I got a great question from a reader:
"Slugs are becoming quite a problem in my vegetable garden. How can I get rid of these pests? Are there any predators that can help with my slug problem?"
Have you tried setting beer traps for the slugs? This simply involves putting a saucer of beer on the ground. The slugs are attracted to the odor of the beer, crawl in for a drink, and drown. You'll probably have to do this several times, but it does work...sometimes. Another idea for "trapping" the slugs is to set half of an orange or grapefruit rind, round side up, in your garden and leave it overnight. The slugs will gather under the rind, and you can simply pick the whole thing up to dispose of several slugs at once. This can be a hit-or-miss method, but it may be worth a try.
Another method that works well is to lay a board in the garden bed where slugs have been a problem. Check under it regularly to see if any of the slugs have taken shelter there, then just squish them.
You can also try crushing up some eggshells and sprinkling them around any plants they are eating. The sharp edges bother their slimy undersides, and they will avoid that area.
Slug predators include birds and toads. I haven't been lucky enough to have any toads in my garden yet, but American robins are wonderful for taking smallish slugs out of my garden. I have a male robin who never fails to show up when I'm digging or weeding in my garden. I toss slugs and grubs his way when I come across them, and he gobbles them right up. I think we make a pretty good team!
Do you have any tips for dealing with slugs in your garden? Please share them with us in the comments!
Photo by Colleen Vanderlinden