bastard slugs are eating EVERYTHING this year! what won't they eat?

(118 Posts)
cormsilkye Fri 06-Jul-12 19:02:54

bastard slugs and I suspect the snails are having a go as well
what plants do slugs not like to eat? I like cottage garden flowery types if that helps

Salt smile

cormsilkye Fri 06-Jul-12 19:06:35

I know but it seems so cruel - my mum always used to use it! Although I did plonk a few in a bucket of water earlier on....

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 06-Jul-12 19:07:45

Have you tried putting a layer of straw under the plants/veg? This works really well for keeping them away from strawberries, so should work for other things. It's the damp weather, I'm afraid.

Kveta Fri 06-Jul-12 19:08:17

they don't eat any slug bait apparently. or weeds. the bastards angry

bigTillyMint Fri 06-Jul-12 19:08:23

Slug pelletswink Or collect them up after the rain and take them to the park!

cormsilkye Fri 06-Jul-12 19:09:55

I've given up on the strawberries - they are all munched
I'll try putting straw around the plants they munch on most though - thanks for that smile

sadnoonie Fri 06-Jul-12 19:12:38

Stupid question - where do you get the straw from? Going to do this next year as I would like some strawberries for us, not for the evil slimy munching bastards!

cormsilkye Fri 06-Jul-12 19:23:48

I've got straw in already from pets at home - I'll use that

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 06-Jul-12 19:34:27

The pet shop or garden centre. Snails and slugs hate it because the edges are sharp. I currently have a bird stealing the cherries off my tree. I'm going to string up some old cd's.

sadnoonie Fri 06-Jul-12 19:49:22

Of course a pet shop!

<strikes brow>

Used to have a guinea pig and needed straw all the time. Damn you, baby brain!

Cremolafoam Fri 06-Jul-12 19:51:25

Dahlias - gone
Sunflowers - munched now black stump
Gooseberries - eaten by vine weevils
Red currents - same
Found 17 slugs in a window box today- am teaching them to fly later
sadsadsad

GrimmaTheNome Fri 06-Jul-12 19:55:20

I don't think they eat lilies.

They leave those for the lily beetles... just started getting those this year.

AdventuresWithVoles Fri 06-Jul-12 20:00:58

Beer traps. War over the strawberries is nearly done, for this year.
We've had a plummet in frog + toad numbers since DH moved the pond in 2009, I think they kept the slugs down previously. sad

Aquelven Fri 06-Jul-12 20:27:33

There's not much they son't eat but they never touch aquelegias, lady's mantle, foxgloves. There are others but my mind's gone blank at the moment!

Aquelven Fri 06-Jul-12 20:28:34

Won't not son't, sorry, rubbish typing.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 06-Jul-12 20:29:27

bloody bastard slugs.

They are really getting on my nerves this year. There are thousands and thousands.

Meglet Fri 06-Jul-12 20:34:43

Beer traps. Sink margarine tubs into the ground and pour a can in.

I use Sainsburys basics beer as it's dead cheap. It means I look like I have an alcohol problem when I buy it but it wipes the slugs out so I don't care.

they're a nightmare this year, I lost so many plants when we were on holiday in June and I couldn't go on snail patrol that I've resorted to the pellets. Garden was like the Land of the Living Dead Slug the next day yet still the plants are being eaten.
The garden is now so wet I even have a couple of frogs moved in, despite not having a pond, but they seem to be vegetarians- all they do is hop out on me unexpectedly when I'm weeding, but they are not being useful and eating the bloody slugs and snails!

Willemdefoeismine Fri 06-Jul-12 20:49:11

Coffee grounds!

French marigolds are the answer, slugs hate them as do greenfly and aphids (is that spelt right?!) they also brighten things up grin

really, Willem? Just scatter them around the plants, or dig them into the soil? How often? <excited>

Willemdefoeismine Fri 06-Jul-12 21:17:49

Well we always drink proper coffee and tip the cold grounds onto the soil around our cherished plants and it totally seems to work - you need to leave them lying on the soil though rather than digging them in....they don't like to slime over the grounds because they are rough!

Try it and see grin - quite an expensive solution though unless you drink real coffee anyway!

AdventuresWithVoles Fri 06-Jul-12 21:19:43

Coffee tip is great, DH hates me putting it in compost anyway.

Beamur Fri 06-Jul-12 21:24:09

We have severe slug/snail predation, so trial and error has shown they don't eat too much of - poppies, lobelia, geraniums and pelargoniums, lavender (although they will eat the flowers if they are allowed to) and verbena seem to do reasonably well in our garden. We have some other spreading perennials - heuchera? that they ignore too.
Slug traps work just as well with a bit of yeast, with a pinch of sugar and a large spoon of salt - it's the fermenting yeast smell they home in on.
I'm getting tough this year and kill on sight. I go hunting with secateurs in hand and snip them in half - they sometimes recover from salt.

TheMysteryCat Fri 06-Jul-12 21:29:29

i posted this on a previous bastard slugs thread...

porridge!

i'm on one week of a slug free veg patch now, after having lost courgettes, marigolds, french beans, peas, tons of herbs and other flowers to the fuckers.

i've also salted, slung 'em over the fence (there is a slug splat on my neighbours wall and i'm not owning up!)

but, porridge is by far the best.

Beamur Fri 06-Jul-12 21:34:58

Porridge?
Tell us more!

SandStorm Fri 06-Jul-12 21:37:07

We've been using coffee grinds this year too. It hasn't had 100% success but it's certainly an improvement on last year.

AdventuresWithVoles Fri 06-Jul-12 21:37:49

Beer traps are more maintenance than I'd like, esp. with the heavy rain.
Is it the milk in the porridge?

orangeandlemons Fri 06-Jul-12 21:44:36

Now they haven't devoured my sunflowers, the rain finished them off.

But they have been earting my phlox which they don't normally eat, and have also been having a go at a poppy too.

I have been very free handed with the slug pellets. The resulting carnage is very satisfying. I had forgotten about marigolds, but it is just to wet to even face going outsad

TheMysteryCat Fri 06-Jul-12 22:01:12

you sprinkle or mound the dry porridge around your plants or the routes onto a veg patch.

the slugs eat the porridge.

the slugs crawl off and go bang....

it's nice to taste, but not good for slugs.

no pets or children were harmed in the destruction of these beasties.

Porridge

GrimmaTheNome Fri 06-Jul-12 22:02:25

I'm rather puzzled ... I usually have lots of slugs around my garden (leopards in compost heap and invading house), and lots of birds but just now I looked at my one unnetted strawberry plant and discovered several totally uneaten berries, 4 ripe ones (no longer uneaten)!

Maybe the birds have eaten so many slugs they're full?

orangeandlemons Fri 06-Jul-12 22:10:33

Dry porridge? Would the be the oatmeal, or actually cooked porridge that has dried.

Doesn't it go soggy in the never ending rain?

usualsuspect Fri 06-Jul-12 22:13:27

Oh I'm interested in the porridge theory , the bastard slugs have chomped everything in my garden

My strawberries have just rotted though

TheMysteryCat Fri 06-Jul-12 22:14:32

sorry, yes the oatmeal. it hasn't gone too soggy and the slugs don't seemed concerned. i've topped it up once this week.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 06-Jul-12 22:26:02

Wow... so the birds get oat-stuffed slug?

TheMysteryCat Fri 06-Jul-12 22:29:06

a rare delicacy, i'm informed.

It's oatly marvellous! smile

slowlyburningcalories Fri 06-Jul-12 22:42:25

Can vouch for porridge oats, used ti di a deal with a local shop that I bought the out of date ones for a few pennies :-)

Another reason fir raised beds, copper tape also works, and of course the beer traps but I can never empty them, DH has to do that

storytopper Fri 06-Jul-12 22:57:49

Really interested in the porridge idea - thanks for the tip. I tried beer last year but no success. I didn't sink the containers - just left saucers lying around and I used Stella which the snails seemed to hate - might have done better with sweeter beer.

I hope the porridge works in my garden as I have lost so many plants to snails this year including those I grew from seed -marigolds and petunias. Grrrrrr....

Btw - I work in a college and the catering lecturer told me he pays £20 per kilo for edible snails. This time next year we could all be millionaires!

AdventuresWithVoles Sat 07-Jul-12 09:30:01

but how does the porridge work to cause bloating if it gets soggy wet before they eat it? confused

Also seems wrong to use food as pest control; food is too valuable as is the land it's grown on. Course I said I use beer traps, which has same problem (high quality water + barley).

storytopper Sat 07-Jul-12 13:59:36

Alternatives to using oats or beer would be to use some kind of chemical pellets. I worry that they would harm wildlife, beneficial insects or pets.

Also, offering food seems a bit less cruel than putting down poison - am I just kidding myself here?

Making slug pellets will also use up some of the world's resources - they still need ingredients, packaging, transport, etc.

TheMysteryCat Sat 07-Jul-12 15:12:30

you can get organic slug pellets which are safe for pets/wildlife and children, but agree with storytopper that all treatments for slugs will have a carbon footprint and use resources.

the only totally natural thing to do is to encourage birds into the garden and hope they pick off the slugs. But as slugs tend to come out after the birds have gone to bed, it's not really going to be very effective.

I've just been out to check on the veggies and looks like i need to replace the porridge, as some of it has gone very soggy, but the current lot has been down for 4 days (and the rain has been torrential here), so i think it doesn't degrade down to mush too quickly.

be interested to know how others get on with this.

Itwillendinsmiles Sat 07-Jul-12 15:45:03

Bran also works in the same way as porridge oats and you can also put down grapefruit and orange skins and check under them for sheltering molluscs in the morning.

I favour evening/morning patrols and simply dispose of what I've gathered...

orangeandlemons Sat 07-Jul-12 17:30:35

I have just spoken to a gardener of 30 years hwo tries to be organic when ever possible. She is adamant that oats and marigolds don't work well enough sad. She now uses organic slug pellets.

A colleague says that after 3 years of picking off every slug and snail she saw, that she noticed a big reduction in the 4th year

Phacelia Sat 07-Jul-12 19:28:44

My garden is getting munched too but worse still I just think they look so disgusting. They're HUGE, and tbh when I look out my window it looks like the place is covered in dog sh..... well you might be eating but you get the idea.

I hate them.

storytopper Sat 07-Jul-12 19:38:37

Erm, don't wish to be gruesome, but what did your friend do with the slugs and snails once she had picked them off, orangesand lemons? I don't mind picking up snails but killing them would be quite hard for me. Slugs on the other hand. ......eewww..... Definitely a job for rubber gloves.

Perhaps I could force myself to drop them in beer. Would that be a fairly painless end?

orangeandlemons Sat 07-Jul-12 19:48:00

She put them in a plastic bag, and poured salt in it grin. She then put them in the bin.

A deserving ingnomonious (igmonious)end for the little bastards.

I have just been out to add slug pellets to my porridge. I absent mindedly tipped them onto my herbswhere the bastards had devoured an entire basil plant. The twats angry

orangeandlemons Sat 07-Jul-12 19:54:49

...or you could do what I did about 5 years ago in a fit of hatred and vitriol.
This is not for the faint hearted........

I put them in a bag in the middle of our road and let a car drive over them. I know I am a cruel and heartless cow, but I was so sick of them, and the momentary orgasm of pleasure on hearing the squelch was unequalled. Then the guilt kicked on.....but that second of pleasure and revenge has yet to be surpassed

stubbornstains Sat 07-Jul-12 20:00:28

I must admit the most appealing thing about using organic slug pellets is that they apparently make the slugs explode.......

There was a slug in my garden the other day that was at least 4 inches long. I wanted to vomit.

storytopper Sat 07-Jul-12 20:13:44

Some really vengeful snail-slaughter action going on there!

Dropping them in beer seems quite kind, really, after all the damage they have done. Karma's army may not clobber me after all.

Off to Asda tomorrow to buy their cheapest and nastiest brew. (Btw - No particular reason for choosing Asda beer - no special snail-killing properties - it is the closest store.)

sadnoonie Sat 07-Jul-12 21:01:57

Unfortunately, the bastard slugs and snails in my garden reject tesco cheapo beer and laugh at the beer trap. Unless there is Guinness in there, then they fling themselves in! (or I fling em in)

Got a big tub of porridge which will be liberally sprinkled around the garden tomorrow. Did a sweep last night, topped up the beer traps, put pellets down, evicted some from the greenhouse and stood on loads on the garden path. They were really attacking my courgettes angry

stubbornstains Sun 08-Jul-12 08:55:55

I can see the germ of an idea for the next multi-million dollar High Art Guiness campaign...Ladies, spare the better looking slugs in your gardens for when you get the casting call....

orangeandlemons Sun 08-Jul-12 13:09:24

The carnage this morning was very satisfying. 5 of the bastards on the basil plant alone. Now completely inedible of course due to slug pellets, but still rewarding

Tub of death.
Fill a margarine tub with snails/slugs, put the lid on with an elastic bag and leave in a sunny spot where possible for about a week.
Discard on your next bin day just before the bin men come. Do not open the tub, the slugs will have eaten each other into a puddle of slime that smells of deathsad <bitter experience>

Beamur Sun 08-Jul-12 20:45:44

One simple tip a friend told me - a lot like the orange/grapefruit one - is to put down a cabbage leaf in the area you want to get them away from overnight. They home in on it, have a munch and then it's an ideal shape to shelter under, so in the morning you simply pick up the cabbage leaf, put it in a bag, tie it shut and put it in the bin (or salt it, run it over, whatever)

mummylin Sun 08-Jul-12 20:58:56

they wont eat salt !

mummylin Sun 08-Jul-12 21:02:20

better still do what my brother does and go out in the garden at night armed with a torch and a pair of scissors !! need i say more, ugh !

fishybits Sun 08-Jul-12 21:07:59

Beer trap but for god's sake don't forget about it like I've done. I've got a slug soup floating at the top of the trap because of the rain and I can't bring myself to deal with it waiting for DH to get back . It's utterly revolting.

PigletJohn Sun 08-Jul-12 21:21:49

there are people who think slug pellets don't work.

but they do.

they take a while, because after you've killed the slugs in your garden, more gallop in from next door. But you keep on sprinkling more pellets, especially round the perimeter, and eventually all the slugs who are near enough to travel to your garden have been dealt with. Then you just need to keep up a light sprinkling round the edges, preferably under hedges and things that wil give protection from rain.

you sprinkle them thinly, not in piles, which makes it difficult for a pet or child to gobble down a handful.

storytopper Sun 08-Jul-12 21:39:47

Didn't get round to buying the cheap beer today as I went to my DSis's house to watch Andy Murray (sob, he tried so hard!)

I'll start a beer and oatmeal programme tomorrow - can't bring myself to buy pellets somehow.

If I come across any snails that have not fallen for the beer or oats, I'll put them in the garden waste bin - then they will become the council's problem, not mine smile DH has been putting them over the fence into the neighbours' gardens I am sure they are back within seconds ( well, minutes - they are snails).

I stamp on them.
They have eaten my lilies and my poppies. The only thing they seem to be leaving alone is our jungle like lawn.

mummylin Sun 08-Jul-12 21:53:55

Oh but bad kitten ,then you have all that horrible gunk on your shoes.It would make me feel sick ! had a slug going over the lawn today it must of been about 4 inches long, i soon put salt on it and its now a little ball of mess !

ah, storytopper, I went out on a slug & snail patrol this afternoon, and chucked all the ones I found (about half a dozen under/on 1 strawberry plant alone!) into the green waste wheelie bin, too - thought they'll have a happy few days munching away (aaah), then get pulped on Friday (mwahh haa haa)

MooncupGoddess Mon 09-Jul-12 13:49:23

Mine love Guinness too. High-maintenance bastards.

They are also surprisingly hard to drown. I had a massive one yesterday that kept trying to crawl out of the beer trap. Had to pour salt on it in the end. I did cry a little inside when I read the comment above that after three years of relentless extermination it started to get a little easier...

Condover Mon 09-Jul-12 14:02:53

I went to but slug pellets at the weekend, having tried everything else (except porridge!!)

I couldn't find any that could claim not to be harmful to other wildlife though, so couldn't bring myself to buy them. What happens to the birds/frogs/hedgehogs that eat the dead/dying slugs? Or don't they? <<hopeful>>

PigletJohn Mon 09-Jul-12 14:07:36

Not sure

I usually scatter mine under things, so birds wouldn't see many. The slugs shrivel up and expel their bodily fluids. I believe that the pellets are much more toxic to molluscs than to mammals, so unless a hegehog found a pile of pellets and ate them all, not supposed to be a big danger to him (which is why you scatter them).

Do birds eat slugs? never seen it happen.

PigletJohn Mon 09-Jul-12 14:09:37

p.s. you can also get a slug chemical tht you mix with water and apply to the leaves, it kills slugs that eat them. Very rarely see it though. In a small white plastic jar, maybe contains 50ml or so. I think made by Murphy.

sharklet Mon 09-Jul-12 14:14:23

BEER! never fails, that and I kept ducks when I had my kitchen garden. I would let them roam the kitchen garden for 2 hours a day and they would eat all the meat (slugs and snails and the odd worm) then I'd shoo them out before they ate all my lettuce!

cormsilkye Mon 09-Jul-12 16:30:54

I went for a swoop this morning and got loads of the bastards. grrrr

MooncupGoddess Mon 09-Jul-12 16:56:22

Ferrous sulphate slug pellets are supposed to be wildlife friendly. And blackbirds and thrushes do eat slugs and snails - I've seen thrushes dropping snails on concrete drives to break the shell and dig out the delicious insides!

cormsilkye Mon 09-Jul-12 16:57:04

I need to train up a few thrushes then!

TheMysteryCat Tue 10-Jul-12 21:15:05

i bought some slugstoppa.... it's the organic child/pet/wildlife friendly stuff.

i'm combination feeding my slugs with porridge and this stuff that looks just like cat litter.

in a fit of pique last night i threw salt all over the paths as well, as i could see hundreds of the buggers heading for the veg patch.

there's also a bin bag of about 50 stagnating in my bin until bin day on thursday...

<peers round and whispers> they can't escape can they?

plipplops Tue 10-Jul-12 21:31:34

A man who works at the local garden centre told me that the RSPB say that organic slug pellets are fine as long as you spread them thinly - the birds would have to eat hundreds and hundreds of pelleted slugs before they got a stomach ache.

I can't think what I'd do with them if I had beer traps - we have green bags for garden waste and they're only collected every two weeks. I use pellets I'm afraid (and copper tape round some of my pots). Oh and copper rings round some things - the proper rings are really expensive but the sticky copper tape is quite cheap so I cut a plastic bottle into rings and stuck the tape round them. Also there are now just some plants there's no point in growing (marigolds spring to mind) as they get munched straight away. The things that seem to survive it are lilies, dianthus, pelargoniums, lavender, hebe, alchemilla, sea holly and aqueligia (hmm suspicious spelling perhaps...)

Somehow I'm ok with pellets but couldn't stomach cutting them in half or putting salt on them. WOuld be very happy for someone else to come to my place and do it though...

cormsilkye Wed 11-Jul-12 07:40:51

The inside lid of my green bin will now haunt me forever...

cormsilkye Wed 11-Jul-12 07:41:21

I'm going to try lilies then thanks plipplops

TheMysteryCat Wed 11-Jul-12 09:37:24

ive found that the slugs ignore the mimulus plants I have. they are currently the only thing in my garden flowering beautifully, unecumbered by vile slugs.

sadnoonie Wed 11-Jul-12 20:29:15

Just emptied my beer traps, there was at least 13 in one and 8 in another (big enough to lie there all bloated and yeurgh). Mwah ha ha!

Oddly one was all slugs and t'other was snails.

anniewoo Wed 11-Jul-12 22:06:55

Will the dry porridge attract rodents- rats and mice? Have a real phobia

showtunesgirl Wed 11-Jul-12 22:56:39

The two most effective things I've used are the Growing Success Slug Pellets and also nematodes. Nematodes are pricey but they really get to the heart of the problem!

JamNan Thu 12-Jul-12 10:10:37

Slug Clear cost about £5 -7. You water it on the soil and it kills the little bleeders by messing up their ability to produce slime.

OR
Pick up in the morning and dispose of in a tub of bleach or Jeye's Fluid. [vom]!

Slugs have even eaten my beans four feet up the beanpole. Bastards!

Lady's Mantle, Marigolds, Sage and lavender are the only flowers I have that are unaffected.

DontEatTheVolesKids Thu 12-Jul-12 11:56:51

Am I the only one to only just realise where strawberries get their name from? Duh...

roseum Fri 13-Jul-12 23:49:33

Using slug pellets this year, but have had great success in the past with the nematodes (neighbour and I got together and did it, which I think helped, as new slugs then had further to travel). We were just a bit disorganised about getting nematodes this year.

cormsilkye Sat 14-Jul-12 01:19:40

I have been collecting them every night for a week and they are much fewer now.

I've been collecting them too and I think it's helping. They don't seem to eat my red hot poker plant, although they do like to live in it- quite handy because it is unnibbled, but I know where to go to find the little bleeders!

Phacelia Fri 20-Jul-12 16:36:32

I'm really pleased; I have just been looking online at wormeries and found this slug buggers. It looks brilliant; I will be getting some soon. Totally eco-friendly, not harmful to animals and it sounds like it really works.

In the meantime I've been putting porridge around my dahlias and they seem to have stopped being attacked.

EauRouge Fri 20-Jul-12 17:37:15

My ginger mint and morrocan mint have both been eaten down to twigs but my chocolate mint is untouched confused How weird.

deste Tue 24-Jul-12 22:57:47

I heard a woman swear by porridge oats on he radio so I bought some today. I will keep you informed.

carocaro Wed 25-Jul-12 14:20:49

Apparently mint plants don't get eaten, but mine have!!

I have putted crushed egg shells around the mint and am waiting to see!

PostBellumBugsy Wed 25-Jul-12 14:29:38

They are flipping Olympic slugs this year. They've made massive inroads into my garden.

I don my marigolds (rubber as opposed to wearing a plant) and collect up as many of the slimey bastards as I can, plop them in a box & then run up the road to a bit of scrubby grass by the side of the road & deposit them there. Picking them up makes me want to gag, even with the gloves on, but I'm annoyed enough to wretch silently to myself!

I've also sprinkled dishwasher salt around all my pots & this has really helped. They have stopped climbing up the pots.

I tried crushed egg shells - the garden looked like some kind of chickens' graveyard - but it made no difference. Coffee didn't work for me either, but maybe it was still too wet when I tried that.

EauRouge Wed 25-Jul-12 15:51:41

I've put copper tape around my veg box today and I'm going to put a couple of courgette plants in, along with some porridge oats and coffee grounds. I will report back.

deste Wed 25-Jul-12 18:44:29

Nothing so far. Will check again tomorrow.

Meglet Wed 25-Jul-12 18:53:08

Well, for the first time ever the beer traps didn't wipe out the slugs. They kept on coming and the veg patch is a write off this year.

Full slug traps are the most foul thing ever. I put them in the compost bin but have to leave the lid off for a day or two to let the smell out <<boak>>.

Jux Wed 25-Jul-12 19:00:37

I've given up this year. I want to sow grass on all my beds and just use pots. Though they get to anything in pots too.

I'll try oats, though pretty well everything is gone now. Does it work for snails too? We've got tons of those buggers too.

Jux Wed 25-Jul-12 19:02:26

What about that bark stuff? Does that work?

PigletJohn Wed 25-Jul-12 20:11:38

slug pellets still work.

You can scatter them under bushes or shrubs if you are worried someone will eat a pile of them.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 25-Jul-12 20:14:10

Normal slug pellets kill birds and other wildlife. Please, no! Keep your birds healthy, they'll help control your slugs and snails

PigletJohn Wed 25-Jul-12 21:15:16

"The RSPB encourages all gardeners to use non-chemical forms of slug control as much as possible. However, in the event of all non-chemical solutions being unsuitable or impractical, the RSPB welcomes and endorses the 'The Slug Pellet Code'. The code is as follows:

1.Use slug pellets wisely, and before use, always read the instructions on the pack.
2.It is essential that slug pellets are sprinkled thinly on the soil and around the plants being protected – not all plants are favoured by slugs and snails.
3.Individual pellets should be placed 10 – 15cm apart around the plant. Never pile them. "

www.rspb.org.uk/advice/gardening/unwantedvisitors/chemical_free/slugs/further_information.aspx

Sossiges Wed 25-Jul-12 22:40:41

I have used nematodes but they don't seem to be working as well this year as in previous years... I have heard that watering with coffee works as the caffeine is toxic to slugs. Strong coffee works best though so probably very expensive sad.
Maiden pinks never get eaten smile

GrimmaTheNome Wed 25-Jul-12 22:52:43

I'd imagine the poor nematodes got washed away and drowned!

Sossiges Wed 25-Jul-12 22:58:55

I think so too, poor little dears [sobs]

Jux Thu 26-Jul-12 15:32:10

We have massive worms, and many of them. How do I tell if they're nemotodes, what do they look like? Sometimes I see clusters of little reddish wormy things - would that be nemotodes?

Sossiges Thu 26-Jul-12 16:43:10

Jux I'm pretty sure that nematodes are microscopic, anyway the slug-eating ones we're all interested in, are. Maybe the little reddish wormy things are darling little baby worms...

GrimmaTheNome Thu 26-Jul-12 21:30:09

If they're in a compost heap, thin red worms are brandling worms.
Any worm big enough to see won't be a slug eater, unfortunately.

Jux Thu 26-Jul-12 22:36:52

sad

They're just in the earth, not in the compost, but how do worms eat slugs if they're so small you can't see them?

PigletJohn Thu 26-Jul-12 22:44:58

if you have red worms in the soil, you may have a leaking drain or sewer.

Red worms are always found round cracked soil pipes. I wonder what they eat that makes them so fit and wriggly....

GrimmaTheNome Thu 26-Jul-12 22:56:40

Jux - the nematodes don't eat the slugs. Apparently they get inside, release bacteria which kill the slug and then happily reproduce.

While checking that I found this - a method to breed your own nematodes. You've got to really hate slugs to to this, I reckon!

Jux Fri 27-Jul-12 11:00:43

<Jux ponders how much she hates slugs>
<strokes beard>

UnrequitedSkink Sat 28-Jul-12 12:15:23

Disposal method - jug of hot soapy (dishwashing soap) water, dump slug in, slug death almost instantaneous. Dispose of water. Over the back fence in my case, into an area of deadfall land.

EauRouge Sat 28-Jul-12 12:28:48

So far the courgettes in my veg box are still with us, not sure if it's the copper tape, porridge oats or coffee grounds that's doing the trick.

weedoll Sun 29-Jul-12 01:52:56

I've always just flung slugs and snails over our back fence (it's a field so flung with force!) BUT the other evening I picked up a GIANT slug with a child's spade and flung/flicked the spade only to somehow have the slug fling back at me and land on my bare chest sadit was then the stuff of nightmares as I did a crazy scream dance back to the house literally EVERYWHERE I looked was slugs!! I have never seen so many slugs as this year but still struggle with actually killing them! Thought I was being really brave the other night by pouring beer on 1 but nothing happened! I literally have nothing left in my veg patch sad bastards!

JUbilympiX Sun 29-Jul-12 13:59:02

grin

You know that snails have a homing instinct and come back don't you? A woman did tests, marked her snails with nail varnish and put some over the wall, put some somewhere further away and drove some even further away. I can't remember how far you have to dump them in order for them to be lost and not come back, though. She won the Amateur Scientist of the Year Award. She didn't test slugs, as far as I know; might be a bit hard to mark them.....

weedoll Sun 29-Jul-12 22:07:18

Boke! Looks like I'm going to have to grow some balls (seeing as the snail/slug population have put a stop to my growing anything else) and kill the bastards!!

JUbilympiX Mon 30-Jul-12 15:45:14

From what I can find out, snails need to be taken at least 100 metres away before they get lost.

Have fun herding your snails! wink

digerd Sat 08-Sep-12 19:20:22

I planted several Marigolds ONCE, and they were rapidly devoured by slugs, and as I don't like killing anything that is not a danger to me, I decided never to plant them again, and had no more trouble with slugs. They are not attracted to bedding begonias

digerd Sat 08-Sep-12 19:30:28

Forgot, I did use slug pellets ONCE, but felt so ashamed of myself at the massacre and how they must have suffered, and felt sick at all the mangled, distorted corpses that I didn't use it again. I don't have a lot of bedding/annual plants, most of mine are perrenials, and they don't eat them either. But gave up on my beautiful lilies as were skeletonised from the disgusting red beetle larvae

Showtime Fri 14-Sep-12 23:46:05

Had fewer slugs and snails round containers on patio area after using old coffee-grounds, then plants started to die 2/3 years later,most recovering after being transplanted to different area - I don't think coffee's good for plants. I plan to make a raised bed in this area and return to using bran or oats, with cardboard boxes left overnight on any bare soil - lots of slugs underneath every morning and eventually less.

EauRouge Wed 26-Sep-12 23:00:21

Coffee grounds, oats and copper tape didn't even rescue my lettuce seedlings angry but I have just found out purely by accident (thanks to 18mo DD's obsession with putting stuff through the catflap) that cat biscuits are irresistible to slugs so if anyone's looking for something to use as bait then I recommend it. Got about 15 of the buggers without even having to go looking for them.

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