July 07, 2006

Slug haters of the world, rejoice!

Spider vs. slugWe are not alone in this war! But I must confess to some amazement when I spotted this spider and its hapless victim in the back bed yesterday morning. How on earth the spider managed to haul the slug to the centre of the web is beyond me.

By contrast, the slugs I sprayed with ammonia the night before now look like bird droppings on the hosta. For those who missed it, I mix one part ammonia to nine parts water and add a good squirt of dish detergent before heading out at night with the spray bottle and a flashlight. The ammonia dispatches slugs, and the soap is fatal to earwigs. Seeing as you will often find them on the same plants, it's handy to have a double-barreled weapon.

I also use Safer's Slug and Snail Bait, a garden and pet-friendly slug bait containing ferric phosphate, a substance toxic only to slugs and snails. I believe it goes by the name Sluggo in the States.

Other common ways of battling slugs, which I do use from time to time, are crushed eggshells or diatomaceous earth placed on the soil around plants that slugs are fond of. Both work by piercing the slugs' skin, causing them to dehydrate, although I don't think even slugs are stupid enough to try crawling across the eggshells. This is of limited value if the slugs are hiding in the soil inside your circle of eggshells. Used coffee grounds are somewhat helpful as a deterrent, but liquid coffee is apparently better, as I posted a couple of days ago.

Still, as you go to war against the slugs, it is nice to know that you've got allies out there, isn't it?

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Xris said...

Yes, I did a Sluggo run earlier this evening, tossing it around the Hostas, my Iris cristata, and others. It's also available by the brand name Escar-Go, which is just as good a name!

Janet said...

Got to love a double pun!