What snails and slugs lack in speed they make up for in appetite. These little pests can eat double their body weight in one night. Slugs have a lifespan of 2-6 years and do not stop growing during that time.
Aggressive and harmful methods of killing off slugs often compound the problem by also killing other insects that prey on slugs. Some methods like molluscicides which attract snails to one place to kill them can actually make the infestation worse. Here are a few natural measures you can take to keep slugs out of the garden.
Keep Your Lawn and Garden Beds Clean
Insects are a natural predator of snails and slugs. They also feed bigger snail predators such as hedgehogs and toads. Of course, chicken and ducks are more effective predators if you are able to keep them. They would enjoy a breakfast of snails and slugs.
Insects are killed off by pesticides and slug pellets. They are also affected by herbicides and fungicides wrongly used in aggressively treating lawn fungus. Avoid these harmful chemicals in your lawn. Leave a few parts of your garden to run wild as a refuge for little critters.
Plant Sacrificial Plants and Repellant Plants
For all their voracious eating, slugs and snails will feed on whatever is nearest and easily accessible. Plant other plants that the slugs will eat before getting to your precious seedlings and veggies.
Most herbs such as mint, valerian, rosemary, and tarragon are safe from slugs. They also will not eat most berries, trees, shrubs, rockets, tomatoes, and many more vegetables and flowers. A neat trick is to plant the strong-smelling herbs at the snail entrance point and in rows between other plants to make access difficult.
Change Your Watering Schedule
Since snails and slugs thrive in moist areas, keep your soil dry. The best way is to achieve this is by watering in the morning so that the soil is already dry come nightfall.
Sheep Wool Pellets
These are made from waste wool, salt, dust, and sand. These are a rather effective deterrent to slugs compared to other mulches such as coffee grounds. Once they swell up with moisture and dry again, they repel all but the most determined snails and slugs.
Install Slug Barriers
Snail and slug barriers such as metal slug fences are an effective way to keep slugs out of the garden. Other barriers include copper foil tape which gives slug and snails a tiny shock when in contact with their bodies. For smaller plants and seedlings, Victorian bells and plant covers are useful protection measures.
Lawn Maintenance in Cumming
The best way to naturally keep snails and slugs out of your lawn is to employ a combination of the above measures. Installing them can be a daunting task. Lawn professionals can save you the headache and time. For natural pest solutions and lawn maintenance in Cumming, contact us today!