There are DIY steps on how to get rid of slugs from the garden, slugs are small land-dwelling mollusks that many homeowners and gardeners do not want around.
Despite their small size, they are incredibly destructive pests that devour vegetation including turf, ornamentals in seedlings. So in this article, you will learn how to get rid of slugs and prevent them from infesting your garden and home.
Facts and How to Identify Slugs
Identification is the first step you should attempt in any pest control process as you will know the exact pest you are dealing with and it is necessary when learning how to get rid of slugs from the garden.
Moreover, without proper identification, you could be implementing the wrong treatment methods which will be a waste of time and money.
Slugs are unlike your average garden pests. They aren’t insects, but they’re actually mollusks and are more related to clams and squid. The average garden-variety slug will grow up to 1 to 3 inches in length, they have one foot with which they used to crawl across surfaces.
They have 2 pairs of tentacles, the upper pair is responsible for sight and smell while the lower pair is for feeling and tasting. Behind the head is a part of the body known as the mantle.
When slugs are frightened or inactive, they can retract their heads within the mantle for protection, unlike snails and slugs, which seem to have no outer shell. While it seems all slugs like shells, some slug species, actually have a small shell underneath their mantles.
Slugs can be round or oblong shapes, angling periods can vary depending on species and region but many slugs will typically lay eggs during spring or late fall.
An individual egg can measure around 4 to 5 millimeters in length and 4 millimeters in width. However, slug eggs are laid in bundles or clusters of about 40 eggs. They can be found near the soil surface. If the soil is moist, eggs are laid mid to late fall and will hatch over winter.
Picture of a Slug
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Where to Spot Slug Infestation
After identification, check around your property to confirm their presence or signs of slug’s activity that are mostly nocturnal. You will likely notice their damage before you actually see them in larger numbers.
- First, check your lawn and garden for any slug activity, slugs will eat living and decomposing plant matter, but they prefer seedlings and younger plant growth, newly sprouted plants, or grass.
- Look out for fresh activity, slugs will also leave behind silvery slime trails, wherever they go.
- During the day, slugs will try to stay out of sight away from predators. They will hide in moist areas like under logs or loose tree bark.
- You can also check underneath planters along with tree bases and underneath a loose rock. Any slugs or slug eggs hidden will be seen there.
- Lastly, take note of where you spot slug activity as you will use this to direct your treatment and prevention.
How to Get Rid of Slugs from the Garden Using Bait
How to get rid of slugs from the garden can tend to be complicated if you don’t follow the right guide. After identifying the pest in your garden and inspecting for their activity.
It’s time to start treatment but before any treatment, always ensure to wear your personal protective equipment or PPE and remember to keep all people and pets off any treated areas until dry.
To get rid of slugs in the garden, you will need to use a bait granule like Ficam.
What is Ficam?
Ficam is an easy and ready-to-use bait that is labeled to treat and control slugs in lawns and garden beds but unlike common Mollusca sites. They can also be used to treat other common insects and pests including roaches and silverfish.
Read also: Common Fall Pests and How to Get Rid of Them
What is Ficam Made of?
Ficam contains the active ingredients orthoboric acid, a naturally occurring compound. It’s safe to use around children and pets when used according to label directions.
How to Apply Ficam
Below are instructions on how to apply Ficam granules to the garden.
- To use Ficam, you will spread it at a different rate depending on where you are applying it.
- To spread over your lawn, apply Ficam at a rate of 1 pound per week for 1,000 square feet of the treatment area.
- If you’re spreading Ficam in a flower or ornamental garden bed, apply if I came at a rate of six ounces, per 100 square feet.
- Apply a thin layer of Ficam to the targeted area, don’t apply it in piles or clumps.
- After application, keep the granules dry and do not water them.
- When applied properly, slugs and other targeted pests will consume the bait and dies within few hours.
- Keep in mind, slugs tend to hide when they’re about to die. So you’re not likely to see slugs scattered around your property.
- For best results, schedule your applications when there is no rainfall.
- Ensure to make a follow-up application about four to six weeks after your initial treatment.
How to Get Rid of Slugs from the Garden Naturally
How to get rid of slugs from the garden naturally is considered the best procedure as you are not only getting rid of slugs but preventing them as well.
Prevention is necessary for any pest control process to completely keep out pest infesting. Even after you have applied pesticides to the best way to stop slug activity is to make sure it can’t happen.
Slugs are common pests, no matter where you are in the United State or the rest of the world. You may spot the occasional slug every now and then but there are ways to make your property less conducive for major infestations start by:
- Eliminate materials that are conducive for slugs like tree bark, branches, and loose stones.
- Remove unwanted materials to eliminate slug hideouts.
- Work on reducing the moisture content of your lawn. Slugs need wet damp environments to prevent their bodies from drying out.
- Regulate the water your lawn receives to maintain its health, but still discourages large amounts of subjectivity.
- Water your lawn properly, and deeply, water the grass once or twice a week in the morning rather than a little every day.
- Your lawn needs about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. This will ensure your lawn receives the water it needs and that it has the time to run deep into the soil rather than sit on the surface.
- Regularly rake and defects your lawn to improve air circulation. This will improve your lawn’s drainage and stop standing water from forming.
- Trim overhanging tree branches to remove the shade and promote water evaporation.
- Another way to prevent slugs from infesting is to eliminate their eggs. A single slug is capable of self-fertilizing and can produce over 500 eggs in a single year by busting one part of the life cycle. You won’t have to worry about many slugs in the future.
- By finding slug eggs above the soil surface, and exposing them to natural predators, slugs can lay their eggs in moist areas where loose bricks, stepping stones for planters, and garden pots are kept. You can turn them over to potentially find clusters of slugs.
- Slugs are also known to conceal eggs on the soil surface or underneath residue on the soil surface. You can find slug eggs in your ornamental flower or garden beds by simply tilling the soil regularly enough to destroy most eggs that were there.
Despite their small size slugs can attack plants, crops, and grass but when in large appetites and populations will ruin your garden completely.
Following this DIY guide on how to get rid of slugs from the garden, it is a guarantee that you will be able to control all slugs infesting your garden and eliminate them completely. Do well to share and keep visiting Pestclue for more DIY guides on pest control.