How to remove slugs and snails from the garden and garden

The slugs and snails are mollusks herbivores harmless to
humans, but in the garden can become pests . They feed on plants by making holes in leaves , and eating
newly hatched plants and fruits that grow close to the ground, such as strawberries. 

If they roam freely in the garden, slugs and snails can affect the leaves and fruits of almost all plants in the garden, especially those with tender leaves such as chard, basil, spinach, lettuce, oregano … and become a very harmful pest for our vegetables if we cannot control them.

Slugs and snails are not usually a very serious problem unless there are too many, but, if so, you should be careful with these mollusks because they can kill your harvest in a few hours.

How to identify a snail or slug infestation on plants 

Slugs and snails are easy to identify as they are large and easy to see. They usually come out when the environment is hot and humid: at night, when it has just rained, the garden is watered, when the day is cloudy … If you have seen damage from holes in the leaves of the plants, be attentive to those moments so that you can Identify the plague and kill as many as possible is when most of them come out of their shelters and accumulate in the garden.

Even so, if the environment is rather dry and there are refugees, you can detect their presence if you see in the large leaves and numerous rounded holes (they are very voracious) and  remains of the mucosa or slime that they release.

How to prevent a slug and snail infestation

As we have already seen in other articles in the category Pests and diseases “, prevention is essential.

You can put plants that ward off these mollusks in the garden , such as nasturtiummustardthyme , ferns , sage or horsetail. Plant them between your crops or simply cut some branches and place them between them (the latter is better for horsetail, because it can reproduce very quickly and invade the garden).

Another very effective method to prevent these mollusks from approaching your crops is ash: create ash barriers around the garden or leafy vegetables such as lettuce (which snails like the most). With the same objective as the ash, you can also place a  strip of sand or crushed eggshell of about 5-10 cm around the garden. If it rains or is very windy, replace the strip.

How to eliminate snails and slugs with ecological methods

After manually removing all the mollusks you can or sprinkling them with salt (that’s how they die) you can combine several of the following methods to kill the entire population of snails and slugs in your garden:

Shelters – snail trap

You can place pieces of leaves that snails like under roof tiles or other objects, such as wooden slats, to provide shade. The mollusks will take refuge down there and that is when you can take the opportunity to eliminate several in one go.

Natural enemies

Predators of slugs and snails are toads , hedgehogs ,  lizards,  the blind worm or centipedes, which feed on their eggs. You can capture or buy them in a store specialized in biological control and drop them near where the individuals you want to eliminate are.

If stones or tiles are placed, these animals will take refuge in them and it will be easier for them to continue living in your garden, feeding on the plague.

Barriers with ash for snails

The wood ashes and diatomaceous earth (both are sold in nurseries or garden stores), are sprayed on plants attacked by snails and slugs and around and as it is very annoying for them to move on them, they will leave. Keep in mind that if it rains, this method will lose its effectiveness, so you will have to renew the barriers.

Snail and slug traps

Use a plastic or glass container -the size of a glass- and bury it near the plants preferred by snails (place it buried in a hole but protrude a few millimeters from the ground so that irrigation water does not enter).

Fill the glass with beer and you will see how in a couple of nights you have a few snails and slugs drowned in it. This is because they are attracted to beer and, when they reach the glass, they slide down its walls and fall inside without being able to get out. You should remove the dead snails every one or two days.

Mollusk smoothie

This can be pretty gross for you, but I’ve heard this can be an effective method: if you whip up the mixture of dead slugs and beer, and sprinkle that liquid around the plants that have been attacked, those that are left alive will quickly go away.

Another way is to let the mixture rest and stir for a few days and add nettle branches. Then filter it and spray the plants and soil with it. In addition to scaring away these animals and slugs, this mixture is a good fertilizer .  

Poison for slugs and snails: ferramol

If the attack in your garden is very severe, and you think that if you do not act quickly and very efficiently you can lose most of the harvest, you can also use this bait for slugs and snails: ferramol.

The Ferramol comes from materials naturally present in nature (active material: ferric phosphate) therefore is authorized use Farming .

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