Spring Garden Tips
Eco-friendly Slug and Snail Control

They’re gray, they’re slimy, they feed at night leaving holes in the leaves of your favorite hostas, tomatoes and other garden plants. Yes, you guessed it – slugs and snails.

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slug control in the garden

Check for slugs at night while they are busy munching on your plants. Or, wait until morning to look under rocks, boards or other areas that make good hiding spots for slugs. Smash or salt any you find.

You can also trap and kill slugs with beer in a shallow can. Sink the can in the ground so it is even with the soil surface. The slugs are attracted to the fermenting yeast, crawl inside and drown. Or, use a half emptied bottle, laid on its side to prevent the rain from diluting the beer. Tuck the cans and bottles under the leafy plants to keep your garden looking neat and tidy.

Many gardeners are having success with the new environmentally-friendly products such as Sluggo, Slug Magic and Escargot that have iron phosphate as their active ingredient. They poison the slugs, but not the birds and toads that eat them. Be sure to read and follow label directions.

A bit more information: Try sprinkling coffee grounds around slug-susceptible plants. Recent research has found the caffeine repels and even kills the slugs. Or, spread egg shells or food grade diatomaceous earth on the surrounding soil surface. The sharp edges of these items slice through the slugs’ and snails’ bodies, causing them to die. Replenish as needed throughout the season.

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