Slug and Snail Control

Prepare for war because these are some of the most worrying pests you’ll find in your garden! Slugs and snails will eat their way into potatoes and feast upon your prize juicy strawberries leaving a myriad of holes. 

Here’s how you can spot the signs of slugs and snails, and banish these pests from your garden.

How to spot slugs and snails

Slugs and snails are most active after dark or in wet weather, and the tell-tale slime trails can give you an indication of the level of activity in your garden. 

Another sign that slugs and snails are in your garden is the distinct holes they leave in their wake. These pests make irregular holes in plant tissues with their rasping mouthparts. Young shoots and leaves are damaged or eaten, not only at ground level but often high up.

Luckily, these pests are easy to spot compared to other garden pests due to their size. 

How to treat slugs and snails

It is virtually impossible to eradicate snails and slugs completely because they are so prolific. However, there are a handful of things you can do to contain them:

  • Grow vulnerable plants further before planting out. This will ensure that they are larger and not quite so soft and tasty
  • Spread well-crushed eggshells around vulnerable plants, or using copper tape around plant pots. Slugs and Snails do not like to rub their belly across them and will stay away from these plants
  • A line of lime or salt around your plants can also deter slugs and snails
  • Put a jam jar with a beer in the bottom half into the soil near your vulnerable plants
  • Encourage natural predators like thrushes, hedgehogs, toads and shrews and insect predators such as beetles and fly larvae.

Despite their threat to your crops, slugs and snails also play a vital part in your garden’s ecosystem. Slugs help condition soil by breaking it down, eating decaying plants and sometimes, each other!

Instead of harsher methods, we recommend that you try removing slugs and snails by hand and then relocate them to the hedgerows. It may not be pleasant, but you can wash the slime on your fingers or hands with some white vinegar and lukewarm water.