Slugs are not the scariest or most deadly pests you could encounter in your garden or even outside in your yard, they can certainly be a pain.
They seem to appear out of nowhere and can be quite a nuisance, especially when they’re causing damage to your plants. slugs feed on plants and will damage your plants when not controlled on time. The
They are mostly attracted to damp plant detritus, which includes low weeds, mulch, fallen logs, and spaces between rocks if you’re wondering where they come from. They particularly enjoy the dampness that these locations offer, thus these are among their favorite hiding spots.
They will be even more drawn to the location if there is a food source close by where the moist debris is. Both snails and slugs enjoy eating plant leaves, fruits, and flowers, especially if they are close to the ground.
So where do slugs come from? We’ve compiled some tips on everything you need to know about slugs and how to get rid of these pesky pests for good.
What Is a Slug?
Slugs are like a snail with no shells. Snails have a shell that they may retreat into when they wish to, which is the fundamental distinction between them and slugs. Slugs and snails both have soft bodies, and slugs are devoid of their shells.
There are many different species of slugs, but the majority of them reach adulthood at a length of between 25mm and 100mm, or between 1 and 4 inches.
Slugs, fortunately, cannot hurt humans, but they can harm plants. Slugs can seriously harm any kind of plant in flowerbeds and gardens. They are particularly drawn to strawberries, lettuce, and violets, and they may eat enormous holes in your leaves.
Even though the slugs themselves aren’t always visible, their sticky trails which can persist for days and are always noticeable.
What attracts slugs to your garden
Slugs are one of the most common pests in your garden, and they’re usually attracted to plants with high moisture content.
They also prefer moist soil and will move into places where they can get a good feed. Slugs also love to feed on plant leaves and stems, and they’re attracted to tufts of grass. When you have a lot of plants with long leaves, like lettuce or spinach, you’ll be more prone to attracting slugs especially if the plants are growing in wet soil.
Their favorite foods are lettuce leaves and tomatoes, but they’ll also eat tender shoots of young grass, broccoli, cabbage, and even strawberries.
Slugs also love to eat small insects that crawl on the ground. If you have slimy greenflies or aphids on your garden plants, you’ll probably see them too. Slugs need moisture to survive, so they will find these places and reproduce there.
Where slugs come from at night
Slugs are arthropods. They can be found in any damp environment, from the forest floor to the bathroom sink. Most slugs are nocturnal and spend the day hiding in a safe place.
At night, they leave their hiding places and go looking for food. This is when you’ll find them: in your garden, on your lawn, or even in your house. They’ll come out at night to search for something to eat.
If you live near a body of water, there is a good chance slugs will make their way into your yard at night.
The most common ways slugs are transported are in rainwater, on plants, or animals. The majority of slugs you see around your house come from plants they’ll look like little caterpillars on leaves or twigs. They can also be brought inside on certain plants that have roots running into your house.
Slugs can come from many sources: rainwater, composting waste, damp areas, bird droppings, pet waste (including cat and dog feces), and even human waste.
If you see slugs in your yard, they may have come from a nearby body of water via rainwater runoff or plant roots. Or they might have been carried into your house by an invading plant or animal species that you don’t recognize.
Where do slugs go in the summer?
Slugs are nocturnal animals, so they’re best known for their activity at night. But during the summer months, slugs like to stay out of the sun and in shady areas. They tend to seek out places where there is a lot of moisture in the soil, such as cracks in walls or under sidewalks.
They also like damp areas near plants, such as gardens and flowerbeds. As the weather gets warmer, slugs tend to move away from their preferred habitat and head toward cooler places. They may head toward wooded areas where they can find shelter from the sun.
If you notice that your slugs are staying away from your garden or lawn and instead heading towards moist soil in your home’s foundation or crawlspace, it might be time to give them some relief. You can do this by simply digging up the area around your house and adding a layer of mulch or compost over it. This will keep them from getting stuck while they look for water elsewhere.
In the summer, slugs go places like:
- underneath logs, rocks, and bark
- inside plants (especially where they are hiding)
- in compost piles
- on the side of your house
Less-known Facts about Slugs
- Slugs typically hide during the day in extremely moist areas, such as underground or under stones and logs.
- You might also locate them in a low deck or a planter you’ve strategically placed. They carry on with this during the day and come out to eat at night, leaving a slimy trail in their wake.
- Slugs prefer eating plant leaves, but they will also consume other types of plants.
- In the spring and summer, slugs deposit their eggs, which they then hide in a damp place away from prying eyes. Their eggs will hatch in just a few days, and the young animals will grow up in just a few months.
Did You Know: Slugs, along with snails, can live for several years.
Can You Find Slugs?
You can always go outside after midnight and check your property to discover where the slugs are coming from. They can come from any damp, moist place, so if your yard has multiple damp, moist areas, you may need to use some detective work to figure out exactly where they hide.
Where slugs and snails go during the day
Snails and slugs are nocturnal creatures, so they don’t go about their day-to-day business during the day. They’re busy at night when the sun is down and the temperature is cool looking for food.
During the day, slugs and snails can be found in damp or wet places—like under logs, in weeds at the bottom of a garden or lawn, under loose bark on trees or shrubs, or in small depressions in soil (like old well holes).
They have to cool off in order to survive, so they find a moist area where they can soak up as much water as possible. This can include moist soil or grass, but also leaves and plants.
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Ways to get rid of slugs from my garden
Slugs are everywhere, but since they only come out to eat and spend the rest of the time hiding in moist areas, it is those moist areas that need to be removed.
Keep your garden dry.
You won’t see the result immediately, but keeping a dryer garden is the best method for long-term slug control. The following strategies will help your garden become less inviting to the pests that enjoy moisture:
- Plants should be watered in the early to mid-morning so that the soil can dry out before dusk.
- Drip irrigation should be used to save water.
- Maintain a clean yard, and mow the lawn frequently.
- Steer clear of organic mulches like straw and grass clippings.
- Plants should be placed far enough apart for air to pass between them.
To kill the slugs by removing moisture, sprinkle salt on the area where they are crawling. Be mindful that salt can easily degrade soil and destroy plants. Use this to safeguard the integrity of the soil at the base of potted plants on a porch, or lay down a barrier before spreading the salt.
In circumstances where salt may come into touch with water, avoid using it (like when rainy weather is likely or a sprinkler is running). Salt can be dissolved by water and then washed off of “safe” surfaces and into the soil, degrading the quality of the soil.
Sprinkle salt on the slug’s trail. Slugs are sensitive to salt and will avoid it, so if you sprinkle some on their path, it will keep them from moving through your garden.
This is also a great way to catch other pests that might be lurking around your yard or garden. You can sprinkle salt anywhere in your yard where you see signs of slugs, and around the base of plants to keep them away.
For slug control, use wool.
You shouldn’t discount the effectiveness of wool pellets if you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of slugs in the garden. It’s been shown that slugs dislike rough, itchy wool just as much as people do. The roughness is unpleasant for them to climb over.
Slug Natural wool is compressed and molded into pellets to create Gone pellets. Plants that are sensitive to slug attacks should have their bases covered with pellets, which are then watered. Slugs are unable to cross the dense wool mat that the expanding pellets quickly form because of their size. It has a very long shelf life and may aid in weed suppression.
Beer traps are a great way to catch slugs and snails. They’re simple and easy to use, and they can be used in gardens or on patios.
Beer traps are made from a funnel-shaped piece of plastic that has small holes cut into it. When you pour beer into the funnel and seal it with tape, slugs and snails will get stuck in the holes and drown. You can use beer traps in gardens, flower beds, or anywhere else you want to keep these pests out.
Just fill the container with beer (or other non-toxic liquid) and put it near where you see slugs or snails. Slugs will enter and get drowned in it.
Hand-picking is the best way to get rid of slugs from your garden. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s effective. You can easily pick up a slug by using your hands, but it is advisable to wear gloves, you can as well without gloves. Pick slugs and drown them in vinegar or a solution of salt to kill them immediately. However, this method can be time-consuming.
Use Copper Tape
Copper tape is a great way to get rid of slugs. It’s sold in garden centers and hardware stores, and it’s easy to apply. Just place a piece of copper tape around the base of each plant or shrub you want to protect. The copper will kill the slugs as they crawl over it, and the tape will prevent them from climbing up on top of your plants.
You can also make your copper tape by wrapping strips of aluminum foil around the bases of plants that are closest to the ground. Make sure you don’t wrap it too tightly or too loosely because too much pressure could damage your plant stems or roots.
Use Sulphur Powder
Sulfur is a natural insecticide that can kill slugs and snails. It works by releasing hydrogen sulfide gas into the air, which is toxic to slugs.
Simply sprinkle a few tablespoons of sulfur powder on your garden, and then wait for the slugs to come out and die. This will also work well if you have areas that are infested with snails as well. You can also mix sulfur with water to make a spray.
To use sulfur powder:
- Add 2 tablespoons of powdered sulfur to one quart of water in a spray bottle. Fill the rest of the way with water, close it and shake well before using.
- This mixture can be added to your garden at any time during the growing season (or even after) so long as you don’t add another ingredient such as fertilizer or composted manure before mixing it in with the soil.
Use Slug Pellets
You can use Slug pellets to get rid of slugs from your garden. These pellets are made from sodium monofluoroacetate, a chemical that is toxic to slugs. The pellets are placed in the soil around plants and will kill any slug that tries to eat them. This is an effective way to remove slugs from your garden because it kills them on contact, and they won’t be able to reproduce after they’re dead.
You can also use Slug pellets in the ground where you’ve seen slugs coming up from underneath your plants or between the plants themselves. They’ll be attracted to this area and will eat up all of their food at once, which will kill them immediately.
Use Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds are a great way to kill slugs and snails because they’re made from the same plant as coffee beans and coffee beans are slime! The acids in coffee make it very effective at killing slugs, which is why people have been using coffee grounds for centuries to deter and eliminate slugs.
There’s no need to buy expensive slug bait or use chemicals when you can just use coffee grounds. Just sprinkle them around the outside of your garden and watch the slugs crawl in from the edges.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth.
Diatomaceous earth is a natural, non-toxic substance made from the shells of tiny freshwater algae called diatoms. It has been used for centuries in India as an insecticide and pesticide.
The powdery substance is used to kill slugs and snails because it dehydrates them, making them easier to remove from your garden. It’s also an effective way to prevent future infestations by killing any eggs that may have hatched since you last used the product.
It can be sprinkled on plants to kill slugs, or it can be applied directly to the soil where you want to keep them from crawling. It can also be mixed with water to spray slugs on sight. If you’re looking for something more eco-friendly than chemicals, diatomaceous earth is a good choice. It is safe for pets and children.
Create a barrier
The best way to keep slugs from your garden is by creating a barrier around the plants that you want to protect. This will prevent them from reaching your plants, and it can be done in a few different ways.
- Create a barrier around the plant by using landscape fabric, wire fencing, or chicken wire.
- Cover your plants with mulch around the base of the plant to repel slugs and snails from laying eggs in your garden.
- Plant plants that are known to repel slugs and snails such as garlic, basil, oregano, mint, lemon balm, and borage seeds.
Plant non-appetizing plants.
Another way to get rid of slugs from your garden is by planting non-appetizing plants. Slugs are drawn to the sugars and starches that these plants produce, so if you plant a slug-repelling plant in your garden, it will help keep them away. Slugs can’t bear to touch the leaves or stems of these plants, so they’ll steer clear of them.
Slug-resistant plants such as marigolds and cosmos will keep the little pests away from your veggies and flowers. Others include Hydrangeas, Euphorbias, Lavender, Rosemary, Geraniums, and many more.
Predators can be used to manage your slug problem in one of two ways. You have two options for attracting predators to your garden: release or attraction. Although other slug predators, including frogs and ducks, may theoretically be released, nematodes function best in this technique. These predators are tiny, worm-like insects that live in the soil and are also referred to as roundworms. There are numerous varieties, and many of them will seek and devour slugs.
You should keep in mind that they prefer moist, damp areas, so the less of those you supply, the less likely it is that you will encounter them in your garden or even in your home.
How to Prevent Slugs?
Slugs are everywhere, but since they only come out to eat and spend the rest of the time hiding in moist areas, it is those moist areas that need to be removed.
- Put your flower pots and planters on stands or plant racks, as appropriate.
- Offset the ground with the firewood.
- Get rid of your firewood heaps near your house.
- Clear your yard of any stones or lumber that may be there.
- Ensure that the door to your crawl area is well-secured. So that it is a little less damp, keep the vents open.
- Ensure that all of the exterior doors to your home are completely closed.
- Make careful to repair any door sweeps or weather stripping that are missing.
- Your basement can benefit from utilizing a dehumidifier as they are typically moist.
You should keep in mind that they prefer moist, damp areas, so the fewer of those you supply, the less likely it is that you will encounter them in your garden or even in your home.
You probably have slugs if you notice tidy round holes in your vegetable plants or leaves, especially if there is a silvery, slimy trail nearby. You’ll be able to identify which moist, damp region they might be coming from at night.
The fight against slug infestation is a difficult one, to be sure. But armed with the advice above, you can win the war. Applying pesticides judiciously to your vegetable garden can help reduce the number of slugs that threaten your harvest. Put these tips into effect and before long, your garden will be free of pests (and pesticide residue) in no time.