If you love Hostas, you also know the damage caused by slugs. Besides eating large holes in all the pretty leaves they also leave long silver slime trails as they move across the leaves feeding.
Here are four simple home-made traps to show you how to get rid of slugs in your garden. There is nothing in these methods that will harm pets, people or other beneficial insects.
What You Need:
One orange, one empty plastic pop bottle, a piece of old board, 2 nails, a hammer, a knife, a box cutter, copper scrubber, and a beer.
Slugs love citrus. Cut your oranges in half and eat them, then put the rinds in your garden near your vulnerable plants.
Check the rinds once a day, pick off the slugs and drop them into a coffee can half filled with soapy water – SLUGS CAN’T SWIM!. Or if you have chickens feed these pesky critters to them.
Take a piece of board, pound nails in two corners and lay the board in a shady spot next to your hostas The nails are down, acting like legs.. Slugs are active at night, but during hot days they will retreat to a cool, damp spot.
You want a one inch space under one end of your board.
The best time to check this trap is in the afternoon when the slugs are resting. Dispose of them in the same manner.
You can place a barricade around your plants once you are sure there are no slugs on them. When slugs come in contact with copper they get a shock, scientists think their slime reacts to the copper causing the shock.
You can purchase copper strips, they will last for years but they are expensive. You can get the same results with cooper pot scrubbers (like Chore Boy). Pull the copper mesh bundles into long thin strips and press them into the ground around your hostas.
Be sure no leaves touch the ground outside the circle of copper as the slugs will just climb up them.
Pop bottle & beer. Cut the top off a plastic pop bottle, turn it around and insert into the bottom of the bottle. To attract slugs pour beer into the trap.
Tilt the bottle slightly to keep the beer from running out and be sure the lip is at or a little below soil level. The slugs crawl in and drown in the beer. Empty as needed and refill with beer.
Don’t have the time for any of these methods? You can always purchase diatomaceous earth, a white powdery stuff made of crushed shells of fossilized diatoms. It’s so abrasive that is cuts the soft bellies of the snails and slugs who crawl across it, causing them to die. Be careful NOT to inhale the powder or get it on your hands. You have to reapply this every time it rains, because it washes away.
There you have it five ways to eliminate slugs. Instead of picking slugs off your plants one at a time, use food, beer or their habit of hiding in dark, damp spaces to lure them to one spot.
One or a combination of these will keep the slug and snails from doing their worst to your prized plants.
I use sand paper around the edges of my raised beds. A friend works for a mill that makes plywood and they discard old worn out sand paper rolls. I get it for free and cut 4″ strips and staple to the beds with the problems. My wife cuts little collars for around her prize plants.