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Compiled list of slug control methods.

 
dan long
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Sprinkle one or more of the following materials on garden beds or around vulnerable plants. Repeat after rain:
sawdust
flour
coarse sand
DE

Some say that egg shells and coffee grounds are ineffective.

Su Ba wrote:But I can tell you that crushed egg shells and coffee grinds don't work. I have watched dozens of snails slide right over solid piles of each. I even posted photos on my blog of a slugs crossing these "barriers" without hesitation.



Use one or more of the following to attract slugs. Collect slugs at night or early morning then dispose of. Enhance the effectiveness of traps with: beer, yeast, hooch, or other dead slugs
boards
yeast traps
beer traps
inverted pottery
inverted citrus peel

Encourage natural predators:
snakes
frogs
birds
predatory slugs
John Elliott wrote:Adding to the list of predators: Toads

It's getting so I have to really watch my step in the garden, I have toads everywhere. Not so much on a sunny day, but when it clouds up and looks like rain, they are hopping around all over the place.


Utilize farm animals to decrease the population:
Allow poultry access to garden during off season
Poultry "moat" around garden to prevent slugs migrating into the garden (many will overwinter outside of the garden)
Duck on a leash

Ducks are more effective than chickens. Chickens must be trained to eat slugs. Some slugs are more attractive than others.

Su Ba wrote:My chickens don't like live slugs, though they will eat them cooked. My Muscovy ducks will eat the flat Cuban slugs with gusto but won't touch the others.


Contrary to some advice, slugs may still cross over wide, open spaces.
Su Ba wrote:I suspect that mowing a 6' strip around the garden wouldn't stop slugs since I routinely see slug slime trails across wide concrete, paved driveways, and the street here.


slugs will not cross over copper.

seed heavily and expect slugs to "thin" seedlings.

allow poultry access to the garden during the off season.

Chicken or duck "moat" around the garden to keep slugs from migrating in.




 
dan long
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There is a lot of advice on Permies and other websites but they are mostly repeating the same advice. If your slug pressure is really heavy, it is probably best to employ as many of these strategies as practical to keep slugs to manageable levels. It has been suggested that after the first 2 years or so, the ecology should have balanced itself out and any further effort to control slug population will negatively affect predator population and serve only to increase slug pressure the next year.

I forgot to mention that slugs like mulch. Some people choose not to mulch for this reason. It's up to you to decide whether or not the benefits of mulch outweigh the potential increase in slug pressure. If your location hosts predators that also hide in this mulch then the slug population may increase initially, leveling out in two years as the ecology balances itself out.

I didn't include the dozens of slug killing spray recipes since I couldn't find a single person reporting that it worked for them. That being said, i'm sure hot peppers or salt water would work.

I read somewhere else that ammonia kills slugs. It is well known that saltwater can kill slugs too. I can't find ANYBODY recommending using urine, which has both salt and ammonia, and there are no slugs or snails in Taiwan right now so i cant test it for myself either.
 
John Elliott
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Adding to the list of predators: Toads

It's getting so I have to really watch my step in the garden, I have toads everywhere. Not so much on a sunny day, but when it clouds up and looks like rain, they are hopping around all over the place.
 
Su Ba
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My farm hosts slugs and snails galore. The compost and mulch I use encourages them, and since I'm not about to eliminate compost and mulch, I just have to deal with the slugs.

I often get a bit of daily rain each evening. Thus I've never tested the effectiveness of DE, sawdust, flour, nor anything other deterrent that needs to be kept dry. But I can tell you that crushed egg shells and coffee grinds don't work. I have watched dozens of snails slide right over solid piles of each. I even posted photos on my blog of a slugs crossing these "barriers" without hesitation.

My chickens don't like live slugs, though they will eat them cooked. My Muscovy ducks will eat the flat Cuban slugs with gusto but won't touch the others. I don't have garter snakes here but when I was in NJ I saw the snakes eating slugs. But you'd have to have a ton of snakes to really control slugs on my place.

I suspect that mowing a 6' strip around the garden wouldn't stop slugs since I routinely see slug slime trails across wide concrete, paved driveways, and the street here.

My own slug control efforts include:
...hand picking in the early evening
...inverted emptied out citrus halves to catch them
...iron phosphate to kill them

Yeasty beer traps work but my dog drinks the beer!
 
dan long
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Su Ba wrote:My farm hosts slugs and snails galore. The compost and mulch I use encourages them, and since I'm not about to eliminate compost and mulch, I just have to deal with the slugs.

I often get a bit of daily rain each evening. Thus I've never tested the effectiveness of DE, sawdust, flour, nor anything other deterrent that needs to be kept dry. But I can tell you that crushed egg shells and coffee grinds don't work. I have watched dozens of snails slide right over solid piles of each. I even posted photos on my blog of a slugs crossing these "barriers" without hesitation.

My chickens don't like live slugs, though they will eat them cooked. My Muscovy ducks will eat the flat Cuban slugs with gusto but won't touch the others. I don't have garter snakes here but when I was in NJ I saw the snakes eating slugs. But you'd have to have a ton of snakes to really control slugs on my place.

I suspect that mowing a 6' strip around the garden wouldn't stop slugs since I routinely see slug slime trails across wide concrete, paved driveways, and the street here.

My own slug control efforts include:
...hand picking in the early evening
...inverted emptied out citrus halves to catch them
...iron phosphate to kill them

Yeasty beer traps work but my dog drinks the beer!


This is exactly the kind of response i was hoping to attract: real, front line experience. I will edit my post right away!
 
Galadriel Freden
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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I wonder if certain kinds of slugs may be affected by different methods. For instance, I saw a youtube video of a guy sprinkling coffee grounds on a slug which immediately "ran away." I tried putting coffee grounds around some of my delicate plants, and the next morning there were slime trails all over the coffee, and fresh new holes in the plants. I even sprinkled some on a couple of slugs like the guy did, and they didn't seem to notice.

I caught lots of slugs in beer traps, but they were not effective at all for preventing damage to my plants. I think the slugs were filling up on my vegetables, then going for an after dinner drink :)

I tried bran, laid in a thick barrier around vegetable beds. I noticed the slugs really liked to eat the bran. They loved it. I could go out with a light and a pair of scissors at night and get dozens. However, doing this every night was a lot of bother, and frankly it still didn't stop them from eating my plants!

Eggshells are my most effective method, but even they are not a preventative. Some slugs still cross them. Plus eggshells need to be replaced often, especially after a rain.
 
dan long
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Galadriel Freden wrote:I wonder if certain kinds of slugs may be affected by different methods.


I feel the a holistic approach to slug control may actually include discriminating between which ones get sniped in half and which ones get to carry on. You may have noticed the part under "predators" about predatorial slugs. Not only do predatorial slugs eat other slugs (as opposed to eating your seedlings) but they are also preyed upon by other slug predators (snakes, frogs and toads come to mind). If the total slug population decreases, so does the predator population and consequently, the biological slug control. I feel that decreasing the population of slugs while encouraging the population of predators is a self-defeating endeavor unless you encourage OTHER kinds of prey as well. Letting the predatorial slugs stay is one part of that.
 
leila hamaya
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i have found some limited success using boards, laying them all around the garden and flipping them over every few days, theres bound to be at least a few hanging out under there. not totally effective, but at least simple enough.
so is going out right at dusk or just after, thats when you can catch them out and about.

something else that was not mentioned in your OP - seaweed. i have heard of people doing this to good effect, the salt on the seaweed can make a barrier. the only thing is the salt in the seaweed is not that great for your garden. but once its been heavily washed multiple times it would later be a good garden additive. i have not tried this personally, but i always intended too...someday...just added for completeness of info....
 
dan long
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leila hamaya wrote:i have found some limited success using boards, laying them all around the garden and flipping them over every few days, theres bound to be at least a few hanging out under there. not totally effective, but at least simple enough.
so is going out right at dusk or just after, thats when you can catch them out and about.

something else that was not mentioned in your OP - seaweed. i have heard of people doing this to good effect, the salt on the seaweed can make a barrier. the only thing is the salt in the seaweed is not that great for your garden. but once its been heavily washed multiple times it would later be a good garden additive. i have not tried this personally, but i always intended too...someday...just added for completeness of info....


I would add your advice but it seems that I'm blocked from editing the post anymore. Perhaps the administration felt I was overloading the server.
 
Leila Rich
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I've been looking into slug species (as you do),
and it appears that the vast majority are either compost munchers, or carnivores.
Apparently the seething hordes of skinny dark-and-light-grey numbers are the only ones into live plants.
The big fat carnivores appear to be totally disinterested in my slug pubs-
I've only caught vegetarians so far
 
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