Slugs & Snails - A Gardeners Friend or Foe?
Slugs & snails are a big problem for gardeners, and they love to eat holes through your plants leaves, stems, flowers, roots, tubers and bulbs.
Heavy rain and warm weather often creates the perfect breeding and living conditions for slugs & snails. These resistant creatures which are capable of surviving harsh environments before breeding.
Advantages of Slugs & Snails
Although slugs & snails aren’t our favourite garden wildlife, however if you have a natural garden, they make up an important food source for many of our favourite wildlife including birds, hedgehogs, frogs, toads and beneficial insects. They’ll even happily munch on rotting vegetation for us and in a compost heap they can be a valuable part of the composting process. They all make up the natural balance of our environment, so removing too many would upset the natural balance.
Reducing Slug Damage
1) Dark Damp Areas
Slugs & snails love dark damp places to live so make sure you keep your plants free from fallen leaves.
2) Take a Torch
On mild, damp evenings, go out with a torch and handpick these slimy critters if you’re not too squeamish. Pop them into a container and place them in a field or patch of waste ground.
3) Slug & Snail Trails
Most slugs & snails feed at night, so you will often see slime trails which will alert you to any new activity. Top Tip: Watch out for slime trails near the base of young plants as slugs and snails like to strip away young branches over night.
4) Attract Natural Predators
Hedgehogs, some birds, frogs, toads, slow-worms and ground beetles love to munch on slugs and snails so try attracting them with a handy wildlife habitat.
5) Alternative Methods
Surround the plants you want to protect with copper tape or rings, or sprinkle egg shells or used coffee grounds round the base to create a natural barrier to prevent Slugs and Snails crossing over.
Our Favourite Natural Slug & Snail Deterrents
1) Organic Slug Pellets:
Slug Gone Organic Slug Pellets are an effective deterrent made to stop slugs in their tracks, made from British Wool. It’s ideal for organic gardeners as it contains no harmful chemicals, making it pet and child safe. It’s ideal for forming a barrier around your veg plots and garden borders. When wetted, these Slug Pellets expand to create a felt like blanket irritating barrier which slugs & snails wont cross, sending them elsewhere to find an easier meal.
An added bonus is that the phosphates, potash and nitrate naturally occurring in the wool acts as a slow release fertiliser nourishing your soil and the wool acts as a weed suppressing, moisture retaining mulch. This also thwarts off other bugs from laying their eggs at the plants base. Even better Slug Gone continues to nourish you plants for 12 months after wetting and will then biodegrade after this time.
2) Slug & Snail Shocka:
Slug & Snail Shocka is a re-useable and humane slug & snail deterrent & barrier. Slugs and snails will feel discomfort similar to silver/tin foil on amalgam fillings in the mouth when they try to move over it, sending them elsewhere to feed.
Its fabric has been impregnated on one side with a special formulation containing copper and this barrier remains effective for years and is safe for use around children, pets and wildlife.
Attract hedgehogs to your garden with a handy hedgehog habitat & food and they will repay you by eating up to 80 slugs per night! They love rooting through hedges and undergrowth in search of snails, slugs, insects, worms and more and you can often hear their pig like grunts as they forage through your garden.
As they are nocturnal mammals, they’ll come out at night which is the perfect time for searching for slugs. They are especially active on nights after heavy rain when we are most likely to see slimy slugs and snails.
4) Mulch Mats
Mulch mats can be added to plants in soil or containers, and are quick and easy to put in place. Not only will they deter pesky slugs from munching on your crops but they will also help protect your prized plants from diseases and retain moisture.