SLUGS!

Asked July 9, 2020, 1:19 AM EDT

I’m using copper mesh, copper tape, corn meal, salt lines (not near plants or same beds) beer traps, hand picking night and early morning raids! What can I do to protect my plants?? These things multiply before our eyes! The destruction is astronomical! Help!

Clark County Washington

1 Response

Have you tried a commercial slug bait? Sluggo uses iron phosphate, which is considered organic. The manufacturers have now added EDTA, as substance which make it work faster. However, EDTA is toxic to earthworms and, in very large quantities, animals. However, if used according to label directions, it should be safe to use.

There is a little-cited research article from the USDA that suggests that diluted coffee sprayed on plants will kill slugs. Interesting reading, and might be something you'd like to try: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1465&context=icwdm_usdanwrc

Another one we use is placing a board or layers of wet newspaper in an area where slugs like to congregate. Slugs will hid under these, and you can go out every morning and cull the herd by seeing who has decided to sleep there during the day.

Beyond that, the Master Gardeners from Clackamas Co OR have one of the best handouts I've seen on slug management. Take a look at it--https://extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/documents/12281/managingslugssnails.pdf

Hope these suggestions help, and good luck!