How to deal with slugs in the garden
Slugs are a problem in the garden, especially when it's rainy.
From hostas to roses, and from beans to tomatoes, the little slimy pests love to wreak havoc on your plants.
Here are some natural ways to deal with them:
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Everybody Gardens editor Doug Oster recommends using Sluggo to battle the garden pests.
The active ingredient is iron phosphate, which makes it safe for organic gardening. The mineral naturally occurs in soil and will become a part of the soil if it's not consumed.
The bait should be applied in the evening because slugs mostly feed at night or in the early morning.
Slug Magic by Bonide and Escar-Go! are similar products, depending on where you live.
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A trap using beer gets a lot of recommendations online. All you need is a cat food or tuna can (with a smooth edge) with beer in it. The can should be flush with the ground so dirt doesn't get in. If you catch a slug, dump it out and refill with beer (and make it a cheap one!)
As one of our readers notes: "It works like a charm. And they die a happy death!"
Another way to catch them is to turn a pot upside, with a stone under one side to prop it up. If you have slugs in your garden, they'll wind up there, especially if you attract them with something like citrus or melon rinds.
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Ducks apparently love to eat slugs, and this way there's some use for the slugs as chow. But as this article from TreeHugger mentions, ducks also like to eat some of the plants in your garden...
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Diatomaceous earth is a natural product consisting of the fossilized remains of tiny organisms known as diatoms. It's a powdery substance that almost looks like flour. The flaw with it is that it must be dry for it to work. So it will need to be reapplied if it gets wet.
When using diatomaceous earth, you need to have a mask on. It’s sharp on the microscopic level and can cause irritation.
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Sweetgum seed pods
If you have a sweetgum tree, you're all too familiar with the spiky brown balls in your lawn. Well, some good could come from them, as a barrier of sweetgum seed pods could deter slugs from your plants. The sharp, spiky ends of the seed pods have proven effective before, as evidenced here.
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Egg shells/coffee grounds
The theory behind crushed egg shells is that snails will avoid the sharp edges because of their soft undersides. But this method actually got debunked by All About Slugs here.
The texture of the coffee grounds has been listed as a deterrent to slugs, but that was disproved by Garden Myths here.
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