How to keep plants off the menu for slugs
The explosion in the slug even building a pond or water population predicted by feature which will attract wildlife experts earlier this toads, frogs and newts, all year has been painfully evident natural predators to the slug. in many gardens, as the slimy Some people recommend creatures have munched their boiling up cloves of garlic, way through beds, borders and straining off the liquid and container plants. watering around plants with
There are more than 30 types that. Other than that, it’s a case of slug in the UK, some 95% of continuing with dawn and of which are underground, dusk patrols to pick the slugs nibblingonoff.seedsandroots and laying 20-100 eggs multiple While many people opt for times every year. slug pellets, Paul claims that
It is believed that the average even so-called organic varieties British garden contains over may harm other wildlife. 20,000 slugs and snails. Slugs But don’t be put off gardening remain active in temperatures by slugs. If you are willing to of 5C and above, consuming give the likes of lush petunias around 40 times their weight in and hostas a miss next year, the space of a day. there are many plants which
Paul Hetherington, of charity slugs don’t like, including BugLife, says: “Slugs and aquilegias, geraniums and snails are bigger because they foxgloves. have not spent time in a torpid They don’t like calendula, state of hibernation, they are cosmos, nemesia or roses reaching maturity earlier either. because they haven’t had these Some herbs, such as thyme periods of rest when their body and chives, seem to resist their mass reduces, and they breed advances too. whenever they are active, not seasonally.
“When it’s hot and dry they will hibernate, but because of the weather, we have seen 11 months of slug and snail activity in the UK, whereas it used to be around seven.”
Mild, wet winters and wet summers have boosted slug populations, but the situation has been exacerbated by the loss of natural predators including hedgehogs, thrushes, frogs, toads and ground beetles, which feed on slugs and help retain the balance of nature, he says.
Deterrents include copper tape around plant pots, placing sharp sand or crushed eggshells around plants, or
Left, the leopard slug, aka Limax maximus; right, the yellow slug, aka Limax Flavus