If you’ve been gardening for any length of time, then you are well aware of snails and slugs. These pesky little critters can do a number on your garden. As a result, a plethora of methods to rid them have been discovered. Some have included the use of chemicals that may be harmful to the plants. Other methods are considered organic and only affect the critters and not the plants or soil.
Here are some methods being used successfully by many of your gardening peers.
If getting down and dirty doesn’t bother you, then you can keep the process extremely basic by simply picking the snails and slugs off your plants.
Using your bare hands to achieve the task can leave a thick slime. So experts suggest that you use chopsticks or tweezers. You can get rid of the pests by simply stomping on them, throwing them into the street, or dropping them in a bucket of salt water. Take care not to get any of the salt water on plants or soil. The key is to pick off the pests as adults before they’ve had an opportunity to reproduce.
It is suggested that you perform the activity during the daytime or at night. If you prefer to attack them at night, then include a flashlight so that you can see them in the dark.
Lures and Traps
If getting down and dirty is a method that excites you, then you can use ways to coax the snails and slugs out of the flowerbed and into what they think is safety, but actually is a trap.
Citrus rinds and cabbage leaves are not good for the health of a slug or snail. So many garden experts suggest that you lay a flat board on the ground in your garden and place inverted cabbage leaves or inverted orange, grapefruit or citrus rinds on top. Cover with an inverted flowerpot that is somewhat elevated on an edge so that the crawly critters can crawl in to get away from the light and heat of the sun. The next morning you can simply dump the remains in the trash.
Lay out fresh rinds or leaves every morning when you dump out the remains and check the pot every morning and as the numbers of dead snails
and slugs drop, you can modify your inspections to once a week.
Remedies You Can Find in Your Home
You probably know that many things you have tucked away behind a cabinet or refrigerator door or in a drawer can be used to eradicate slugs and snails from your garden.
For example, beer, yeast and honey can be combined in mixtures to attract snails and slugs to their demise. That’s because the critters like the scent of stale beer or the mixture of yeast and honey.
Simply put a saucer or other container filled with stale beer or a mixture of honey and yeast on the ground in your garden. Sink the trap into the ground so the top of the saucer is at ground level. Slugs and snails will be attracted into the saucer and drown. Be certain that you use a deep enough saucer so that the pests cannot crawl out once they fall in.
If you choose to use the honey and yeast mixture, then boil some yeast and honey in water and pour it into the saucer or container.
It’s suggested that you check the container daily for frogs or other wildlife you don’t want to bother that may have accidentally fallen into the container and to empty it of the dead snails and slugs. Clean out the container and refill it with a fresh mixture of honey and yeast or stale beer every couple of days.
If you have a cat or dog then you also have another remedy to rid yourself of snails and slugs –- dry dog or cat food.
Create a trap using a tin foil pie pan with a few notches cut along the rim and some dry cat or dog food. Put the pan with the food upside down into the garden and weigh it down with a rock. The snails and slugs will crawl into the pan through the holes in its edge like they are doors. Next morning check the pie pan, scoop out the dead snails and slugs, put them into a bag and throw them away.
If raccoons, skunks or opossums are frequent visitors to your property, then this method will not work because they will eat the food.
Another method to consider is the use of scratchy things you have around the house. This can include crushed eggshells, sandpaper, cinders, wood ashes, and diatomaceous earth. Arrange the scratchy material around your garden as a barrier. Make collars of the sandpaper and put them around the plants or take sandpaper discs that have been used on an orbital sander, cut a slit in the center and slip them around stems all the way down to the ground.
No doubt you have a bottle of vinegar in the cupboard. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water, pour the formula into a spray bottle and spray it on your plants.