Slug control is essential as these shell-less mollusks require measures to control their population due to their tendency to consume gardens, lawns, and flower beds, resulting in significant harm.
Slugs are classified as gastropod mollusks, rather than insects, as they lack a protective shell. Consequently, insecticide products are ineffective against them.
Nevertheless, by adhering to our user-friendly do-it-yourself treatment manual, you will acquire the knowledge necessary to eradicate and preemptively address these nuisances through the utilization of recommended expert methodologies and products.
Step 1: How to Identify the Slug
- In comparison to snails, slugs do not possess a rigid outer shell. The organisms possess elongated, smooth anatomical structures enveloped in a viscous substance.
- Slugs possess a pair of elongated tentacles that extend from their heads, with each tentacle featuring an eye at its extremity.
- Slugs possess a pair of feelers on their head, totalling two pairs in total. The larger antennae are positioned above the eyes, while the second pair is located on the lower part of the slug’s head, aiding in its olfactory perception.
- There are more than 100 species of slugs worldwide that are able to thrive in various environments, including both terrestrial and aquatic habitats.
The majority of slug species found in the United States exhibit colours such as light brown, black, and grey. However, there are exceptions, such as the banana slug, which is characterized by its yellow hue.
- In general, slugs usually have a length ranging from 1/4 to 2 inches, although there are instances where they can reach a length of up to 10 inches.
- These organisms leave adhesive and viscous trails of mucus as they move along various surfaces.
The secretion of mucus in slugs serves two important functions: it helps to maintain moisture within their bodies and provides a protective barrier when they encounter sharp objects.
Read also: How to Get Rid of Slugs from The Garden
Step 2: How To Inspect For Slugs
Slugs typically exhibit heightened activity during the nighttime hours, when the environment is characterized by lower temperatures and increased moisture.
However, they may also emerge during daylight hours if the weather conditions are cool or overcast.
In warm and dry weather conditions, slugs tend to seek shelter in various locations such as underneath rocks, plant debris, wood boards, potted plants, plant leaves, logs, and other dark and damp areas.
Slugs have a tendency to consume the foliage of fruits, vegetables, young plants, shrubs, flowers, and other decorative plants under the cover of darkness.
Following their feeding activity, affected plants exhibit serrated leaves with numerous small holes along the margins and midrib.
These openings are particularly prevalent during the months of April, June, October, and September, which are characterized by frequently cool and damp weather conditions.
Step 3: How to Carry Out Slug Control
- Apply Ficam Insect Foam:
Ficam Insect Bait is a type of insecticidal bait that contains granular orthoboric acid. This bait is designed to imitate food and can swiftly eliminate slugs and various types of insects, including cockroaches.
This readily available product possesses varying degrees of water resistance, facilitating treatment in regions where climate and moisture control is challenging.
Utilize a quantity of 2 pounds of Ficam. The recommended amount of insect bait for lawns and ornamental turf is 1,000 square feet.
To control slugs, it is recommended to apply 6 ounces of the product per 100 square feet during the early stages of the spring planting season, before any potential damage. It is recommended to reapply the treatment every four weeks for effective control.
This product can be applied either by pouring it directly from the container or by using a handheld spreader.
To ascertain the appropriate quantity of Ficam Insect Bait for application, it is necessary to calculate the total square footage of the treatment area.
To determine this, one must measure the length and width of the treatment areas in feet and then calculate their product (length multiplied by width) to obtain the square footage.
The concept of spreading Ficam To apply the insect bait, evenly distribute it from a vertical distance of 4 to 5 inches above the ground. Then, gently disperse the product material along the outer boundary of the desired protected area.
It is not advisable to position this product on horizontal surfaces or within the container of plants. It is recommended to refrain from watering treated areas for a minimum of 24 hours following the application.
Before applying the product, it is advisable to lightly irrigate larger areas with water.
Where Can Slug Control Products Be Purchased?
- Ficam Insecticide Foam
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Step 4: How To Prevent Slugs
- It is advisable to thoroughly irrigate your plants in the morning, limiting it to a maximum of once per week.
This allows sufficient time for the surrounding area to dry throughout the day, considering that slugs are pests that are active during the night.
- To safeguard your preferred plants and lawns against slugs, it is recommended to apply additional treatments of Ficam Insect Bait before the onset of spring (April, June) and during the fall season (September, October).
Slugs exhibit a reproductive behaviour wherein they deposit their eggs in the autumn, allowing them to endure the winter season until they hatch in the subsequent spring.
- To mitigate the presence of slugs during the day, it is advisable to engage in lawn maintenance activities such as raking and mowing.
This will effectively eliminate plant leaves and fallen branches, which can serve as potential shelters for slugs.
Additionally, this action will aid in agitating the soil, potentially disrupting any slug eggs present in the soil.
- A highly effective method to prevent slugs from accessing and damaging plant foliage is to enclose the plants with a copper mesh barrier.
This barrier is specifically designed and labelled to both treat and deter slugs, ensuring that they are unable to crawl or reach the surface of the plants.
- Examine and address moisture-related concerns about plumbing, gutters, and drains, while also performing necessary repairs.
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Watch an Explanatory Video on Effective Slug Control
The absence of bones and shells in slugs enables them to flexibly manoeuvre beneath rocks, wood, and other confined spaces that snails are unable to access.
To mitigate slug infestations, it is recommended to modify your watering routine by deeply watering your plants once a week during the early morning.
Use approximately one inch of irrigation water. Additionally, you can employ a preventive measure by carefully encircling the base of your plants with copper mesh material specifically designed to deter slugs.
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