Friday

Looking for Slug Stoppers

Our garden has, I believe, the highest per capita slug population on the planet. In the past we kept them in check, to a degree, with ducks. Now we have chickens, who provide all kinds of advantages, but do not eat slugs. SO, here is your chance to waigh in with your favorite organic pest control measures.

9 comments:

steve said...

Beer traps? My Gran always used them, and she grew a lot of vegetables in her back yard...

griffin said...

ya know, I always thought that was an old husbands tale --an excuse to keep plenty of beer on hand. But Grans are not husbands, and a number of gardeners, young and old, have emailed me testifying to the effectiveness of beer traps: one even sent me a link for a study where they compared different brands of beer, discovering that slugs apparently prefer Budweiser. So I went out and got a six pack of Bud, wheel see what happens

I have also been assured by a few correspondents that, although it is true that chickens don't eat full sized slugs, they DO eat the egg and the larva, so if I can drown the adults, the chickens will take care of their progeny

steve said...

Well, my Gran always used the cheapest possible supermarket lager (being a Yorkshire lass, the idea of wasting good money on pests was abhorrent to her!)

My Granddad, on the other hand, always drank Stones' Bitter - if he wasn't down at the pub!

griffin said...

thats funny --apparently he was not using the slugs as an excuse ;)
Apparently slugs like the cheap stuff, and never seem to hit the pub. Will all the traps I put out they wont need to: it's a veritable mollusk beer garden out there!
Thanks again for the tip

wisteria said...

If you have visible problems you can spray with a solution of vinegar and water 1:1 at the base of the plants, but beer traps are also good! The plants like the beer so you can pour the trap contents around your plants as a plant food.

griffin said...

wow, thanks for the tips! The vinagar solution is a new to me, and although I had heard of beer traps before, I had no idea that the beer was good for the plants!

It briefly occured to be to try different slug foils on different beds, being very scientific, but I cant bare the idea loosing any of my plants, so I think I may try all of the ideas on all of the beds, figuring SOMETHING will work :)

Nathan said...

Chickens don't eat slugs? I thought chickens pretty-much ate everything!

zilla said...

I'm still catching up on your archives, so don't know if you solved the slug problem yet. Google or froogle "diatamaceous earth garden slugs" & see if there's a cheap source. Beer always worked for me, but our gardens are small enough now that I hand-pick pests. Time consuming, yes, but there's no better way to make friends with your plants!

griffin said...

I tried diatamaceous earth in the front yard, where the chickens don't go, but am finding poultry much more effective. There is something Soooo satisfying about having the bugs and weeds devoured and converted into organic fertilizer!

It turns out that chickens do, in fact, eat the smaller (immature) slugs, as well as slug larva, and if the little s*#ts never get past the larval or juvenile stage you don't have to worry about it!
Thats for you suggestion, the diatamaceous earth did work in front