Slugs are natural hermaphrodites where each individual has both male and female reproductive systems. But they still need a partner to lay eggs. After cross-fertilization, each individual lays 20-30 eggs in moist soil. A single mating allows the slug to continue to lay eggs for a month or longer. This explains the incredible fertility of slugs because they can lay 400-500 eggs per season.
In 2-3 weeks after laying, small slugs first feed on soil organic residues and then eat plants. With the arrival of rains, the likelihood of their occurrence increases significantly. In favorable conditions for themselves, they actively reproduce. They feed on mollusks on leaves, flowers, vegetables, and berries. Also, they leave behind unpleasant traces of mucus when they walk.
Are Slugs Good Luck or Bad Luck?
This will depend on the following reasons:
- If you swallow one and then get choked
- If they set the house on fire
- If the slugs eat the cat
- If they craw up the nose when you sleep and capture your brain
- If they are an alien who plans to attack the earth
- If they tie you to the garden and gradually cannibalize you
- If they rise and rebel against the oppression of men
- If they are your friend
How to Get Rid of Slugs
1. Manual collection
You can get rid of slugs by manual collection, especially in the morning. All the favorite places of residence of these pests are examined, individuals are collected by hand. Most often, they live in damp, darkened corners, on metal or wooden surfaces. These are the lower part of the wings, hoses, and taps for irrigation, steel watering cans, or buckets. Slugs like to gather in the shade of plants: inside a strawberry rosette and under cabbage leaves. The collected ones are destroyed.
2. Digging the soil
Wet fertile soil plays an essential role in the life of slugs. They lay eggs in it, hibernate if they are late with laying, and hibernate in dry summers. In autumn, for example, white, translucent heaps of eggs can be seen at a depth of about 3 cm from the surface. Therefore, regular digging of the soil will help prevent the appearance and spread of slugs in the area.
Since slugs depend on moisture, dense thickets are ideal habitats for them. In an overgrown, unkempt garden, where high humidity remains in the shade of the bushes, and even on cloudless days, the population of slugs can multiply. Therefore, it is so important to weed and loosen the soil. It is an effective slug control agent that will make life much harder for pests.
4. Garbage collection
To get rid of slugs, you need to deprive them of all possible hiding places and not create a comfortable existence. Stones, old boards and logs, fallen leaves, weeds that have not been removed after weeding, and anything that contributes to creating a shady, damp place must be removed from the site. If you have disassembled a fence or greenhouse, for example, do not stack boards on the site for a long time. It is better to throw them away or burn them right away. Otherwise, slugs can start under them.
5. Mechanical traps
If you sprinkle the soil with dry, porous material, sharp gravel, ash, straw, or pine needles, it will be difficult for slugs to crawl on it. You can also fence plants with special wide plastic rims with a folded edge. They are attached to the ground and prevent slugs from crawling to plants. It is worth using all the means of dealing with slugs in the garden. And do not forget about insecticidal products.
6. Ensuring sufficient distance between plants
Maintaining a distance between plants is necessary for the same reason as regularly weeding the beds. You need to eliminate the crowding of plantings and prevent the formation of shady wet areas in between. The more daylight falls between the plants; the fewer chance slugs have to crawl from bush to bush and gnaw them.
7. Exclusion of waterlogging of beds
Dry soil is the main obstacle to the growth and reproduction of slugs. Therefore, when watering, be careful not to overflow the beds. In addition, it is better to water the garden in the morning so the plants will receive and have time to absorb the necessary moisture, and the excess will dry out the daytime sun. It is not recommended to water in the evening. Slugs are nocturnal inhabitants. They start eating in the dark. So please do not give them an additional gift in the form of moist soil.
8. Snail traps
Another way to deal with slugs in the garden is to use snail traps. Collect old boards to create a damp and shaded area underneath. Put some bait under the bottom, for example, lettuce leaves. The snails will cling to and seek a haven. Each of these planks will collect many of these little pests. However, it is necessary to do this regularly so that the snails have time to be removed before they leave the trap shelter and go back to the garden.
9. Beer as bait
A very effective way to get rid of slugs is to use beer because they love it. Take disposable cups and dig them in several places in the garden so that the edges of the cups do not rise above the soil level. Pour some beer into each glass. Slugs are big lovers of this intoxicating drink, even though it is destructive for them. In the morning, you will find dead pests in the cups, and all that remains for you is to get rid of the bodies. Such a trap should be set in the late afternoon and covered in the daytime not to kill beneficial insects that are greedy for bait.
10. Protective barrier
This is a simple technique that helps to get rid of slugs in the garden. A protective strip is set up around the vegetable garden or garden. Rough or sharp materials are taken, on which it is inconvenient for slugs to crawl. There are many options: crushed shells, coarse sand, crushed nutshells, slaked lime, or wood ash. Dried coffee grounds, mustard powder, and superphosphate can help. It is best to scatter the product, not in one strip but several. The distance between them should be 150-200 mm.
Slugs are unique creatures that have both female and male reproductive systems. They multiply quickly within a short period. If the slugs are good luck or bad luck depends on the above factors. Also, there are many techniques on how to get rid of slugs in the garden. A set of measures will give the best result. Prevention needs to be mandatory. It is better to leave the use of chemicals as a last resort. They are harmful to insects and soil.