The warm humid weather July has brought us has also brought along an unwelcome guest…an influx of slug damage!
What are they?
Persistent and annoying garden pests, slugs are single shelled, soft bodied animals from the mollusc group. Slugs are active all year round, however slug damage is most prominent in the warm and humid summer months. They use their tongues to make holes in stems, leaves, buds, flowers, roots, bulbs and tubers; they usually target vegetables such as peas, beans, lettuce and celery and ornamental plants such as tulips, dahlias and sweet peas. Whilst slugs can severely damage these plants, it is the new growth and seedlings that are most at risk.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom of slugs is the presence of irregular holes in plant leaves, stems, buds, flowers, roots, bulbs and tubers. Young seedlings can be killed by slugs eating them entirely. Also, look for slime trails. Slugs sometimes leave behind a silvery trail of slime which can often be seen on plant leaves and hard surfaces such as patios or driveways.
What can be done?
There are some non-chemical methods of control, for example:
- NEMAslug is an organic method of slug control. It contains millions of tiny nematodes called Heterorhabditis hermaphrodita which actively seek out all kinds of slugs and infect them with a bacteria which will stop them from feeding and kill them. Unlike other slug controls you will not see dead slugs as they go underground to die. As NEMAslug is so safe, it can be used on all edible crops and ornamentals.
- Go on night-time searches on mild and damp evenings. If you find any slugs, pick them up and put them in a container. They can then be taken to a field, patch of waste ground or hedgerow well away from gardens. A great activity for kids to get involved with!
Growing Success Advanced Slug Killer is a blue pellet containing a naturally occurring active ingredient, ferric phosphate. The pellets can be used as a bait for the control of slugs on bare soil and in all edible and non-edible plants.
If you have any more questions about garden slug control, please get in touch.
The Agrigem Technical Team