Belleair, FL(Zone 10a)

Last week I posted a question about brown curling leaves on all my plants & last nite around 1 a.m. I went outside to check my garden & found about 30 slugs. I'm guessing that is causing the brown leaves & dying plants. Is this correct? Or is this just a bonus problem? I'm adding the pics just to be sure. I put coffee grounds and some eggshells down then put rock ice cream salt around the outer border of my garden. Not sure if that was a good idea. Any help is really appreciated! :)

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San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Hi, I do two things. I sprinkle down Sluggo Plus (not regular Sluggo, only Sluggo Plus is on the organics list -- at least that is what I think I read! But you can do your research if that's important to you).

The other thing I do is to slip collars on the base of the plants. I use plastic Solo cups, cut down. Wiggle them down into the soil part way -- use a knife to cut into the dirt, if necessary. Just don't harm the roots of the plant you are trying to protect.

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


Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Regular Sluggo should be fine. Sluggo plus is for other pests like pill bugs. It's my understanding that Sluggo is Organic.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

If a dog or cat eats Sluggo it will be killed. Even if it says "OMRI approved" in its label I really don't believe it !
If you keep applying pesticides on your garden you soon kill all the natural soil biology ... and it will take years to be back.
Instead try to grow healthy plants, use organic compost and let the "Good and bad" bugs do their job.
Just a suggestion :)

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Organic doesn't mean it's safe. It's hard to grow healthy plants when they keep getting destroyed by pests.

Spring City, TN

As my crotchety neighbor likes to mutter at me as I refuse to use chemical pesticides...

"Cocaine is organic, it comes from cocoa leaves... no one is suggesting it's GOOD for you."

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I guess it is just luck in my garden, but I can grow very "healthy" plants and always have a very successful harvests without using NO pesticides.
Off course I have bugs and insects ... but it seems they all take care of each other.
I do plant a few extra plants to sacrifice to them ... and I don't have all of these problems you guys have and I keep reading on DG.

Pictures of my garden and harvests are the proof ... smile and happy gardening

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Many people feel that if it's Organic it's safer....

Drthor, actually I have very few pest problems but the poster ask a question and I'm trying to help. I have never used any of the Sluggo products but this thread isn't about me...

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> If a dog or cat eats Sluggo it will be killed.

I'd like to make a distinction. There are two kinds of Sluggo (not counting Sluggo Plus).
If you're talking about the iron phosphate kind, I disagree with you strongly.

If you mean the metaldehyde kind, I'll nit-pick slightly. A teaspoonfull is dangerous to a cat. A whole tablespoonfull is dangerous to a dog. Applied properly (thinly), a dog would have to lick clean many square yards of bait to be killed.

Iron phosphate is not dangerous. Not even 100% concentrated iron phosphate is "toxic" by the standards of MSDS sheets. It's an irritant. It doesn't even HAVE an LD50.

The iron phosphate kind of Sluggo is not toxic to animals or people. Iron phosphate is a fertilizer additive (iron and phopshate). The only other ingredient of remote concern is EDTA, which is used in toothpaste.

- - - - -

The variety of Sluggo that has metaldehyde IS dangerous to cats and dogs if eaten, but even my cat (not very bright) is plenty smart enough to not eat it. Luckily for me, there are no loose-roaming dogs in my neighborhood. I've read that modern metaldhyde formulastions are required to to incldue an extremyl bitter additive to deter dogs, but maybe that is only in the UK.

>> If a dog or cat eats Sluggo it will be killed.

The metaldehyde kind is toxic, yes, but it isn't like cyanide, where eating one pellet would kill an animal.

(It is selective, meaning much more toxic to slugs than to mammals, which makes it a reasonable kind of chemical, if you use it per the label and don't leave piles of it sitting where a dog can lap it up.)

It wouldn't take very much metaldehyde to make a small animal SICK, but you would have to spread an excessive amount of metaldehyde-Sluggo, and a pet would have to work hard at eating enough of it to actually die.

The oral LD50 in dogs is 100 - 1,000 mg/kg, and in cats is 207 mg/kg so call it 100 mg/kg. Say a small dog weighs 25 pounds (?). That's 11.3 kg, so my guess at the LD50 for a small dog would be 1.1 grams of pure metaldehyde. Typical bait pellets "contain 4% or less of the chemical". So my estimate was 27.5 grams of bait: a whole ounce. These guys say a tablespoon.

"The average amount necessary to be fatal for a dog is somewhat variable, with the lowest being 100mg/kg, or 100 milligrams per kilogram of dog weight. This would roughly be a tablespoon of bait for the average dog." For cats " less than a teaspoon of bait".

"Harmfull when eaten", sure.
"Toxic" - yes, signifcantly.
But they would have to scrounge it all up from a wide area, unless you poured it into their food bowl.

I'm probably nit-picking to even bring it up, but I do have a bee in my bonnet about exagerating the toxicity of the wrong things. There are plenty of REALLY toxic things to focus on, and metaldehyde is just not dioxin or cyanide.

I think I'll change over to covering the metaldhyde kind with a tarp after I sprinkle a little, just in case some neighbor cat is even dumber than my cat. I'm glad I always used it sparingly: a tablespoon would have covered several square yards the way I used it, but I could have gone even lighter.

The Hosta Library link said:
"It is very toxic to slugs, and one small bait pellet half the size of a rice grain can kill several slugs. "

"No more than 3 or 4 pellets per square foot should be applied, as heavier rates would not likely accomplish anything "

(That's 30 pellets per sqaure yard.)


The oral LD50 for metaldehyde in rats is 227 to 690 mg/kg,
in cats is 207 mg/kg,
in dogs is 100 to 1,000 mg/kg,
in mice is 200 mg/kg,
in guinea pigs is 175 to 700 mg/kg,
and in rabbits is 290 to 1,250 mg/kg

Belleair, FL(Zone 10a)

Um...I have my garden fenced off with a 6 foot wire fence. I have a 200 pound mastiff but he's too chubby to get thru the fence & my cat wont even eat bargain priced cat food cuz he's a priss. But all that was helpful if I get a stray cat who scales large fences :). Back to the slugs, I got a product called slug & snail bait (not bcuz I didn't listen but bcuz I couldn't find this sluggo in any of the 4 stores I went to) & applied it today. I'll keep u posted on how my slimy enemies are doing. & just'd be great to use nothing if my garden wasn't being massacred nitely by (literally) 30 or 40 slugs. Its a nitemare. But again thanks one & all! Great info & suggestions....& debates! Always good to have a lot of info rather than too little! Much thanks guys!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

It would be great if we all lived in a perfect world. I have very few issues with slugs and snails but if you have them and they are destroying all your hard work you need to do whatever you can to save your plants, otherwise why bother?

The first few years I gardened here I had very few pests, it took a few years for them to find my garden. So I'm always cautious to be overly optimistic I know now my time will come. I did have a terrible problem with pill bugs eating my young seedlings, I treated one time and have never had to treat again. I just found aphids on my potted pepper plants I could spray them off with water and then they will get on other plants. I think I'll kill them and that will be the end of it. Not only do the suck the juices out of the plant but they spread disease. I want them gone.

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

I have a bed FULL of the biggest tomatoes I've ever grown this early in the season. And little green worms were eating them up! I sprayed TWICE with Bt to stop the destruction.

It breaks my heart to examine a tomato only to find a hole chewed in it.....

I'd have used a cannon if I had to. Every hole reminds me of all the resources I invested in growing each and every tomato. I don't have resources to waste...

This message was edited May 17, 2013 5:54 AM

High Point, NC

I'm with you, Gymgirl. I don't have resources to waste either, and get pretty upset when the bugs are out feasting in my garden.

About the slugs: I've heard beer will kill slugs. I have an ex-husband who drank more than his share of rotgut, but it didn't kill him. Tiny little garden slugs, though, it MIGHT make a difference... :)

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Beer is very effective becuase the little greedy guts climb in and DROWN. They must love the smell becuadse they will ev en climb stairs to get a saucer of beer.

I cut the bottoms off small, clear soda bottles so they aren't conspicuous. They will drown in less than an inch of beer, even thoguh they COULD hold their heads up that high.

I try to put the suacvers a little ways away from the plamnts I wnat to protect, so I don 't attract more slugs TO the plants. For example, beer saucers aroun d the periphery, and bait in the center.

Once I put a batch of saucers out in fall, beuase that was supposed to be their breeding season. Late that night there was aq cold snap, and in the morning I found little slug-sickles in frozen puddles of beer!

Someone did a study and got reuslts showin g that m ore lsugs were attarcted to cheap beer than to good beer!

I wonder whether beer is more, or less, toxic than iron phosphate? It's LOTS less toxic than metaldehyde.

Belleair, FL(Zone 10a)

The slug & snail bait is working great. No waste here! Thx agin 4 ur answers & experiences. Always good to learn about issues b4 the problem arises.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Great, to hear. By killing them now you stop them from reproducing so the population should gradually decine even tho you will probably need to retreat.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)


Batesville, AR

I put about a cup of cornmeal in a plastic container and buried it halfway in the dirt around the plants that were being damaged by slugs. I never saw any dead slugs but I haven't had any problems since then, so I assume the corn meal helped. Also, I've heard that attracting frogs to your garden is helpful too. Glad to hear the bait worked too! Happy Gardening!!

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

also i read somewhere that you can crush up eggshells to put near the base of the plants, the slugs hate the texture of crawling across those jagged edges and supposedly it will scratch them up and they would essentially "Bleed" to death.

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