Slimy mollusks that come out at night to eat hosta leaves and other tender plants. You know they have been there because of the slimy trail they leave behind on your sidewalk and because of the holes in your beautiful hosta plants. Slugs can grow to be about three inches long and are amazingly disgusting.
You can try a liquid approach - as many slugs have an affinity for beer or ale. Just be certain to make the drink unavailable to pets. The worst part will be the task of emptying the beer/bloated dead slug container!
A spray bottle that contains a dilute solution of ammonia will stop them dead in their slime trails, as well. Ammonia will provide nitrogen to the planting area, and be less deleterious to plants than is salt; albeit the salt is more visually satisfying.
Various methods of controlling slugs have been around for a long time & they work, but slugs are always returning. Their numbers never seem to go down. It\'s a constant battle to control them in areas with lots of rain (like ours). I read a few years back that caffeine is a neuro-toxin to slugs. Since I don\'t drink coffee, I bought Wake-Up pills instead (100 mg caffeine per tablet). I found it worked but needed repeating after rain or watering. Later, I read that caffeine also adversely affects plants, causing them to yellow & become stunted. So what to do if one doesn\'t like using man-made pesticides like me?
There\'s now a new & effective slug poison, completely SAFE for animals & insects, that won\'t break down readily & isn\'t affected by rain. When it does break down, it enriches the soil. It\'s ferric (iron) phosphate. There\'s 2 products available on the market - Sluggo & Escar-Go! Both contain it along with slug attractant which draws slugs to the bait rather than the plants.
Since spring has started & slugs will soon be emerging (if they haven\'t already), I\'m going to see where I can buy it locally. While I enjoy cutting slugs (& spearing them with sticks) like any normal gardener, my time could be better spent weeding & planting so I\'ll be buying this product soon.