June 16, 2011

Natural Slug Control

Slugs are a terrible garden pest.  They leave holes in your plants, slimy trails in your garden, and if you have ever harvested lettuce and found a slug in your salad, you know what I'm talking about. 
Here are some natural solutions for slug control. 

The ole' beer trick:
(Only the best for my slugs....Coors Light)

Why it works: Slugs are attracted to fermented yeast and will crawl into your beer container and well....drown. At least they are having a party on their way out.

Why it doesn't: You'll need to change the beer every few days. You will also want to clean out the traps every day as the dead slugs will start to smell.

What to do: Fill a container with beer and bury it in your garden so the top is lined up with the soil line.

Grandma's tip: For a cheaper option, she likes to use Jerry Baker's recipe (you should go to his website and see what he says on the front page, it's quite ironic). Recipe: in a gallon jug mix 1 lb brown sugar, 1.5 tsp dry yeast, fill the rest of the way with warm water and let it sit for two days.


Why it works: Slugs are attracted to citrus and so they will congregate to the citrus and not your plant. 

Why it doesn't: You need to get out to your garden early in the morning to pick away all the slugs before they slither away!

What to do: Cut oranges in half (hollow them out so they don't rot as fast) and place them throughout your garden. See the picture above for how to place the oranges. I'm sure any citrus fruit will work.  

Nut shells/eggshells

Why it works: Slugs don't like to cross difficult surfaces. This is a great option as you can just leave the shells where they are (they won't go bad, like the above options).

Why it doesn't: It's expensive. Also, there is a good chance the shells will move and once there is a clear pathway, the slugs will take it!

What to do: You can use any hard shell and sprinkle around the plant. Or, you can save your eggshells, crush them up, and sprinkle around your garden. 


Why it works: The copper gives off an electric charge when the slug comes in contact with it, so they will avoid crossing it into your garden. 

Why it doesn't:  If dirt gets on your copper or the copper wears off, the slugs can make it through to the plant. 

What to do: Take duct tape and tape pennies to the sticky side and place around your plants. Or you can buy the copper tape at the store for a few bucks, and place around the edge or your garden box.

**Sand/Wood Ashes

Why it works: Slugs will not cross sand or ashes.

Why it doesn't: These can be expensive or hard to find. 

What to do: Sprinkle the sand or ash as a barrier around your plant.

**Grandma's pick for slug control!

Mason has a funny habit of carrying things around in his mouth, and look what I found him doing after I was done "feeding" the slugs.
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