Often gardeners and summer residents are faced with such an unpleasant phenomenon as the invasion of slugs on their crops. So that they do not destroy and infect the future harvest, it is necessary to immediately begin to fight against uninvited guests and find the most effective way.
- Brief description of the pest
- How can pests be controlled scientifically?
- Using traps
- Chemical and biological agents against slugs
- Natural enemies for shellfish
Brief description of the pest
Slugs belong to gastropods, and they do not have a shell, unlike the familiar snails.
The body consists of several parts:
- Torso with mantle
- Powerful leg
The skin of the mollusk is thin, moist, covered with mucus. The color, as a rule, is of a khaki: gray, brown, yellow, sometimes numerous light and dark spots are noticeable. Mucus is needed to cool, moisturize the skin and serves as protection against attacks by birds and animals.
The sizes depend on the species, and pests from 3 mm to 20 cm are found. They reproduce by laying eggs, over the summer one such specimen can lay up to 5000 thousand eggs. Lacking protection in the form of a shell or shell, they are forced to look for places to live and feed in moist, warm ones. The most favorable temperature for them is 15-20 degrees, as well as conditions of high humidity.
They increase their activity at night, because drying out of the skin leads to the death of the mollusk. They can also be found in the daytime on a wet rainy day. In hot periods, they hide deep in the soil and fall into a short sleep.
They live on land, feed on plants of both weeds and cultivated species. They love fresh, healthy and juicy parts of plants, berries, vegetables. The invasion of such inhabitants can not only spoil, destroy the crop, but also bring in bacterial, fungal infections.
The most favorite ornamental plants for them are:
- Various salads
The appearance of these uninvited inhabitants in the garden can be facilitated by:
- Warm rainy spring
- Wet summer
- Warm autumn
- Winter without severe frosts and quail temperatures
In vegetable gardens and forest areas, slugs choose such secluded places as: pits with compost, thickets with good shade, under large leaves of plants, in basements and damp cellars.
How can pests be controlled scientifically?
According to experts, the most common scientific methods are:
- Mulching the surface of the land on the site
- Mixed landings
- Installation of special barriers against pests
The use of some materials for mulching scares away slugs or interferes with their movement. These materials include sawdust and coniferous mulch. The smallest particles stick to the mucus on the molluscs, preventing them from moving and eating.
Instead of mulch from needles, you can spread coniferous branches in the aisles. They also do not like mulching with nettles, and a large layer of this plant between the ridges will not allow pests to penetrate it. In order for this technique to be effective, mulching must be carried out constantly, because natural materials rot, crumble and cease to perform a protective function. Often the mulch is moistened with a 1% urea solution.
Slugs have a very well developed sense of smell and do not like strong, spicy smells. Gardeners and plant breeders often use this feature of pests: they plant cultivated plants in the garden next to fragrant herbs and flowers. For example, rosemary, basil, marigolds are often sown with cabbage. Parsley or sage with lavender is sown around the beds with strawberries and strawberries.
And the surest way to prevent a plant from being eaten by molluscs is to simply keep them out of the garden. For this, various types of barriers are widely used: copper rims, covering materials, self-adhesive tapes, plastic gutters for filling with water, plastic funnels, rims.
Contact with copper for shellfish entails a fairly strong electrical shock, so this protection is very effective. Water also prevents penetration of the plant, and is an insurmountable obstacle. Small plants are hidden under cut plastic bottles, behind rims.
Such methods do not allow pests, but unfortunately, it will be very problematic and costly to save and protect the entire site.
Many owners of private plots want to learn how to deal with slugs in the garden and how to destroy slugs once and for all. But there is no specific universal method, only by choosing a few methods, you can say goodbye to the named guests.
Placing traps is considered a fairly simple method. In this case, they take advantage of the tendency of pests to hide in damp and warm places. For this purpose, on plots on well-moistened soil, boards, slate, polyethylene are placed upside down with stands for flowers, large leaves of cabbage, rhubarb, burdock.
The bait is also laid out there: cabbage, lettuce, strawberries. In the evening, you need to lay out the bait, and early in the morning to look at all the traps, collect and sting mollusks from the garden.
Sour milk products are very fond of shellfish. Having smeared the board with fermented baked milk or kefir in the evening, they are installed on low supports with the mixed side down, by the morning a lot of gastropods will gather on it.
In addition to fermented milk products, slugs like the smell and taste of beer. For traps, cans, cups, containers filled with a drink are used. They must be dug in at the same level with the ground near the ridges with your favorite gastropod plants and filled, but not to the very brim with beer.
With great joy, the mollusks will slide to the container, fall into the liquid and drown in it. In the morning, these beer traps are dug up, all uninvited guests are removed and the procedure is repeated.
Chemical and biological agents against slugs
The use of chemicals on the site is undesirable and this is an extreme measure in the case of a very large number of them.
Using them, you need to strictly follow the instructions and be careful. Glanzit, Metaldehyde, Meta, Groza are used for these purposes. I use the preparations in the evening, when the gastropods leave their daytime shelters.
The agent is scattered around the plants, preventing it from falling on the leaves and petioles, and if it rains, then repeat the etching process again.
A more gentle way is the use of biological drugs that are harmless to humans and animals:
Ulicid - contains iron phosphate and works as a bait, a very small amount of the product is enough and the pests disappear, and the remnants of the drug are processed and quickly decomposed.
Agrozin is a rather expensive preparation for improving the quality of the structure and composition of the soil, which is good at repelling shellfish. A single application per season is sufficient.
How to deal with pests in the garden using folk methods. They are afraid of watering clams with mustard. One bucket of water requires about 150 grams of mustard powder. The solution is poured on top of the leaves of crops, it is advisable to water in the evening.
1/4 of a glass with vinegar 9% is diluted in a bucket of water and poured over cabbage on top of the leaves in the evening. This "old-fashioned" method is destructive for gastropods.
The folk method with the use of bitter pepper is also effective. 1 kg of fresh vegetables or 200 g of dried hot pepper pods are poured with a bucket of water and infused for several days. After that, boil the infusion for an hour, wait until it cools down, grind the pods and hide the infusion in a dark cool place for storage. Use 150 ml of this product per bucket of water.
Natural enemies for shellfish
Often, the enemies of pests are not summer residents, but natural inhabitants: frogs, toads, hedgehogs. To lure animals, place saucers of milk on the area and they will definitely come to feast on.
Shrews, moles, some species of beetles, birds, small species of rodents happily feed on gastropods. To attract beneficial insects, nettle thickets are used along the edges of the site. In addition to them, the parasitic nematode does an excellent job with gastropods. You can find a nematode in the form of Nenaslug. It is difficult to buy it for Russia, but it is very effective.
Drainage of the soil well reduces the number of pests in the summer cottage. Drainage improves the quality of the soil and prevents pests on the crop plants in the ridges.
The best proven method is to collect pests by hand in the evening, when they crawled out "hunting". Knowing the most attractive and favorite habitats, you can collect and destroy more shellfish. However, this process is difficult if there are a lot of these uninvited guests in the garden.
The fight against these sluggish molluscs is long and laborious. There is no single universal remedy to destroy and scare them away. Only by trying the methods will their combination lead you to success.
We looked at several scientific and popular ways to deal with slugs. Using them in practice, you will find the best and most versatile method that is right for you.
And after watching the video how to deal with slugs in the garden and knowing the features of gastropods, you can prevent their appearance on the site or quickly get rid of them: