Below are listed some Green Ways to safely eliminate garden slugs and snails. Slugs and Snails can be troublesome and cause permanent damage in vegetable and flower gardens. Trying to rid the garden of theses pests can be tricky, but it can be done without using harsh chemicals and pesticides.
Can I get Physical?
Physically gathering them and keeping them out of the garden is certainly a first step. These gastropods tend to come out several hours after sunset, and retreat to their leafy hideouts at sunrise. You can grab them with a pair of gloves, and a flashlight (red flashlights make it easier for humans to see at night). They should be crushed or drown in a pail of soapy water. Gathering should be done on a regular basis if you are to succeed at all in reducing their numbers.
Use Copper Barriers work to Fence them Out?
To prevent their access to a specific area such as a fences, garden borders, or flower pots you can use a strip of Copper Material to enclose or fence off the specific area. Slugs and snails do not like the chemical reaction between their bodies and the copper material. You can use Slug and Snail Copper Barrier Tape for this purpose.
Another barrier method is using common sand to form a circular barrier around your plants. The slugs and snails will tend to avoid crossing this glassy (sand is basically glass) gritty barrier. Spread sand about 1/4 ” high all the way around the plant with a trowel.
How about Some Old Fashioned Poison Bait?
Iron Phosphate, a low toxic chemical can be found in certain bait products and it works well. Products containing it such as Sluggo, Escar-Go and other similar products can be used effectively. Please read and follow directions on the label. The snails and slugs will probably expire, and disappear into the foliage in several days time.
Iron phosphate products are safer for children and pets than another type of Bait which contain Methiocarb or Metaldehyde. Methiocarb based products can poise a danger to useful insects and earthworms. Metaldehyde based products are commonly used, but can poise a danger to pets and quite often dogs. If you use this product, look for low-dose options and follow label directions.
Should I Use German or Domestic Beer?
Well it really does not matter at all. A shallow pan, such as a pie pan, or other low container can be filled with beer or yeast which will attract slugs & snails. They will often crawl into the container, and expire in the suds. Keep the container about 1/2 inch above the ground, so that helpful insects will not be able to get into it.
What other Mitigating Steps can I take?
Moisture will attract slugs and snails into your garden areas or plant containers at night. If possible, water in the early morning so that the watered areas can dry during the day. Using drip type systems will lower moisture retention in the soil as well. Excess mulching can also pose problem, as it will continue to attract these pests as well. Less moisture will safely eliminate slugs and snails from your garden.