Controlling Slugs in the Fall

Below is a very good article on slug control in the fall (source:

Among the many possible fall projects, perhaps one of the most important is slug control. With the cooler weather that usually arrives in late September and October, slugs become quite active. Steps should be taken to control them before they devour the foliage of your favorite flowers, vegetables, and shrubs.

Slug having dinnerWhen tender new growth disappears overnight, slugs are usually responsible. Another telltale sign of their presence is the trail of slime they leave behind. They don't have a natural enemy; and as far as I have been able to discover, they do not have one beneficial characteristic. Snakes, ducks, geese, toads, and some birds do eat them, but that does not help most of us very much. They are truly pests and should be eliminated before they raise havoc in the garden.

Fall is a particularly important time of the year to control slugs because it is one of their major egg-laying times. It is said that they are bisexual and can lay an average of twenty to fifty eggs in each cluster. The clusters look somewhat like little BB-size balls of colorless jelly. Destroy them wherever you find them. Depending on the temperature and humidity, they hatch in ten days to three weeks from the time they are laid, and the slugs can mature to adulthood in as little as six weeks, although generally this takes three to twelve months.

When you are working in your garden during the fall, look for slugs in several different locations. Most often they are found along the edge of the lawn and flower bed area where it is cool and moist, but you will also find them under boards, rocks, and at the bases of low-growing plants.

The true garden slug, the spotted garden slug, and the tawny garden slug are the most common species in this region. Although they extend up to 4 inches or more when they are on the move, their average size is about 2 to 3½ inches in length. These slugs range in shades of orange, brown, and tan, while some are black, spotted, or two-toned.
During the winter, slugs hibernate and seldom put in an appearance. During this time, they burrow several inches into the soil or disappear under rocks, large clumps of grass, or boards.

People have tried all kinds of different ways to control slugs in their gardens. It seems as if every time I mention this subject at least half a dozen readers write in to suggest methods they use. One such method is a neighborhood competition to see who can collect the most slugs at night. To use this method, all you need is a flashlight, a stick, and a bucket to collect them. The next morning you can compare notes with the neighbors over the back fence.
Another popular method is to go after the slugs with a salt shaker. In recent years it has also been very popular to trap the slugs with beer. This is done by filling a small bowl with stale beer and putting it in the areas where the slugs are active. Stale beer attracts the slugs and they drown.

A new product called SlugDefence, developed in Washington State, does an excellent job of keeping slugs out of areas where the fence is installed. Still, probably the most popular method of controlling slugs today is by using commercial slug bait products. Available in meal, pellets, powder, liquid, granules, and gels, their effectiveness depends primarily on the frequency of application and the way in which they are applied. It is important that all types of slug baits be applied only as directed on the label. Special attention should be given to any cautions on the label, especially where they pertain to children and pets.

Weather is also a factor in the effectiveness of baits. If the bait can be covered and protected from sprinklers or rainwater, it will last much longer. You can cover the bait with a shingle or a piece of wood to keep it dry.
Whatever method you use, fall is the time to begin a regular slug control program, before they ruin your plants

What is a Garden Slug?

get rid of slugs
Slugs destroying a garden!
The garden slug is a pest that we must often deal with in our lawns and gardens, especially in the spring and summer months. These little pests have been known to destroy entire gardens, and cost a lot of money to get rid of (not to mention replacing all the plants they destroy). But what is a garden slug?

A slug is often described as a snail without a shell. Garden slugs need a certain amount of dampness or humidity to survive. They are found in the pacific northwest and southern United States. They are active at night. Garden slugs are also active when it rains. They spend daytime in debris like compost, or under logs and sticks. Many garden slugs are omnivorous, which means that they may eat a variety of foods such as dead insects/worms, and fungi, in addition to green plants.

Garden slugs are hermaphrodites. This means that they posses both female and male reproductive organs. A slug can starts off as a female, switch over to to male, then back to female again. Some species of garden slug can even self-reproduce, creating offspring without a mate. Most garden slugs mate and lay their eggs in the fall months. A garden slug can live for around two to four years.

Garden Slugs feed on our plants by chewing holes of various sizes in the leaves
and stems. The holes can be located on the edge of the leave or in the middle. And since garden slugs only eat at night, they only evidence that they were there along with the holes, is the slime trail that they leave behind.

Now that you know a little big about this garden pest, click here to find out how to get rid of slugs.

What do Slugs like to Eat?

If you have a garden, and are asking what do slugs eat, odds are that they will eat everything that you are growing in your garden. While slugs are important for eating dead and decaying plants and insects, they can easily destroy a healthy, vibrant garden. Slugs can eat a plant faster than it can grow. They prefer soft leaved plants, vegetables and fruits like berries.

Below is a list of some of the plants that slugs eat:
  • Tomato Plants
  • Lettuce
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberry Bushes
  • Corn
  • Artichoke Bushes
  • And much MUCH more!
If you currently have a garden with any of the above plants, I advise you to protect your plants from the gardens slugs. <a href="" onclick="parent.location.href=''; return event.returnValue=false" rel="nofollow" target="_top">Click here</a>to find out how to get rid of slugs in your garden.