Slugs are one of the most common types of pests found in the garden. Whether you are growing lettuce, strawberries, peppers, grapes or just some decorative flowers, chances are you’ll experience the destructive behavior of these slimy little critters at one point or another. If you’re serious about gardening and the health of your plants, you’ll need to educate yourself on how to deal with garden slugs.
Damage Caused By Slugs
There are a number of reasons why slugs should be kept out of the garden. Not only are they unattractive, but they can consume up to 2-3 times their body weight in leaves and organic material. When a slug feasts on a plant, it will leave behind visibly large holes. As you can expect, holes such as these place unnecessary stress on the plant, stunting its growth and development.
Another problem associated with garden slugs is the trail of mucus they leave behind. As they move around your garden and through your plants, they leave a path of moist mucus that’s an ideal habitat for fungus and mold. Most gardeners are well aware of the damage that mold and fungus, which is just another reason slugs need to be prevented.
One or two slugs probably won’t cause much of a concern for the average gardener, but like most pests their numbers can quickly multiply and spiral out of control. To prevent this, you should work to actively treat your garden once you see just one these slugs slithering around. Just a couple slugs can easily turn into a dozen or more within just a few weeks if you they aren’t dealt with promptly.
Treatment Option #1 – Coffee Grounds
Would you have guessed that coffee grounds can work as a natural slug repellent? It’s unknown why exactly slugs avoid walking over coffee grounds, but some people believe it’s due to the high levels of caffeine and acidity. If you make a pot of coffee in the morning to get your day going, start saving up all of those used coffee grounds to pour around your garden. Not only will it help prevent slugs, but it’s also useful for lowering the pH levels of the soil. Just remember to constantly check it to ensure the soil doesn’t become too acidic.
Treatment Option #2 – Beer Traps
Another all-natural way to prevent slugs in the garden is to make a beer trap (yes, with actual beer). This might sound a little weird, but filling cups with beer and burying them in the ground is actually quite effective. If you want to give it a shot, bury a plastic cup so the top is level with the ground surface. Next, fill the cup up with regular beer and let it sit for 12-24 hours. Go back the next day to see how many slugs wandered into your trap. As long as the cup is buried so the rim is level with the ground, the slugs will fall into it and not be able to get out. You can set several of these traps up around your garden to really tackle the problem head-on.
Richard Brent is a content contributor for Wood Splitters Direct. Richard enjoys writing about the environment, gardening, and much more. Go to WoodSplitterDirect.com to find the best wood splitters you can get.