Slug removal in Seattle

Sometimes maintaining healthy garden plants means controlling the slug population. Here is some helpful advice to removing slugs from your garden without harming children, animals, and other beneficial garden critters.

Ugh… the slug! I think Seattle is their favorite vacationing spot. The entire slug population must visit Seattle in spring and summer because they are everywhere. Seattle slugs pretend to move slowly, but when you are not looking they can find your soft-leafed garden plants and devour them. They eat hearty and don’t care how much work you’ve put in to planting your daisies, garden vegetables, or hostas. Then they lounge on our walkways causing a hazardous situation. You need to be prepared to eradicate the slug.

First, let me tell you it is very difficult to remove the Seattle slug permanently from the garden. Here are some environmentally friendly ideas that seem to work quite well. All of these methods need to be monitored and the slugs bait or deterrent material will need to be replaced occasionally.

If Seattle were a dry climate, I’d tell you to stop watering in the evening in order to keep slugs away. But since we can’t stop the rain (and slugs like rain) you will need to use alternative methods.

One of the best methods is using beer. That’s right. Slugs like to party on more than just garden vegetables and herbs. Fill several plastic milk jugs half-full with a lager beer. Cut an opening on the sides of each container - close to the top. Then, bury them part-way in the ground around your garden. The base of the openings should be at ground level. Slugs like beer; they will drink up and then die happy. (A mixture of sugar-water with a little salt and package of yeast will also work.)

If you have limitless patience and a lot of time on your hands, you could wait for the slugs to appear, and then spray them with ammonia. This is a natural chemical that slugs don’t like…and I can’t say as I blame them. Otherwise, here’s another idea: Line the perimeter of your garden with a small material containing sharp edges. This could be bits of shells, broken hazelnuts or walnuts, or lava rock. You may need to refresh the supply occasionally as the slug barrier may become covered with dirt or moss.

Also, try controlling the slug population by spreading cleaned and crushed egg shells around your plants, position copper wire around the edge or the garden, or increase the pH level by adding lime to the soil. These techniques have been tried and are effective for many gardeners.

This year, I hope your Seattle garden is slug-free and abundant.

Category: Animals and Insects

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