Lisa Safarik wrote:Thanks John, that's really helpful on the toads. It never occurred to me. I will try that out in the spring. Looking forward to seeing them snatch mosquitoes like popcorn too. In the meantime, I'm going to find myself a bunch of rotted logs. Have you ever heard of slugs making chickens sick? Last summer they got a lot of them, all the ones we picked, and I wondered if it was a bit much.
Biodiversity Gal wrote: pour into buried small cottage cheese containers, buried so the rim is just a bit above soil level, filling them half full.
Slugs are prey to not just frogs, hedgehogs and birds but microscopic bacteria and nematodes that live in soils. It’s these nematodes (microscopic eelworms) that gardeners have been buying as a form of biological control since the early Nineties. They really work on those slugs that you don’t tend to see, but which do a lot of damage to underground shoots and potatoes. In a garden, micro-predators live in symbiosis with their slug hosts and only significantly dent the population when slug numbers become disproportionately high.
The mail-order sachets of nematodes infected with deadly mollusc-killing bacteria temporarily raise the proportion of nematodes and brings down the slug population. I’ve been an advocate for years.
However, there is also an allotment-owner’s trick for making your own slug-killing nematode potion, using nothing more than a bucket, some weeds, tap water and the slugs from your own garden. If you are already used to killing slugs by drowning them in a bucket, you’ll find this method right up your street.