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DIY Slug Killing Nematodes

 
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Location: Tahuya Washington
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I want to know if slug killing nemotodes are native in the soil (and slugs) in USA. I'm in PNW Washington, Olympic Peninsula. Do you know?

I found these videos claiming you can kill slugs with these specific nematodes, even grow your own nemotodes that kill slugs (well a bacteria in the nemotodes kills slugs), but they all seem to be in the UK or not USA:
  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7woWiTPIDof_FNwnjQYeQFUlk7eUJfBe   (my slug playlist, the DIY make your own slug-killing nemotodes instruction is the 1st video).

Do you know if these slug-killing nemotodes are also in USA native soil as well as UK?

I want to grow my own to control slugs/snails .  Seems like my only choice to try this slug-fighting method.  Why? Because, I can NOT find the product NemaSlug anywhere in USA!!! Not Amazon, ebay , even half dozen seed sellers do not have it.
It would be great to start with that product before assuming I have nemotode infested slugs in my soil to make my own as instructed in that first video, making a 5 day tea with 20-30 slugs in a bucket with a little water.
Strain and water soil around your plants.

How do you know you have these specific slug killing nemotodes?
An infected slug's saddle is swollen or bumpy. I read most of the comments on that first video and he (a man from UK) claims that in 20-30 slugs, you are sure to have an infected one. Then in 5 days they multiply to a greater concentration.
But do we have them in the USA soil too? I would think so. I have a team of people helping our gardens and one of them asked me. I would like to be sure before sending them out to hunt slugs and make this gross slug tea.
And it makes me wonder too, why can't I find the NemoSlug product in the USA? Just UK?

 
pollinator
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It would seem that there is more than 1 type of parasites of slugs, but the one found in NemaSlug is not native to USA and has only been found in California at a few sites. NemaSlug is banned in USA.

Parasites and parasitoids
Slugs are parasitised by several organisms, including acari[27][28] and a wide variety of nematodes.[29][30] The slug mite, Riccardoella limacum, is known to parasitise several dozen species of mollusks, including many slugs, such as Agriolimax agrestis, Arianta arbustrum, Arion ater, Arion hortensis, Limax maximus, Milax budapestensis, Milax gagates, and Milax sowerbyi.[27][28] R. limacum can often be seen swarming about their host's body, and live in its respiratory cavity.

Several species of nematodes are known to parasitise slugs. The nematode worms Agfa flexilis and Angiostoma limacis respectively live in the salivary glands and rectum of Limax maximus.[31] Species of widely known medical importance pertaining to the genus Angiostrongylus are also parasites of slugs. Both Angiostrongylus costaricensis and Angiostrongylus cantonensis, a meningitis-causing nematode, have larval stages that can only live in mollusks, including slugs, such as Limax maximus.[29]

Insects such as dipterans are known parasitoids of mollusks. To complete their development, many dipterans use slugs as hosts during their ontogeny. Some species of blow-flies (Calliphoridae) in the genus Melinda are known parasitoids of Arionidae, Limacidae and Philomycidae. Flies in the family Phoridae, specially those in the genus Megaselia, are parasitoids of Agriolimacidae, including many species of Deroceras.[32] House flies in the family Muscidae, mainly those in the genus Sarcophaga, are facultative parasitoids of Arionidae.[33]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slug#Parasites_and_parasitoids
 
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I did some searching on this (I also live in the PNW and I was curious) and I'm not sure if the correct nematodes are found in our soils. I did find this site that talked about it a bit:

https://pnwhandbooks.org/insect/ipm/slug

According to it Nemaslug or any other related live nematode products are not available for use in the United States. But apparently, phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita (the specific nematode in question) was recently found in Oregon and California. So maybe they're in our area? I will have to start watching the slugs on my land to see if any show signs of this parasitic nematode. Here is an image of what it looks like:



That image is taken from a wikipedia article talking about this specific nematode. You can read more about it here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phasmarhabditis_hermaphrodita

Beyond that specific nematode there are a lot of wildlife that will eat slugs. This site is from the UK but a lot of the wildlife listed on it are found in our area. It has some good suggestions for how to create habitat to help attract some of these predators. Something to consider since the nematodes may not be an option here in the PNW.

https://www.slughelp.com/promote-biodiversity-prevent-garden-pests-like-slugs/
 
Julie Wolf
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Very useful info Darren Williams and S. Bengi. I read (scanned) the wikis and PNW Handbook on Slugs. From the later:

Biological control
Many birds, such as starlings, blackbirds, and killdeer, feed on slugs throughout the fall and winter months. Some predatory ground beetles and rove beetles feed on slugs. Naturally occurring fungal and bacterial pathogens, parasitic nematodes, and marsh fly larvae are potential biological control agents of slugs but are not commercially available for use in the United States at this time.

Some nematodes are lethal to slugs and snails, and one species, Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, has been used successfully in Europe as a commercially available biological control agent (Nemaslug®). This nematode is associated symbiotically with a bacterium that uses an endotoxin that kills a wide range of pest slugs and snail. After the slug dies, the nematodes multiply over the decaying slug body and then migrate back into the soil to infect more slugs if conditions are favorable. Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita was recently found in Oregon and California, but Nemaslug® is not available in this country due to biosecurity reasons. Research focusing on discovering and testing pathogenic nematodes in the PNW will likely prove to be valuable for developing biological control agents for slugs and snails. "

The article was revised last a year ago May 2019. I wonder if progress has been made for us in the PNW now that our slug Nemotode in question had been found in Oregan and California. Oh I hope so.
I wonder if I should try anyway this slug soup/ compost-tea idea anyway. I hope we hear from Ferdy in WA on how his experiments started last Dec are going: His post is here: https://permies.com/forums/t/127682/soil/Slugs-compost-tea-bouquet-fertility
 
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According to slughelp in UK, Spanish slugs aren't bothered by nematodes because the slugs don't really burrow underground.
I have found the only way to begin to control them is by hand, by the bucketful almost nightly.
I put them in soapy water. They die in moments.
Suggest starting early in the season.
Nemaslug doesn't work on this species, because nematodes live in the soil.
 
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Dotty Bowen wrote:According to slughelp in UK, Spanish slugs aren't bothered by nematodes because the slugs don't really burrow underground.
I have found the only way to begin to control them is by hand, by the bucketful almost nightly.
I put them in soapy water. They die in moments.
Suggest starting early in the season.
Nemaslug doesn't work on this species, because nematodes live in the soil.



Unfortunately ground beetles won't eat them as they are to big, birds hate them as well and hedgehogs don't like the bitter taste. Which of course is why they are so invasive, nothing native eats them. Picking them is about the only option I have posted several pictures of half full buckets of slugs here before.
I second the thing of starting early, get the first ones and they can't breed.
 
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