If you love your garden then slugs are one of those creatures that can be an absolute pain. As darkness falls they will appear from behind walls, under planters, behind pipes or just about anywhere and start to wreak havoc on your garden. They will home in on certain plants and chomp their way through many of the leaves. They seem to have a voracious appetite which is selective in that they prefer some plants to others.
Controlling slugs can be quite difficult as they seem to breed easily and quickly. Many of the over the counter products which you can buy in an attempt to control slugs can be very toxic.
Having one dog now and others in the past, this writer never uses toxic-slug control; that has been in 40 plus years of home gardening.
In England lots of people set 'beer traps' for slug control and this seems to be the traditional nom-toxic method.
To do this simply pour a small amount of bitter beer or stout into something such as a saucer, and place it in the garden, where the slugs usually rampage. If it is a saucer with a high side the slug will crawl over the top and into the beer but not be able to get back out.
Whether this is because the slug is drunk or not I am not quite sure. You can then humanely dispose of the offending slugs, and by this I don't mean throw them into your neighbour’s garden!
Another good method is to put a small circle of sharp gravel around the base of your plant, in other words where it comes out of the earth. This should keep slugs away from your precious plants.
Finally, years ago, people would throw salt on slugs as it makes them shrivel and die. Nowadays we are more humane and would not usually do that.
Imagine you had an accident and a huge strip of your skin had been removed. Throwing salt into your wound is exactly what it must be like for the slug but for the slug it's all over their body and fatal; a very nasty way to go.
Of course if you dare to pick slugs up you can remove them from your garden.
I have a large composter and plenty of slugs live in there nicely making new soil for me. As long as they stay put and leave my flowers alone we co-exist quite nicely thank-you.
More slug control advice online can be found at RSPB
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