Slugs and snails can be extremely damaging to your yard and garden and can turn your beautiful landscape into a scene out of a horror film. Slugs and snails feed on plant leaves, seedlings, and ripening fruit. These slimy pests are particularly a problem in rainy and well-irrigated gardens, which is worrisome in our own wet Eugene, Oregon. But fret not, Glenn Landscape Services is here to provide you with five, all-natural ways to rid your yard and garden of slugs and snails without the use of harsh chemicals.
1. Introduce beneficial insects
Although slugs and snails can wreak havoc on your garden, not all bugs are as bad. Attracting beneficial insects into your garden can help with pest control. Ground beetles feed on snails, slugs, aphids, and caterpillars and are not harmful to your plants. Planting white clovers will attract ground beetles into your garden. Centipedes are nocturnal hunters and will eat slugs and slug eggs. The rove beetle is another example of an insect that is a friend to gardeners and a foe to slugs.
2. Plant slug deterring plants
Plants vulnerable to being eaten by slugs and snails include lettuce, cabbage, basil, lilies, strawberries, delphiniums, and marigolds. Planting slug deterring plants around the edge of your garden or near vulnerable plants will help deter slugs from getting to their (and your) favorite plants. Slug repelling plants include lavender, chives, garlic, mint, fennel, and rosemary.
3. Remove potential hiding places
Slugs love hanging out under dark, moist places, so removing potential hiding spots in your yard can help clear up a slug problem. Prime slug hiding places include boards, bricks, and other debris that they can hide underneath.
4. Sprinkle crushed eggshells around the garden
Understandably, slugs and snails don’t like moving across sharp objects, just as we don’t like walking across broken glass. Surrounding your plants with crushed eggshells will deter slugs from getting close enough to your plants to cause damage. Eggshells are also good for your garden as the calcium will enrich the soil as they decompose.
5. Use beer or grapefruit traps
An effective way to trap and kill pesky slugs and snails is with a beer trap. Use a tray or any empty container and fill it with fresh beer. Any beer will do just fine, however, slugs seem to prefer dark ales the most. Place in your garden, leave it overnight and the slugs will be drawn to the smell of the yeast, crawl in, and drown. Make sure that the entrance to your container is an inch or so above ground so that your beneficial insects, such as rove beetles, don’t accidentally fall in. Watch this video to learn how to make your own beer trap.
You can also use this same trapping technique with grapefruit rinds. Place halved and emptied grapefruits upside down in your yard or garden. The citrus will attract the slugs who will crawl inside the grapefruits and you can dispose of them as you like the next morning.
If you still have issues with slugs and snails even after trying these natural techniques, it never hurts to call in for professional help! Contact Glenn Landscape Services and we will help you tackle all your landscape maintenance needs.