The slugs

The slugs or limacids are a family of terrestrial gastropod molluscs that have the particularity of being shellless, not to be confused with snails. Slugs usually feed on herbs and plants and therefore can infest vegetable gardens and gardens, creating significant problems. Slugs are usually active at night, after heavy rain as they prefer a high level of humidity. They spawn and shelter during the day in damp, dark places, especially among weeds, stubble or straw heaps that are improperly stored. There are many different species of slugs, which can vary in color and size. The slugs are hermaphrodite and have an average life span that varies between 8 and 12 months. In autumn they lay eggs which will hatch in spring.

Prevention against slugs

To prevent attacks by slugs, there are numerous systems, but since they cannot be active in drought conditions, during all stages of development, the main action should be to manage soil moisture. First you should get rid of weeds, dead leaves on the ground and any single plant remains that are decaying, as they can be shelters for slugs during the day. Another way to keep them away from plantations would be to spread materials on the ground that they cannot move on because they would suffer dehydration. Some examples of materials can be: ash, sawdust from wood, properly crumbled egg shells, needles from conifers or rock dust.

Fight against slugs

As an alternative to the systems described above, it is also possible to use some physical barriers such as, for example, plastic edges that have the flap at the upper end, so that the slugs cannot rise, or edges with rough surfaces. In the event of massive attacks by slugs, the soil should be disinfected using products that have a caustic and dehydrating action, such as lime for example. In addition to prevention, slugs can be fought with other more or less invasive systems. In fact, there are mechanical or chemical actions to counteract infestations. The slugs can be harvested manually on rainy days by attracting them possibly with pans filled with beer or by scattering pieces of potato.

Slugs: Chemical fight against slugs

The chemical fight instead consists in the use of limacid products that have been generally formulated as poisoned food baits that must be distributed in a localized way in the vicinity of the plants, even if it is always preferable to use methods that are compatible with biological control, since some products can be very toxic and harmful to health and the environment. It is also possible to use auxiliary systems more compatible with the environment such as certain types of predators such as beetles, hedgehogs, toads or millipedes. A fairly effective method, but which must be repeated periodically, is to grease the edges of the pots with grease or by tying copper wires, but this obviously only works for pot plants.

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