Slugs have always been the gardener’s most hated pest. The 27000 teeth that a slug possesses, make quick work of almost any vegetation in your garden, and the little critters leave a slimy trail as calling card, almost as if to mock. Yet slugs, not content with ravishing your lettuce bed, will often find their way into your home, searching for food as ever, and defiling your rugs and carpets with their sticky trails. Active mostly at night, a slug’s trail to greet you in the morning is never a welcome sight, especially if in your home. Many find the shell-less mollusk quite repulsive and to get rid of slugs in your home is a priority. However, there is some comfort. You can get rid of slugs using home remedies which are natural, effective and safe. What’s more, there are home remedies for slugs for your home as well as remedies to get rid of slugs from your garden. Check them out.
Slugs are the same everywhere, inside or out in your garden. While some remedies suit both, some remedies are home specific slug drivers.
1) Trace And Seal
Unless you know where from these critters enter your house, it will not be possible to completely get rid of them. Follow the slimy trails they leave behind and identify their entry points. Seal all gaps with appropriate sealants. Smaller gaps can be sealed with silicone sealant and for larger gaps you can use expanding foams. Copper tapes also work for preventing slugs from creeping in.
If you have made up your mind to kill slugs, salt is the effective way if not the best way. Salt’s property to absorb water aids in dehydrating the slugs by drawing the water in them thereby killing them . Throw salt on the critters and they will die quickly. However, it can be extremely agonizing for slugs. You can also spread some salt in the entry points to prevent slugs getting inside.
3) Beer Trap
This is one interest slug shares with you. Yes, slugs love beer and are drawn towards it and they love stale beer more . Fill 2/3rds of a cup with beer and place it where you normally find slugs at night. When slugs climb into the cup they not only get drunk but also get drowned. Empty the cup and follow the procedure till you find none of these critters at home.
4) Lure And Discard
This is an appealing solution to those who are not up to killing slugs. Set up your bait such as pet food or cabbage leaves. Check at night to find a good number of slugs on the planks eating the food. Gather them and discard them far away from your house as well as others’.
How to get rid of slugs in your garden
Everyone who knows how many times a slug reproduces would want to get the critters out immediately on spotting them. Slugs can damage your garden to such an extent that you will, at least temporarily, give up ‘non-violence’ and look for ways to get rid of them even if it means that you will have to kill them. Here are some effective ways to check them on their tracks.
5) Set Traps
Set up a trap with beer or cabbage leaves or honey yeast mixture. Slugs love them and will crawl in to eat them. Just make sure your trap, meaning plastic cup is deep enough to make it difficult for the slugs to climb out.
You can also use orange peels to lure slugs. Put these peels in your garden. Dispose of these peels if you find slugs in them. Replace with fresh orange peels.
Grapefruit halves make great traps. Place the half grapefruit on the ground making some space for slugs to crawl in. You will find slugs in your grapefruit in the morning. Dispose of the grapefruit with the slugs and make fresh traps.
This sure is not an easy way to go about chucking critters out but it is definitely very productive. If you have a good number of slugs damaging your garden it is essential that you resort to more than one means to deal with them. With hand-picking, the job is done to perfection. And doing it day and night produces quicker results. If you are working on it at night, set out with a flashlight and a bucket with salt water. Pick up the slugs and throw them into the salt water. Dispose of them once the task is accomplished.
However, don’t really hand-pick. Wear your gloves or use any device that may help with your ‘hand-picking’.
There seems no remedy exists without garlic. From health conditions to repelling roaches and slugs, garlic has an important role to play. Garlic is highly effective in preventing slugs . It is a green technique and hence your plants and pets are safe. To make a garlic spray, put crushed garlic in a bowl. Add boiled water to it and keep it covered overnight. Filter and pour the garlic water in a spray and apply directly on the plants. You can make your garlic spray highly concentrated or weak based on the presence of slugs.
Spraying vinegar kills slugs. Salt water can also be sprayed but repeated use of salt may be harmful to your plants and hence use salt minimally.
Ammonia is a great slug killer. Mix ammonia and water in the ratio of 1:5 and pour it in a sprayer. Spray the solution in your garden to have more than one benefit. Ammonia kills slugs while at the same time is beneficial to your plants.
10) Set Scratchy Surfaces
Slugs avoid scratchy surfaces. Place crushed egg shells around your plants that need protection. This will keep slugs away while not killing them. You can also use diatomaceous earth, which is safe for plants and pets. Being sharp diatomaceous earth prevents slugs from getting near your plants but it is not very effective if it is wet.
11) Go For Companion Planting
The gardener in you will love the opportunity of growing more plants, particularly if they repel slugs. Here is a list of plants that you can grow to check slugs :
Mint repels slugs but they grow at an amazing speed that you will have a tough job controlling it. You may, however, grow mint in pots or chop mint leaves and place them around the plants targeted by slugs.
12) Divert And Prevent
Growing plants that slugs love is also an effective way of preventing slugs from attacking other plants. By planting red clover, marigold and lettuce you lure the slugs away from other precious plants .
13) Welcome Predators
Encourage natural predators to make your garden their home to get rid of slugs. Ducks, chickens, ground beetles, slow worms and toads are some of the predators that eat slugs . By allowing them to make your garden their habitat you will soon find slugs disappearing.
14) Use Coffee Grounds As Barrier
Coffee grounds repel slugs. It is believed that caffeine kills smaller slugs and repels the bigger ones . Sprinkle coffee grounds on the soil. You can also create a barrier with coffee grounds to safeguard plants that are specific targets for slugs.
11) Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly is highly effective for preventing slugs from climbing on your plant pots. Smear petroleum jelly around your plant pot bases as well as the top so that slugs will be checked on tracks.
12) Save Your Fallen Hair
Yes, hair makes a great barrier to prevent critters from getting near your plants. Your pet’s fur will also serve the purpose but human hair works best. Throw the hair around plants that are targeted. Slugs will get tangled in the hair.
Slugs avoid crawling on sawdust as they become dehydrated . Wood ash can be mixed with sawdust to border the plants. Sawdust from natural wood that is untreated should only be used.
Tips To Prevent Slugs
Here are some tips to check slug population.
1) Watering At The Right Time
If you have been watering your plants in the evening, it is high time you changed your schedule. Watering your garden in the evening creates the perfect atmosphere for slugs to thrive as your garden will be damp. To control slugs your watering schedule should be shifted to the morning hours so that the soil gets dry towards evening.
2) Uncover Hiding Spots
Since slugs love cool and dark places and hide there, you can begin with getting rid of slugs’ hiding spots. Remove compost from the garden as slugs love it. Cut off leaves that touch the ground or are very close to it.
3) Morning And Evening Walks aka Hunting Times
Visit your garden in the morning and evening so that you can assess slug levels. This is also the time you can ‘hand-pick’ slugs thereby greatly reducing their numbers.