• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • paul wheaton
  • Devaka Cooray
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Miles Flansburg
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Anne Miller
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mark Tudor
  • Pearl Sutton

Use Toads for Slug Control?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 4
Location: Maine
books dog tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello-

It's been a rainy spring up here in Maine, and the slugs are out with a vengeance. My tulips are getting chomped, and I walked into the greenhouse today to see a bunch of my celery seedlings munched on! I'm 75% positive it's slugs... possibly it could be another pest I'm not aware of.

I'm setting out beer traps and have sprinkled coffee grounds around the tulips (I know this might be an old wive's tale, but thought I'd try anyway). My next thought was that I could build a little toad house in the greenhouse. I'm wondering if anyone has done this before, had success or no? The greenhouse can get rather warm, so I'm not sure if the toad would like it. But I do like the idea of a toad eating slugs instead of me just killing slugs (perhaps I'm too soft).

Anyhow, ideas appreciated! Thank you.
 
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
212
forest garden urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In my experience, toads want a consistently damp bit of protected earth where they can dig a burrow. Not muddy, pretty much the exact level of moisture when soil is most soft and friable. I've had several dig homes under the rocks bordering my garden beds over the years.

My dad used to have a relationship with a toad in our back yard. It would wait in the ivy until my dad came outside to water all the potted plants on the patio. While my dad went around with the house it would hop across the concrete patio to the small set of stairs and into the flower pot shaped like a giant frog, arriving just in time for my dad to water the plant and the toad together. They're great garden companions.
 
Z. Leigh
Posts: 4
Location: Maine
books dog tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's hilarious! And good to know. Wet, but not muddy. I think the green house might be too hot for it, so I'm thinking just outside the greenhouse door underneath a broken pot or something.
 
gardener
Posts: 5058
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
608
books chicken dog duck fish forest garden fungi homestead hugelkultur hunting pig
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Along with the toad, ground beetles, birds, glass lizards (slowworm in England) and even hedgehogs are natural predators of slugs then there is the Duck, king of slug eaters.

On Buzzard's Roost we have not seen any signs of slugs but we do have toads, ground beetles, lots of birds and glass lizards, maybe that is why we don't seen evidence of slugs.

We like to provide toad holes made of old clay pots with a stone weight (our leopard dog loves to hunt toads and lizards) on top, these are placed in spaces where they are hard to see, which seems to be what our toads like for living spaces.



 
Posts: 370
Location: Upstate SC
14
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There are several toads resident in my hoop house to control slugs since I don't allow my ducks access in the hoop house. It's a shade house during the summer, so it stays moist and cooler than outside.  I haven't make any houses for them since they will dig their burrows in the soil without any prompting from me.  The slug population dropped markedly after the toads were introduced.
 
And then we all jump out and yell "surprise! we got you this tiny ad!"
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
http://permaculture-design-course.com/
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!