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Are slugs OK?

 
Andy White
Posts: 9
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Hi All,

When it started it was meant to be a compost bin, but it's turned into a worm bin all by itself. There's loads of fat juicy worms that seem to eat practically anything that I throw at them, and loads of creepy crawlies of all sorts and... slugs.

Not being a slug lover I used to just spear them with my fork, but I'm starting to think that maybe they have a job to do in that amazing decay factory that turns food into soil. My partner says that they'll lay loads of eggs and that basically when the compost is used it'll be like inoculating the garden with slugs. I think that the large population of centipedes are likely to eat most of the eggs, but I don't know for sure.

Anyone got any thoughts on slugs in compost?

HH.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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My thoughts on slugs and snails are simple: "KILL, KILL, KILL!'
I haven't a clue what their role in the decomp cycle is, but I know I'm not going to encourage them to breed up and eat all my seedlings!
 
Seren Manda
Posts: 62
Location: Northern Cali, USA -zone 9-
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sounds like a buffet for chickens.
 
Ivan Weiss
Posts: 172
Location: Vashon WA, near Seattle and Tacoma
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Seren has the answer. It's free protein on the "hoof" for chickens or ducks.
 
Saybian Morgan
gardener
Posts: 582
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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I once did that with 8 yards of manure, fraken inoculated a quarter acre with slugs 3 months after the ducks cleared the situation. I ended up cutting 750 slugs in half by count at least 700 where babies the carpel tunel was crazy with such tiny scissors. I once comed the acreage where the ducks cant go collecting the last slugs before the hot summer, I froze them in blocks then broke it up into the duck food over the summer when protein can be hard to find if there locked out of the garden.
It was an icky masacre, I do know slugs make dog poo disapear, I wish i could just concentrate them and a trillion pill bugs in once spot the ducks could savage.
Your compost bin sounds choice, but I doubt it would have enough slugs to last a week. Some of my ducks can knock off 10 finger-length slugs before falling asleep for the day.
They just do to much damage to live vegetation before there beneficial decay eating phase during the winter kicks in, it's why I can tolerate the pill bugs, they weed out weak plants for sure but generally stay in there lane. I've been making deals with leopard slugs "who eat slugs" I've let ever one of them live and will even move them around to other slugs but if I ever catch even one on a green leaf that isn't eating a slug there getting the snips. Blessed be the slug eating slug they havn't betrayed the pack and there getting to be 8 inches long.

Slugs are great when they continuously march in a general direction from a source the poultry can't get to. But I've found too quickly the ducks will annihilate there greatest protein source if there origin point isn't protected.

If you don't have poultry or blue tongue lizards, I don't know what you can use them for except a stinky slimy lubricant of sorts, there just too quick to eat your good vegetation down before getting back to a sensible decay diet.
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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Slugs help to decompose dead things. They're helping. Don't worry. Be happy.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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