Holey Hosta Leaves, Batman!

Out in the yard last evening, finishing up some mulching, when I took a look at the gerber daisy that Brittany had planted.  The leaves were looking suspiciously lacy, and I spotted 3 large slugs enjoying the lovely plant.  Smaller slugs were attached to the centers of the flowers.  I quickly plucked them from their dinner and threw them on the street.

We have had a lot of rain lately, and the ground is pretty wet.  Perfect conditions for my least favorite garden creature.

How do you control slugs?

I have heard of a few remedies, but the first one that came to mind last night was beer.  My dad used to set out small butter dishes of beer to trap slugs.  So I found a small shallow dish, dug a small hole next to the gerber, and filled it half way up with beer.

Slug Bait
Heading to the watering hole . . .

This morning, I discovered six large slugs had drowned themselves in yellow gold!

There are other methods to controlling slugs, but I can honestly say I have never tried them.  When I looked for info on the topic, Mr. Google shared a few methods that make sense.  Here are a few:

  1.  Keep a dryer garden. Well, no kidding.  Let me just confer with Mother Nature on this one.  However, in dryer times, limit the watering to early morning.  That will give the ground and plants all day to dry.  Those slugs come out at dusk and dine through the night.
  2. Spread mulch from certain plants that deter.  Oak leaves can be shredded with a lawn mower and used as mulch.  Something called wormwood tea is also a good deterrent.  From what I gather, you can brew dried leaves and flowers from the wormwood plant and spray the ground and foliage of slug-favored plants.  Wormwood is used as a remedy for parasite worms, so I guess this makes sense.

    wormwood
    Wormwood (photo credit – DavesGarden.com)
  3. Copper strip barrier – form a ring out of a thin copper strip and place it on the soil around plants that are susceptible.
  4. Sprinkle salt directly on any predators you see.
  5. Coffee grounds, coarse sand, seaweed meal all have properties that repel these slimy pests. These items create an uncomfortable path which makes slithering impossible.

Every year I vow to control slugs before they ruin my hostas.

20170601_092347

And every year, I’m reminded that I waited just a bit too long.

 

 

 

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4 Replies to “Holey Hosta Leaves, Batman!”

  1. My arch enemy! I use slug pellets (Sluggo) in early spring when they are most effective. The rest of the time, I go around with a can of salt and stick to knock them in. Gross, but over time it makes a dent in the population.

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    1. Eliza – I just went on a slugfest – ewww there were so many. I think I will have to do this every night in order to get this under control. I’m also going to invest in a some slug pellets.

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      1. It is gross, I know. I’ve been doing it after supper for the past three summers! The beer and pellets only go so far (it requires them to come to the bait) so I just decided if I was going to have tomatoes and flowers, I needed to be proactive. Toads and pickerel frogs are always welcome, too. 😉

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