper. Use small copper strips to form a “fence” around the base of plants. You can also use copper mesh wire instead of copper strips.
- Diatomaceous earth — Diatomaceous earth is a fine and chalky natural substance. It comes from the fossilized remains of microscopic creatures. Diatomaceous earth has microscopic razor-like edges that will also cut slugs. The substance gets into their skin, drying it out. You can sprinkle diatomaceous earth on and around plants, or you can dust it onto foliage to deter slugs. The substance is perfect for dry conditions, so use it only when there is little to no rain in your area.
- Eggshells — Like coffee grounds, crushed eggshells have sharp edges that will stop slugs from entering your garden. Just crush some eggshells in your hand and sprinkle them around the base of plants. Eggshells also add nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
- Empty grapefruit halves — Don’t throw away those empty grapefruit halves. Place them near plants affected by slugs and leave them overnight. There should be a lot of slugs in the grapefruit halves the next day.
- Hiding place trap — Slugs prefer dark and damp spaces. Take advantage of this and place a wet piece of wood or wooden plank near an area in your garden that slugs frequent. The next morning, the wooden plank should have several slugs that you can dispose of.
- Melon rind traps — Slugs also love melon rinds, and these traps work like the beer traps. If you have leftover melon rinds, put them along the edges of your garden in the evening. Leave them upside down. When you check the melon rind traps in the morning, they should be full of slugs. While this method doesn’t kill the slugs, it makes it easier to get rid of a lot of them.
Instead of pesticides that can harm your plants, use these natural strategies to keep pesky slugs out of your gardens.
Read more articles with tips on how to get rid of garden slugs at HomeGardeningNews.com.
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