General Discussion:

Slugs


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
barry27-Dec-04 07:22 AM EST 5a   
Marg28-Dec-04 06:45 AM EST 5b   
Shapiro28-Dec-04 07:08 PM EST 5   
barry29-Dec-04 05:34 AM EST   
Shapiro29-Dec-04 09:29 AM EST 5   
barry29-Dec-04 11:38 AM EST   
Duncan02-Jan-05 08:35 AM EST 4a   
Shapiro02-Jan-05 07:32 PM EST 5   
Duncan03-Jan-05 05:55 PM EST 4a   
Shapiro04-Jan-05 05:01 PM EST 5   
searose11-Jan-05 07:38 PM EST 5b   
Nancy12-Jan-05 01:45 PM EST 5   
Duncan12-Jan-05 05:00 PM EST
Dave16-Jan-05 12:38 PM EST 5a   
Nancy17-Jan-05 09:11 AM EST 5   
Duncan26-Jan-05 07:55 PM EST 4a   
David27-Jan-05 01:39 PM EST 5b   
Dan30-Jan-05 07:35 AM EST   
21-Feb-05 02:53 PM EST 8b   
Alison22-Feb-05 06:01 AM EST 5b   
Dee23-Feb-05 06:28 PM EST 3   
carolincalgary17-Mar-05 11:09 AM EST 3a   
carolincalgary17-Mar-05 11:18 AM EST 3a   
Nancy17-Mar-05 02:04 PM EST 5   


Subject: Slugs
From: barry
Zone: 5a
Date: 27-Dec-04 07:22 AM EST

Does anyone have an idea on how to eliminate slugs. I have tried everything to no avail. This includes slug traps with beer, slug bait, crushed shells, gravel and more. Someone suggested coffee grounds. Does anyone know about this or any other method to try in the spring.


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Marg
Zone: 5b
Date: 28-Dec-04 06:45 AM EST

Goo morning. I take the easy way out and go to the local nursery and buy Safer's Slug and Snail Bait. You just sprinkle it on the ground around your plant. I have also seen it at Home Depot. So far, I have found it to be effective. Marg


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Shapiro (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5
Date: 28-Dec-04 07:08 PM EST

Barry - If you have pets or perhaps other animals around that you don't want to harm, you might be wise to steer clear of slug bait. Have you tried diatomaceous earth? What is this, might you ask? Finely ground up shells of tiny prehistoric molluscs. No kidding! It is used in pool filters - so a pool supply shop might sell you some for a reasonable price. Some garden shops sell it too, but apparently for a lot more money.The effect is not unlike ground glass. If your slug problem is minor in amount, you might just walk around with a salt shaker! Yep, that works too, but you must score a direct hit. Good luck!


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: barry
Zone:
Date: 29-Dec-04 05:34 AM EST

thank you both for the help and suggestions. I have tried the Safers Slug Bait. I have that many slugs that they almost seem to enjoy it! I'm interested in the diatomaceous earth. Haven't heard of that one before. Do you put it in piles on the ground to attract them or should I circle the garden to keep them out. Does it hurt plants, flowers, birds or pets? We have circled the garden with crusher dust and tiny seashells. It didn't seem to have much of an effect really.


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Shapiro (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5
Date: 29-Dec-04 09:29 AM EST

Barry - you sprinkle it on the ground around the affected plants. Of course, this assumes that none of the plant's leaves touch the ground. For instance, if you have a hosta that seems to be a favorite of the slugs, then use it around this plant. Completely harmless to animals, fish, fowl or food. Just Google the words "diatomaceous earth" for tons of info.


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: barry
Zone:
Date: 29-Dec-04 11:38 AM EST

shapiro thanks for the help


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Duncan (fregrend@isys.ca)
Zone: 4a
Date: 02-Jan-05 08:35 AM EST

Good morning Barry: My garden here in Sudbury has been the site of numerous battles with the local "Uber-Slugs". In my pre-organic days I tried any chemical over 5 syllables. Since becomming an organic gardener, I have come to realize that it is an ongoing effort to maintain the balance. I use the "Beer Method" with lids from old spaghetti sauce jars as a trap(collected through the winter). When I start to see plant damage I bait the traps by pushing the lid into the soil so the rim is at ground level & then fill it with beer. I take a stroll in the early morning and empty the traps into soapy water. Over a period of about 2 weeks I find that I go from around 15-20 slugs per trap each night down to 2 or 3. I use about 10 traps and find better results near shady areas. I usually do a second round of baiting later in the summer. For my special favourite plants, I use the ring of diatomaceous earth. As Shapiro has pointed out, it is quite expensive (because it works). Another trick is to use some pieces of old boards for slug hotels: place them flat on the ground. After a fine night of dining, our friends like a cool dark place to sleep it off. Simply lift the boards up in the day and toss the offending parties into your jar of soapy water. Best of luck in your battle.


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Shapiro (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5
Date: 02-Jan-05 07:32 PM EST

Please, friends: call me Pat (short for Patricia). Shapiro is my family name. Good luck with the slugs. I once read in Organic Gardening that ducks love slugs. So if you were able to keep ducks.... you might be OK!


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Duncan (fregrend@isys.ca)
Zone: 4a
Date: 03-Jan-05 05:55 PM EST

"Hi Pat"...it is really nice to meet you. Feel free to stop by for a garden visit if you come to Sudbury. I never knew about the ducks...but I did try placing a toad in my garden:"Lulubelle" left me in the first week. Momma told me, "never trust a toad." Barry,I got to thinking about our respective gardening zones. As you are in zone 5a, when you say "slugs", are you talking about those things with the shell the size of a golf ball? (We do not get those up here.) If so, do you golf? If yes, may I suggest an excellent target on which to try out your pitching wedge? As an alternative, consider paying the kids in your neighborhood a penny or two for each slug collected. It teaches children the value of working, introduces them to the rewards of gardening and you get the joy of watching them head back to their parents in a sugar frenzy after they spend their earnings in the candy section at the local corner store. As a last-ditch effort...do you know how to make Escargot? (However, Duck L'Orange does have more appeal.) Cheers, Duncan


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Shapiro (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5
Date: 04-Jan-05 05:01 PM EST

AKA Patricia - I think a "slug" is the character inside, without its shell. When it has a shell, it's called a snail?


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: searose
Zone: 5b
Date: 11-Jan-05 07:38 PM EST

dear barry I heard on CBC radio's gardening show with Ed Lawrence that using a 1-40% water and ammonia solution around your plants in the early spring will really cut down on slugs as it kills the eggs that overwinter in the soil. I am going to try it myself this spring in my garden-mostly shade- so i usually have a bumper crop of slugs.


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 12-Jan-05 01:45 PM EST

Searose, I heard that too from Ken Beattie, bought the ammonia, but never gor around to trying it. I was assured that it didn't harm the earthworms and added a little boost of nitrogen to the soil.

Duncan, thanks for the chuckle. The mental image of flying snails, courtesy of a nine-iron, made me snicker. Then the escargot comment made me think of a picture I once saw of a BC bananna slug in a hot dog bun. Eeeuuukkkk. Glad we're not dealing with those!


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Duncan (fregrend@isys.ca)
Date: 12-Jan-05 05:00 PM EST

Whoa, is it cold out here today. When will spring come? I've heard great things about Canada Blooms, but never made it to see the show. There is an opportunity here for us to put together some of the lore on slug recipies. I will offer what I have heard, above what has been discussed in previous emails.

1.Stand a strip of copper on it's edge and surround the plant: when the slug makes contact with it's antennae it will turn away (and go directly to your unprotected plants). 2.Use the wood ash from your fire pit and place a ring around your plant. The slugs in Sudbury call this a "facial scrub".

3. Mix 1 part copper sulphate to 4 parts garden lime and dissolve in water. Water the garden edge at dusk. I got this one out of an old book by George Luxton (and Grandma). It made me a bit nervous as his next suggestion was a powder of DDT. I am going to guess that George is no longer with us and will not be trying this suggestion.

4. Good housekeeping: pick up all your dead leaves; don't mulch; don't use organic fertilizers. I can hear the organic folks saying "whaaat the...?" I'm just trying to collect the lore, please don't shoot the messenger.

5. Ammonia solution: Nancy or Searose, do you have a more exact recipe? Ammonia (sold as bleech) comes in anything from 1.25% to 3.00% solution. You can read the small print on the label to see. The other question I have is "would this harm beneficial insects?" Ammonia is a great sterilizer, but I am trying to maintain a natural balance in my garden.

I still stand by my beer garden method. One beer for the slugs, one for Dunc...

Take care, Duncan


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Dave
Zone: 5a
Date: 16-Jan-05 12:38 PM EST

Has anyone tried the ammonia solution with sucess. I am sure it will need multiple applications to be effective.The last time I used Slug Bait, I had a $200 Vet bill because my dog got into it.


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 17-Jan-05 09:11 AM EST

Duncan,

Ammonia and bleach are NOT the same thing at all. Don't mix them whatever you do. It's bleach that sterilizes, not ammonia. The advice I got from Ken was to mix 1 part household ammonia (am not sure the percentage of the concentrate) with 9 parts water. I too was leary about harm to beneficals, so haven't resorted to it yet. Have tried the copper strips relatively succesfully around some of the worst hit hostas, but it get expensive. At least you can use them over again.

Dave, the new ferrous phosphate slug bait put out by Safers is totally different and is non-toxic to pets and wildlife. Unlike the old metaldehyde baits which I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Duncan (fregrend@isys.ca)
Zone: 4a
Date: 26-Jan-05 07:55 PM EST

Hi Nancy Thanks for the correction on ammonia vs bleech. Now I know why the solution did not work. Given Dave's experince and others I have know, I am hesitant to try new methods. I think I'll stick to the beer-as-slug bait method. My worst-case scenario is to find "Sue", my neighbor's visiting dog, passed-out in my back yard. Thanks, Duncan


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: David (djsmorenburg@ucorganicproducts.com)
Zone: 5b
Date: 27-Jan-05 01:39 PM EST

In Great Briton, garlic is being registered as a molluscide. They seem to over produce mucus and dry up. Nasty but... Worst case if your dog gets into it is less fleas or internal parasites. Please do not waste beer on slugs!!

Also there is a predatory fly, Tetanocera spp. but this is for the European slug. Good luck


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Dan (dan.clost@sympatico.ca)
Zone:
Date: 30-Jan-05 07:35 AM EST

If you live near any body of fresh water you should be able to find the dreaded zebra mussel. We go to Lake Ontario, scoop up a small pailful of their shells and sprinkle that around the plants to be protected. It's free, it's a practical use for these critters and we don't have to wait for billions and billions of years for diatomecious (sp?) earth to form. Re slug bait- those with metaldehyde should be avoided. The Safer product is benign- unless you're a snail or slug. Re wasting beer on slugs. I couldn't agree more. However, there is a liquid abomination out there called near beer. Pick it up at a grocery store. The slugs seem to prefer that over the real beer. (I tried a taste test once where I invited the local slug population over for a sip. They definately preferred the yeastier concotion. They thought it was too die for.)Finally re mulch. There are probably few of us who don't mulch our hosta beds. Great for all the right reasons except for slugs. If you can, rake off the mulch in the spring as the soil warms up and before the new crowns get busy. Once you see weeds popping up, replace the mulch. This works very well for removing hatched eggs ( I don't know the technical term for a baby slug) from their food source. It is a bit of work but it is effective.


Subject: RE: Slugs
From:
Zone: 8b
Date: 21-Feb-05 02:53 PM EST

Very interesting subject ... slugs. As pets, they stick to you! May I add my bit? OK. The slug pellets don't work oin Oregon as the rain just dissolvs them. I use "Deadline", a thick liquid that seems to last awhile in the rain. Pets aren't attracted to it as it's just a wet spot on the ground. But snail and slugs come from 10 - 2- feet away as they are attracted buy a rather pleasant odor. I cought over 150 snails in a marigold bed 2' x 10' last summer, where bait had only attacted 5 or 6. As it is just a small spot here and there in a bed, earthworms are not harmed. Tried the beer. Well, almost! Seems like it was a hot day and ...well, you get the idea! Harv.


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Alison
Zone: 5b
Date: 22-Feb-05 06:01 AM EST

A 2% solution of coffee is toxic to the slimey little critters so spray them directly with diluted leftover coffee and sprinkle the grounds liberally around each plant. Tip: hit up your local independantly owned coffeeshop about saving their grounds for you so that you have enough to do the job. Supply a container for them too, to be nice. Nontoxic and budget friendly slug and snail solution. Also, grounds are good to combat carrot rust fly in the veggie patch.


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Dee
Zone: 3
Date: 23-Feb-05 06:28 PM EST

I'll give you my two cents worth. I have used Safer's Slug bait for a couple of years which some success. I think it maintains the status quo, but by no means depletes the population. I have gone slug hunting at night with my spray bottle. I used one part ammonia to 10 parts water and sprayed the slimy things when I scouted. I left them there until the next night as I heard they are cannibals. It worked. The following night I sprayed more. They seem to congregrate with those that died. This worked like a charm.....unfortunately I think they procreate like rabbits. I manged to put a slight dent into the population but certainly didn't get rid of them. What I plan on doing this year is trying the Safer's bait laid under wet newspaper. I've heard they like to gather there as it's nice and dark and damp. It's suggested to sprinkle the bait on the ground and then cover it with wet newspaper. In the late afternoon you check underneath and kill the slugs that have gathered. More are to follow. Let's hope. I'll let you know the results.


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: carolincalgary
Zone: 3a
Date: 17-Mar-05 11:09 AM EST

My mum used to put grapefruit halves upside down (after Dad finished them for his breakfast!) in the veggie garden - slugs would congregate overnite and she'd throw them out in the morning. She also used to put out planks and the same result - she would turn them over and pick them off in the morning and put in a pail of salt water! I used slug bait but I used to use old fence boards -which I used as walkways- on top of the bait or pieces of cedar shingle on top around things like hostas. Pets cant get at it - the slugs congregate underneath in the dark - and die!


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: carolincalgary
Zone: 3a
Date: 17-Mar-05 11:18 AM EST

Here's something I saved about the amonia method of slug control. I havent tried it. "The key is doing it before the slug eggs have hatched. Ken Beattie from the Get Growing TV program explained that the eggs are laid in the ground, usually along the edges of sidewalks, walls, etc. He also said the solution does not harm plants. I agree have found this to be true.

I use a mixture of 1 part ammonia to 10 parts water. I use a watering can with a small downward pointing spout and pour some along the edges of all sidewalks, retaining walls, the deck, anywhere the ground or lawn meets a hard surface. I do not drench the whole yard nor do I water entire flowerbeds, just the edges. Two watering cans of this mixture does my whole back yard. I especially concentrate on the shady areas of the yard where I used to see slugs or their trails, I do not bother with the sunny front yard as I have never seen evidence of slugs there.

No, I would not water directly on my hostas. nor do I water the soil around plants with this mixture. In fact the hostas aren't even up yet, when I do the first application, which I did 3 to 4 weeks ago. I did the 2nd application yesterday. That should be it for this season.

A good friend who has a major slug problem has found that the ammonia application reduces the slugs, but does not eliminate them entirely. Hopefully if she keeps it up for a few years, it will eliminate them.

I have also heard you can use this mixture in a spray bottle and spray directly on the slugs when you seem them. I have not tried this, because I never see them anymore. No more slug hunting, no more salt, no more beer in saucers. Last year, late in the season I saw one slug on my shady sidewalk. Just one, and no silvery trails or damage to my 16 hostas all season.

It is one of the best gardening tips I have ever tried and I have been using this method for the past 4 to 5 years, so I highly recommend it. I especially like that there are no metaldehyde-poisoned slugs left laying around for the birds to eat and die from. Good Luck!: This from a member of the Calgary Hort Society.


Subject: RE: Slugs
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 17-Mar-05 02:04 PM EST

Carolin,

Thanks for the details on how to use the ammonia. I'm going to give it a try this year, plus the board idea in the vegetable garden.

One question though........ your ground was THAWED when you first applied the ammonia!!???? We're still under a foot of snow there in Ontario ........with more coming down as I type!!! Please tell me I'm just suffering from Chinook envy. Spring seems sooooo far off still.


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