How to get rid of slugs in the garden – protection and prevention

how to get rid of slugs in the garden protection and prevention Blog

Very often, summer residents in their plots find incomprehensible silver stripes and minor damage to vegetable crops in the form of eaten leaves or holes on them. These are the consequences of being in the garden of slugs – small pests, from which, if you do not pay attention to them, bad consequences can occur.

Slugs are a species of invertebrates belonging to the genus of gastropods. There are quite a few varieties of these creatures. They differ in size, color, habitat. In vegetable gardens, representatives are most often found that have a greenish or grayish color, although sometimes brighter orange individuals can be found.

Slugs

In appearance, they resemble ordinary snails, devoid of shells. Their body is soft and elastic, covered with a layer of mucus, which is why they got their name. Mucus protects the body of these creatures from drying out in hot weather. By the way, they have a shell, but it is soft and in a rudimentary state.

The movement of the molluscs is carried out by contracting the muscles of the only leg, and this whole process is accompanied by the constant production of mucus, which, drying up, leaves silvery traces. During the day, slugs hide in shady places where the temperature is lower than in open spaces, and the humidity is high. Mature individuals reproduce by laying eggs. This happens in the second half of autumn and in the middle of spring.

Damage to garden crops

Slugs

Slugs are almost omnivores. They can feed on the leaves of plants and their young shoots, the fruits of fruit trees and berry crops. They do not disdain ornamental plants, such as tulips . The impact of slugs is reflected in a decrease in the size of the crop, its quality, appearance and keeping quality of the fruit. However, the greatest harm caused by slugs is not to adult plants, but to the first shoots. An inexperienced summer resident can wait a very long time for seedlings to sprout, blaming the seller for their poor quality, not even suspecting that they have already been eaten by slugs. The most vulnerable in this regard are the plantings of cabbage , lettuce , peas, turnips and cucumbers .

Another unpleasant consequence of slugs being in the garden is that they themselves can serve as a source of infectious diseases. All sorts of fungal spores, bacteria and parasitic helminths often accumulate in their mucus. Often, after “visiting” vegetable crops by slugs, the latter begin to get sick with powdery mildew. Mucus is poorly washed off the hands, and very often helminths from it move to people and pets.

Preventive measures against slugs

The fight against these creatures should begin in advance, and not after the first damage to the plants. Among the preventive measures is the obligatory loosening of the beds and getting rid of large clods of earth, under which slugs like to hide and lay eggs. Weeded weeds should be immediately removed from the site, and not stacked in heaps between rows. For slugs, such heaps are a godsend, because it is humid, cool and there is a lot of food.

If wild shrubs are located near the beds, they should be cut to the ground, because in their shade the slugs wait out the heat of the day. Compost heaps should also be kept away from garden beds. After all, they are almost the only place in the garden that is not mechanically processed during the season, so the slugs feel completely safe there. Experienced summer residents have noticed that mollusks appear much less frequently on clean, well-groomed beds, and it is much easier to identify them. Deep digging of the soil, carried out in late autumn, also helps to drastically reduce the number of these small pests. Already laid eggs of slugs are on the surface and die during the winter from frost.

Mint

Among other methods of plant protection, there is such. It has been noticed that slugs do not like the aroma of strongly smelling herbs, therefore, to scare away voracious pests, garlic, sage, and parsley can be planted along the perimeter of the beds. You can also use a simple layout of burdock leaves, tansy, mint or lemon balm, nettle, or mulching the perimeter of a bed of spruce needles. Each of these plants acts on slugs in different ways. Leaves of strongly smelling plants repel pests. Under the broad leaves of burdock, they hide after nightly adventures in the garden, and, lifting the leaf, they are simply collected and destroyed. Alternatively, you can use pieces of roofing material, plastic or thick cellophane. Nettle leaves sting slugs with their stinging cells, and pine needle mulch hurts and pricks their body. It is only important that the leaves, especially burdock and nettle,

Tinctures and powders in the fight against slugs

Among other folk remedies for the fight against slugs, various aqueous solutions and tinctures occupy a considerable place. After planting, the seedlings are periodically sprayed with an aqueous solution of ammonia or vinegar in a ratio of 1:6. Some summer residents use a mixture of mustard powder diluted in water (5-6 tablespoons per 10 liters of water). An even more exotic way is to spray the plants with strong instant coffee.

Due to the fact that slugs do not tolerate garlic, gardeners often use garlic tincture. To do this, 200 g of garlic cloves are grated and diluted in 60 liters of water. The garden is watered with this mixture. There is experience with the use of tincture of wormwood. The leaves of this plant are finely chopped and infused in water in the proportion of 1 cup per 1 liter of water. After daily infusion, the plants are treated with the resulting mixture. It should be noted that these manipulations are carried out in dry weather, and after the passage of rains they are carried out again.

A number of dry toppings are also used, with which beds are processed to combat slugs. These include: dry mustard powder, wood ash, slaked lime, finely crushed eggshells. Slaked lime and wood ash, in addition to the effect of repelling pests, have another useful quality: they deoxidize the soil. Crushed eggshells have sharp edges that hurt the outer integument of slugs, so they try to avoid such areas.

You can also use a tool such as diatomaceous earth. This is a sedimentary rock that has the ability to actively absorb moisture. Getting on a slug, diatomaceous earth quickly dries out its skin, which is why the mollusk quickly dies. Approximately the same thing happens if you use tobacco dust. This plant material is completely harmless to plants, but it poses a serious threat to slugs.

There are more radical methods of dealing with these pests. One of them is cornmeal. Absolutely harmless to humans, it turns out to be lethal to slugs that have tried it. The bait is laid out as follows: jars with flour poured into them in the evening are placed on the beds on their sides. At night, snails, slugs get into them and die there. In the morning, the dead mollusks are collected and disposed of.

It is noticed that these creatures are attracted by the smell of fermentation. This weakness is used to fight slugs. From the cut bottoms of plastic bottles, traps are made that are placed around the garden. They are filled with kvass or beer (preferably dark varieties), the smell of which attracts pests. Falling into a trap, they die in it. The summer resident can only regularly inspect and clean them from the slugs that have fallen into them.

There is a way to cover the beds with thick cellophane. Slugs that have been on the beds in the morning climb under it, as if under cover. However, during the day, under a transparent film, the air warms up to very significant values, which are fatal for slugs. The summer resident will only have to collect and dispose of the dead pests.

On intolerance to high temperatures, slugs built another way to fight – spraying with boiling water. Most garden plants tolerate high temperatures quite calmly, but for mollusks they are deadly. Therefore, in the evening, plants in the beds are treated with water heated to 60 ° C. The pests located there will get burned and die.

In nature, every living being has natural enemies. In slugs, these are birds, frogs, and hedgehogs. All of them use shellfish as food. To attract them to your garden, birdhouses can be hung on trees for birds, a shelter can be installed for hedgehogs, which will serve as a house and a place for them to winter. Frogs in the garden will be attracted by a small pond on its territory.

Methods of chemical exposure

There are a number of chemicals to control slugs. These include: Ferramol, Thunderstorm, Metal Hydride, Anti-slug. These are granular products that are scattered along the aisles. Their consumption is indicated on the packaging, usually amounting to about 15 grams. on an area of ​​5 sq. meters. Eating granules of chemicals, slugs get intestinal poisoning and die. True, in this case there are certain limitations. Special tools can be used at least 21 days before harvest. In addition, they can harm pets, so they must be handled with extreme care. Chemicals can accumulate in fruits, so after harvesting, they should be thoroughly washed in running water.

Preservation of cabbage plantings

Cabbage and lettuce are among the favorite treats of slugs. It is these plants that mollusks give preference to, therefore, these garden crops suffer the most from the invasion of pests. In order to save plants, you must:

  • Firstly, planting seedlings should be carried out strictly according to technology. Then young plants will have time to get stronger before the mass appearance of slugs, which will positively affect their resistance to pests.
  • Secondly, landing should be carried out at a distance of about 50 cm from each other. This avoids the appearance of dense, shaded or waterlogged areas in which the molluscs will feel favorably.
  • Thirdly, plants can be planted in rings or cups made from plastic bottles. The edges of the ring are unevenly cut with nail scissors to create sharp edges there. Sharp plastic, when trying to overcome it with a slug, will damage the skin covering of the mollusk, which will further lead to its illness and death.

Cabbage

The remaining protection methods do not differ from traditional ones, therefore they can be used in combination.

Of course, slugs and snails are malicious garden pests, but in nature they have their own important role. In ordinary life, these molluscs perform a special function: they process damaged or dead plant remains, which include leaves, overripe or spoiled fruits that have fallen to the ground. Their food can be lichens growing on trees, and all kinds of tinder fungi.

There is another useful way from slugs. They are often used as bait for poultry, and fishermen use them as bait while fishing. So you may not need to completely get rid of slugs in your area. It will be enough if their number drops to an acceptable level at which they cannot cause obvious damage to the crop in the garden.

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