Gardening is a good solution to have fresh vegetables on hand. However, one can soon become disillusioned when slugs come to spoil the harvest of your healthy products. The gardener is naturally led to take measures, which sometimes outweigh by far the importance of the damages caused. In the following paragraphs, we will discover how to fight off slugs.

Slugs are among the most harmful predators found in vegetable gardens and can pose serious problems. First, their repugnant appearance is repulsive to some people and the traces left by these creatures are perceived as an additional inconvenience by others. Their saliva trails for example, but also the damages caused on leaves and stems, are all very unpleasant. The logical reflex when confronted to such situations is to find an effective solution to resolve these problems.

Radical methods for eliminating slugs

For the bitter gardener who is sick and tired of slugs, the use of chemicals is the solution. The operation is simple and the results are dazzling, in addition to which slugs are quickly eradicated. Just go to a specialized store, buy the poison, spread it around the flowerbeds and then sweep up the corpses. The products are commonly used, they are are available for over-the-counter purchase and they guarantee effective results. Nonetheless, the chemical solutions inevitably lead to environmental problems. The gardener’s immediate environment is also affected. Indeed, pets and farmyard poultry are also vulnerable to poisoning by direct or indirect ingestion (by eating the corpses of poisoned slugs). This hazard is also a threat to birds and other small useful animals that roam around the garden without causing any harm. From all this, it appears that chemical methods are not the most recommended form of treatment even if they are radical. Despite the fact that they are a nuisance for the vegetable garden, slugs are part of the ecosystem in which they have their place, much like other animals regardless of whether they are harmful or not. It would be a bit tricky to completely eradicate them as this could generate a serious ecological imbalance that would cause the environment’s current state to become even more critical.

Biological methods

The most appropriate solution to respond to biological attacks consists of using organic counter-measures. In any case, this method is more efficient than others and it then becomes necessary to find predators to eliminate these parasites. Thus, one solution is to send chicken and ducks to graze in the garden. They will take great care in flushing out slugs to feed on them. Using bait to attract birds to the garden for a limited time is another good solution because they do the same work as chickens. Another technique that may prove to be efficient: spreading nematodes, which are parasitic worms easily found in the trade, across the slugs’ paths. Fulfilling their role as parasites, these predatory nematodes are especially harmful to slugs that slowly waste away to complete starvation. The problem is resolved, but the impact of introducing a new invasive species to the vegetable garden can lead to other hardships later on.

Using available resources to resolve the slug problem

For all these biodiversity, ecosystem and environmental issues, it appears that the gardener still has a heavy ecological responsibility when he decides to go to war against slugs that devastate his garden. In order for all this does not to end up as a fight against nature, small tricks that have proven to be efficient for other gardeners may be tested. Knowing the slugs’ timetable is a major advantage during these predators’ peak periods of activity. That way, the gardener knows when the slugs come out and he can start collecting them to later throw them away or even kill them if they exacerbate his bitterness. They have a predilection for the undersides of stones, clods of earth or grass clumps, which makes their round-up relatively easy. They can also be trapped by using beer. Just assemble a container that you will push into the soil until it is at ground level and fill it with beer. Drawn to this beverage of which they are fond, they drink it and drown. A final method is to simply spread out ashes or sawdust because these materials dry out their route as much as their glands and they are repelled by these environments.

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Published in Products by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011