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Beginner Vegetables: Slug and Snail problem

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Forum: Beginner VegetablesReplies: 34, Views: 285
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jesusaves
Charlotte, NC

June 30, 2007
1:33 PM

Post #3678716

How can I get rid of munching slugs and snails? They really seem to love my bell pepper plant.
Tina
chicochi3
Fayetteville, AR
(Zone 6b)

June 30, 2007
1:51 PM

Post #3678765

They're getting my almost ripe tomatoes, too. I've heard that setting a bowl with beer in the garden will attract them and they will drown in it. Before I go buy beer, does that really work?
jesusaves
Charlotte, NC

June 30, 2007
2:09 PM

Post #3678830

That's what I've heard too, but I'm not sure if this works either. I'm willing to try it though. I didn't baby these plants for 2 months for nothing. If you know what I mean.

If anyone else knows if this works or not, please let us know.
Thanks,
Tina

Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


June 30, 2007
2:33 PM

Post #3678902

I t works, but probably not fast enough to help your plants. If you have any type debris arround that they are hiding under in the daytime, try removing it or use one of the slug baits.
durtdobber

June 30, 2007
5:15 PM

Post #3679448

I KNOWWHAT YOU A GOING THRU I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM WITH MY SWEET PEPPERS PLANTS WHAT I DO IS AFTER DARK A COUPLE HOURS I TAKE A GOOD LIGHT AND A HAND FULL OF EPSON SALT AND SHINE THE LIGHT ON THE PEPPER PLANT AND MOST OF THE TIME THE SLUGS WILL BE IN THE TOPS OF THE PLANT EATING THE FRESH TENDER LEAVES THAT HAVE JUST SPROUTED POUR SOME EPSON SALT ON THEM AND THEY WILL FALL OF THE PLANT AND BE DEAD QUICKLY BUT LOOK THE PLANTS GOOD BECAUSE SOMETIMES THEY WILL NOT BE ON THE TOP SIDE OF THE LEAF SO I LOOK THE PLANT GOOD WITH THE LIGHT AND TRY TO GET THEM ALL SOME TIME I DO THIS 2 TIMES A NIGHT BUT I 1 WEEK I HAVE CUT BACK MY SLUG PROBLEMS DOWN A GREAT DEAL AND EPSON SALT WILL NOT HURT YOUR PLANTS IT A LITTLE MORE WORK THAN SLUG KILLER BUT MYWAY YOU SEE THE SLUG THEN HE IS NO LONGER A PROBLEM .BECAUSE THE EPSON SALT TAKES HIM OUT QUICK.

This message was edited Jun 30, 2007 3:56 PM
durtdobber

July 1, 2007
1:32 AM

Post #3680655

something i thought of is the slugs are at home in damp straw to hid all day and come out at night. i have straw as a ground cover to cut back on weeds growing but it puts a place for slugs to hide during daylight and do there damage at night
daphnecat
Mays Landing, NJ
(Zone 7a)

July 1, 2007
2:48 PM

Post #3681961

Beer works really well. I use the small bathroom cups cut down to 1" high. At that size they are easy to bury to the rim in the areas where slugs are a problem. Be careful with the epson salt. Some can be beneficial to certain plants but but regular use will create a buildup in the soil. I keep needle nose pliers in my garden bucket which I use to grab those slimeballs (they work on beetles too) which I drop into bug jars (used peanut butter containers, no I don't wash them first, the bugs stick to the peanut butter and can't escape before I put the lid back on).
jesusaves
Charlotte, NC

July 1, 2007
6:49 PM

Post #3682695

I am so not the bug person and I really get wigged out by the enormous North Carolina Slugs. These things can get to be 4-6 inches long... maybe longer.

I went out the other night to water with just a small flashlight. I just knew I saw a small snake crawling under my squash plant. No... It was a huge slug. I do not want to touch them with anything, but I know I've got to do something. Thanks for all of your help and advice.
God Bless and Happy 4th,
Tina
daphnecat
Mays Landing, NJ
(Zone 7a)

July 1, 2007
8:04 PM

Post #3682899

jesusaves:
Instead of needle nose pliers, like I use on my small, non-scarey slugs, perhaps you would do well to use tongs!
jesusaves
Charlotte, NC

July 2, 2007
1:36 AM

Post #3683946

That's the truth.

I went out today and sprinkled a lot of Rock salt around the bottoms of the bales (where it can't harm the plant roots). I don't know if it will help, but I had it on hand, so I guess we'll see.

Hey I love the peanut butter jar idea too. I'll have to try that.

Tina
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

July 2, 2007
4:01 AM

Post #3684488

What you guy's have to be carefull with is that you dont kill all the benificial bugs too, you need these to pollinate your plants, best get the slugs and snails at night with a flash light, fill a bucket full of water and wareing gloves, pick the snails/slugs off the plants and dump them in the bucket, I can count up to 90/120 at a time, if you have a friendly hairdresser, ask for the cuttings and place that around your plants, they say the slugs dont like to cross this as the hair ends jab them, never tried it myself, but friends say it works and it also good as compost. Good luck. WeeNel.
ZenSojourner
Fairborn, OH
(Zone 8a)

July 2, 2007
10:59 PM

Post #3687569

Slug-go and Escar-go are the only slug baits that work, plus they're organic. Won't harm plants or pets. The other slug baits are poisonous and are not to be used on food plants, plus they don't work.

You can get Escar-go from Gardens Alive.

http://www.gardensalive.com/

Hope that helps.

Sojourner
gn63
Banks, AL
(Zone 8a)

July 3, 2007
5:41 AM

Post #3689089

Hi every one. We got rid of my slug problem a few years ago. We had an armodillo digging up our yard so we heard someone say that moth balls would run the armadillo so we put moth balls all over the lawn. After that I did not have slugs much at all anymore. I did have them about as bad as they could stick. Like you, I tried the salt and other things and it would kill what it went on but there were slugs every where. I no longer have to worry with slugs. They may come back in a few years but have not had them for about 3 years now. Just thought you might like to know this,...
wildredmater
Dallas, TX

July 12, 2007
9:26 PM

Post #3728892

Beer works better than toxic bait for slugs. I take a small plastic water bottle (1/2 liter) and cut two big drawbridges on either side. In the middle, I leave a small swimming pool of beer. I leave out the trap after weighing down the drawbridges with a bit of dirt. The trap is set at night and the next morning, the trap is FULL of snails. First night, you should find 40-50 snails in the trap. Every subsequent night, you should find less snails/slugs in the trap until there are no more after 2 weeks or so. If you have chickens, they love eating those slugs.

Please answer my question: "Best Tomato (s) for North Texas"

Thumbnail by wildredmater
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lexiekinz
Lakeland, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 14, 2007
1:17 PM

Post #3734854

I've read that coffee grounds help too. I was getting buckets full from StarBucks. You don't want to use that much though. A few from your kitchen.
Mobi
Denver, CO
(Zone 6a)

July 14, 2007
2:54 PM

Post #3735100

Diatomaceous earth works. It's non toxic to humans and pets but it will also kill your earthworms so it's a toss up. It's the ground up algae and works my taking the moisture out of the insect. People have taken it as a wormer so it is safe for your vegetables. But use ONLY food grade diatomaceous earth. They also sell it for pools but that is NOT what you want - it won't work and I don't know if it's safe.

Lowe's sometimes carries the right stuff under the name Concern. You can also get it online. I have used it for ants and it works really well but I haven't used it for slugs because I didn't want to kill the earthworms. You have to reapply it after raining or watering.

http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/defaq.html

This message was edited Jul 21, 2007 5:39 PM
vegietalesjamie
Navasota, TX

July 21, 2007
10:28 PM

Post #3763423

I tried powdered laundry soap around the border of the garden, it kept out more snails, then I just pick the ones in the garden and feed to the chickens. But I'm concerned about the safety of the laundry soap as it gets absorbed into the ground??
gratefulgarden
Portsmouth, NH

October 20, 2011
3:57 AM

Post #8856692

I have been using slug shields and they work well. Big benefits are that they last all season and are non-toxic. I read that the slug baits are toxic to earthworms (invertebrates) and other organisms. Good luck.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 24, 2011
4:34 PM

Post #8862076

The problem with the poison slug / snail baits are that even when they kill the slugs / snails, they are left on the ground and the creatures that eat slugs and snails eat up the then poisoned insects and this in turn kills the birds that ate the snails etc.

A few months ago friends and I were talking about the increase in slugs / snails this year due to our wet summer and they all said the beer works, they had been using it for a couple of years (they kept that a secret from me eh) anyway they said light bear is best, we call it lager, they bury a jam jar (preserve) into the soil, several jars between the rows or in beds etc, and HALF fill with bear, place a stone next to the jar and make a cover that will rest on the stone to allow slugs snails into the jar but prevent rain ?watering to dilute the bear, you need to empty the jars after a few days and redo the them but, I have been assured there are dozens of those critters in the jar after a few days. The lid is set at an angle allows other insects be able to escape out from the jar, one friend said she has to have a stone on top of the lid to prevent it blowing away so you would need to make your own set up to suit. I would then pour the slugs and beer onto the soil so the birds could eat the pickled slugs like we do with our food ha, ha, ha.
Good Luck. WeeNel.
Jim41
Delhi, LA

October 26, 2011
2:03 PM

Post #8864740

The beer works. I used tuna cans and just sat them under the flowers. Didn't bury them at all. Every morning I would have a can full. Did that until I quit catching any. Haven't had a slug problem since.
Bailey7
Ontario, CA

October 26, 2011
7:55 PM

Post #8865248

Just an added suggestion, if you have opposums hanging around, they will eat the snails. I have at least one that shows up every year and haven't seen a snail. About 5 years ago I didn't have any possums and the snails were out of control. Also if you can get some decolate snails they will eat the other snails but not the plants - go nature!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

October 27, 2011
11:45 AM

Post #8865922

Spiders and ground beetles eat slugs.
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

November 7, 2011
6:57 AM

Post #8879934

here's weird thing - I put out old cat food tins with beer in them under neath my tomatoes and basil.

well, went out there, and no slugs. soil around the traps doesn't look disturbed, so don't think, a bird/raccoon/armadillo got them. if there's no slugs, then what's going on with my plants???? no caterpillars; i checked.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

November 10, 2011
11:16 AM

Post #8884816

SFC - perhaps your "munchers" are sow bugs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodlouse#Description_and_life_cycle
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

November 10, 2011
2:49 PM

Post #8885110

well, don't recall seeing any of those, but I *think* I may have seen some discarded exoskeletons.

but none of the articles I've seen say that the sowbugs eat vegetation - though would make sense.

"Sowbugs are not able to retain water in their bodies, so they spend most of their time in damp places. Outdoors they hide under logs, rocks, flowerpots, and trashcans. Sowbugs eat organic debris and decaying plants, so it is common to find them under mulch in flowerbeds. To conserve moisture, they are usually active at night."

...like the mulch I just put under all my tomatoes...wonderful!

but I'm seeing same type of munching on my lettuce in another bed, and I have no mulch there. do they live in soil, by chance?

thanks, btw.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

November 11, 2011
7:16 AM

Post #8885803

SoFlaCommercial,
Get yourself some Sluggo Plus. It will handle any slugs, snails, AND pillbugs in your containers. Sprinkle just a little bit (about 1/2 to 1 tsp) in each container. Good thing with Sluggo Plus is it seems to continue working even after a rain or two.

Remember: get the PLUS, as the regular doesn't to be as effective. I sprinkled some around the entire perimeter of concrete pad my buckets were sitting on as well as a bit inside each one. Didn't see a pillbug all season long. And, we had a GAZILLION pillbugs!

The stuff works. I just hope your problem is slugs, snails or pillbugs!

Linda
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

November 11, 2011
8:07 AM

Post #8885852

well, I did see my runner bean leaves are getting eaten, but wondering if that's a different monster altogether - like a grasshopper. I killed one the other night in a different part of the garden. I pulled a "bob" and went out after dark with a flashlight. didn't see any caterpillars. beans are mulched, as is the entire 'tomato' bed ( three roma tomatoes, two basil plants, two greek oregano, two parsley). because of the mulch, I am now seeing bunches of ant hills along the edge of the bed where the dirt meets the wood, just outside the mulch. gonna hit that with some coffee grounds/diatamaceous earth, and then little Terro ant traps.

DAMNIT, THESE BUGS ARE NOT GETTING MY FOOD THIS SEASON!!!!!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

November 12, 2011
8:52 AM

Post #8886987

SFC - everything "official" says that sow bugs only eat organic debris and decaying plants - BUT - they do eat live plant material. I've witnessed it personally and so have other DG members. Gymgirl is correct: Sluggo PLUS will kill snails, slugs and sow bugs.

As far as I know, grasshoppers will eat just about anything. I see lots of them here, but so far (touch wood) they don't seem to be doing much, if any, damage.
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

November 12, 2011
11:50 AM

Post #8887177

hmmm, well, did a review yesterday of my runner beans, and in addition to leaf miners (I cut off those leaves), I saw some leaves with ACTUAL TOOTH MARKS in them - wondering if I have a big *ss lizard/iguana hanging around.

the leaves are eaten from the outer edges towards the inside; not like from the inside - out like snails.

I'll go get some sluggo plus on monday, as the nursery's closed and lowe's/HD only carry chemical slug stuff locally.

thanks, honeybee!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

November 12, 2011
6:23 PM

Post #8887694

SFC,
I've tracked down every tiny cabbage worm I could find, and I also sprayed Thuricide and Garden Dust. To date, it looks like the wormhole activity has stopped, however, I continue to monitor.

At this point, if I saw any more wormhole activity, I would immediately suspect pillbugs. I know they exist in my yard, and I believe they could have hiding places under the pine bark fines I'm currently sold on using in my veggie buckets. Something said earlier about pillbugs liking to hide in mulch made me consider they were doing the munching, especially when I couldn't find any more worms.

I think I'm going to sprinkle some Sluggo Plus tomorrow -- just in case.

Thanks, HoneybeeNC.
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

November 13, 2011
8:28 PM

Post #8889211

I shut down my phone for the night, but you should see the marks in my beans, hilarious! I saw flat tooth marks, but also indentations, like fangs. Suspected the neighborhood 'community' cat (he was abandoned when his family got foreclosed on), but this morning I saw a squirrel in that general vicinity, so wondering if it isn't the squirrel...

but will post tomorrow - interesting photo.
MrPappyG
Glassboro, NJ

December 4, 2011
9:29 PM

Post #8916737

Have any of you tried Diatomacious Earth...??? it's exoskeleton's of tiny plankton, and from what I've read it's repellent affect on most garden invaders is amazing. Just a thought while passing through. Hi GG and Honeybee...

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

December 5, 2011
9:06 AM

Post #8917179

SFC - squirrels usually run away with whatever they bite into if they can. The've tried my persimmons, but the fruit is so well attached, that they couldn't get them off the tree. They left fang-like depressions like you described.

Fruit that is low to the ground will also be eaten by turtles (yes turtles!) We shared lots of low-slung tomatoes/melons with box turtles this past summer.

Then there are voles! They eat roots.

With all the varmints that take their share of our garden, it's a wonder we have anything left - but we do.

Hi back-atcha Mr. Pappy! ^:-)^
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

December 5, 2011
9:00 PM

Post #8918080

are there voles in florida, though, honeybee? i thought that was an issue relegated to northern florida and above.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

December 6, 2011
8:46 AM

Post #8918576

SFC - I never had a problem with voles in South Florida, so perhaps that's one pest that isn't present there. I DO have a problem with them here (grrr) they ate the roots of beans a couple of years ago - pulled the entire young plants down into the ground. Past two years they have eaten some sweet potatoes down to nubs.

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