Posted by: oceannah | June 5, 2012

Organic Slug Control no beer required

The rainbows of late have come with a price tag…Yup, rain.

Rain is wonderful!  Rain is essential.  Rain also causes slugs to smile.  Remember that old song “oh I love a rainy night’?”  I have it on insider information that it was composed by, none other than a slug.  It’s true, go ahead and google it.

In years past we’ve done everything from physically picking up the slugs and dropping them into buckets of salted water, putting out bait boards and cleaning them up every morning, a chore that soon lost all appeal to even the heartiest gardener in the lot…provoking a chorus of let them eat whatever they want.  Troughs of beer strategically placed around the garden.  Our local mini mart began to think we’d succumbed to some demoralizing alcoholic state in which we could only buy the cheapest beer.

This year things are different.  This year we have purchased heavy artillery, so to speak.  This year we have bitten the (expensive, true) bullet of buying slug bait.

This product is organic.  It is iron phosphate, a naturally occurring component of soil.  My husband went out to the garden the other evening to sprinkle some around and came back in fairly giddy.  “They are taking the bait like crazy.” he announced.  At 20 bucks for a container, it is not cheap, but our hope is that by using it early we can kill off a large percentage of slugs.  Thereby leaving the garden with a great deal fewer mouths to feed.  So far, so good.  I harvested lettuce yesterday and there were no slugs at all mixed in with my leaves…a first.

Today the sun shines!!  Hip Hip Hooray.  Planting is on the menu.  I’ll also be seeding out the fall crops.  Gardening is like the fashion industry in that one must be at least a season ahead of the game.  More on the fall crops later.

*anna

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Responses

  1. I used Sluggo a few times early spring and still picked up snails and slugs, but now I see fewer. I wonder if it has decomposed and worked itself into the soil? Before there would be pellets on my cabbages and a snail nearby. But, since slugs are in the soil and under every rock, I wonder if it’s penetrated and killed them off, or am I just getting lazy and not looking hard enough at night?

    • Kaye, The container clearly says that you may not see the dead/dying slugs, and it does take a few days for them to die. Once they ingest the iron phosphate though, they stop feeding. If you still see slug damage, you should reapply. It will biodegrade over time and much faster with rain hitting it. Good luck…I despise those slippery little buggers.
      *anna

  2. We had slugs a couple of summers ago and I used the beer option… Gross. I was shocked how many there were… And had to suppress the gag reflex dumping them out… Good luck getting rid of them.

    • I hear you…nothing stinks like that. Super gross. We’re very happy w/ the sluggo.
      *anna


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