Homeowners are facing a slug invasion in the UK thanks to rainy weather. Crop protection specialist Certis put out a red alert for Wednesday on their SlugWatch app for farmers. This means there will be high levels of slugs in gardens and homes this week. However, slugs ruining your garden is not a foregone conclusion – here is what to do to prevent and get rid of them according to pest experts Rentokil.
How to get rid of slugs: Wet weather to cause slug surge – this is how to keep them out of your home and garden
Unbelievably, slugs enjoy the smell of beer, making it a great bait for a trap.
Rentokil said: “Half bury a cup in the soil close to your plants and half fill it with beer. Tempted by the smell of beer, the slugs will fall into the cup.”
The metal is believed to be a natural repellent for slugs as the slime, or mucus, they secrete reacts with it to produce a tiny electric shock.
Rentokil said: “Place copper tape around the rim of your plant pots to act as a deterrent for slugs.”
Slugs prefer not to move across sharp objects, so broken up egg shells are a great natural way to deter them. However, although they will avoid sharp edges, they can still move over them if they have to.
Rentokil said: “Break up the empty egg shells into small(ish) pieces and place around the flowers, plants, vegetables, and fruits you want to keep safe from slug damage.”
In a similar vein to egg shells, nut shells deter slugs thanks to the sharp edges.
Rentokil said: “ Break up the nut shells into small pieces, and create a protective barrier around your plants. Any slugs that come near your vegetables will soon turn the other way.”
This is a good solution for potted plants, as it makes it difficult for slugs to grip on to the pot surface.
Rentokil said: “Apply this jelly in a band around the rim of your flower pots, containers, and even the stalks of your plants using petroleum jelly. Vapor rub also works in a similar way.”
Slugs hate coffee, although ground coffee beans not instant coffee granules are the way to go.
Rentokil said: “Sprinkle coffee grounds around your plants. Fresh coffee is more effective than instant. Also the higher the caffeine content the more effective the solution.”
Citrus is another flavour slugs love – so it is perfect for a trap.
Rentokil said: “Place a couple of empty grapefruit rinds upside down on the ground, making sure there is enough clearance for a slug to enter. The grapefruit rind provides slugs with food, and a damp environment to hide. Leave overnight and dispose of any slugs caught in the morning.”
The high salt content in both fresh and powdered seaweed is a deterrent for slugs.
Rentokil said: “Place the seaweed (or sprinkle if using the powdered form) around the plants you wish to protect.”
There are certain plans that repel slugs, so planting these around your garden could keep it slug free.
Rentokil said: “Living Green suggest that wormwood, rue, fennel, anise, and rosemary are the best slug repelling plants. Plant these amongst your flowers, fruits, and vegetables to help prevent slug damage.”
There are many natural predators of slugs, so encouraging these in to your garden could help. Hedgehogs, birds, beetles, frogs, and toads will all eat slugs.
Rentokil said: “Make your backyard more appealing to these animals by building a hedge hog shelter, installing a pond and/ or setting up bird feeders.”
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