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I have been plagued by slugs this year as well. I don't like using chemicals, I have a dog and free range chickens so apart from the ecological arguments I don,t want to hurt my girls. I have heard of nemaslug but not being up on chemicals I don't know if this is safe or not. My chickens eat some of the slugs and up until this year so did the birds but we seem to have hardly any birds on the marsh this year. Any advice would be very welcome. Another thought - does salt affect the soil balance?

Salt in small amounts won't, but it will if say coastal flooding has occurred. 


while nematodes are great, and well done for using them, as far as i'm aware their not very effective outdoors? as they will just move on when they feel like it, great for tunnels and greenhouse's though.

i have found copper tape excellent around pots and raised beds if that's any help




nemaslug is nematodes. They're not a chemical, they're alive

is it too late in the season to use the nematodes in the greenhouse? I know with the parasitic wasps you have to let them build up early or they aren't effective but I have never used nematodes, I do usually tend to let nature take it's course so it looks like I'm back to rubber gloves torch and bucket at midnight, still it gets you out of the house doesn't it.



I don't know howto use them susie. I do much as you do

Nemetodes are the most natural and effective slug control there is. They are parasites that 'burrow' into the slugs and destroy them. Slugs live mostly underground and come to the surface when it is damp. The nemetodes will last for over 12 months, although I have found that it can be 2 years as the slugs have to catch up I.e. Lay eggs and hatching, so if you water nemetodes in every year it can be very effective. I have just bought my supply for this year from the Gardening Show at the N.E.C. ( couldn't use them last 2 years due to house flooding! ) .


They do say that they only last for 6 weeks then you need to apply more, and this was true in my garden.

They work really well but as my garden is big, i just couldnt afford them this year. 

You can apply them now, but as we are in for a dry spell, you will need to dampen the ground and keep them watered until they establish.

Lyn, I spoke to the sales man on the stand at the Garden Show and he said they will be effective for a year but as the slugs have to repopulate the effects could be up to 2 years, this is what I have found. I have a big garden and have to decide whether to treat vegetables or flowers, the veg and strawberries usually win! 

i can't believe the chemical  stuff is even still made, i,ve only seen one thrush this year


You're lucky rosemummy. I haven't seen one yet. The sound of snail bashing was constant here a few years ago. It may not all be down to chemicals but the neighbouring farmer sprays something, somewhere most days

Hi nutcutlet we have the same lack of birds this year. Up til last year we had swallows nesting in sheds, loads of martins, thrushes blackbirds and sparrows, in fact we were wondering if there really was a shortage of birds, they all seemed to meet in our garden.We live in the middle of the marshes about two miles from the wash and are surrounded by fields which, this year, the farmers are spraying almost daily. We have a pair of great tits who have raised one brood and are sitting again and a couple of wrens but thats all.  The garden is so quiet, this is why we have a slug problem. It's so sad.



It is sad susie. I'm sure there are other factors that affect bird numbers but the use of chemicals is one that we could sort out if the will was there.

Victoria Sponge

I was lucky enough to see two thrushes (not sure which kind) at the same time in my garden this past week which I was delighted about. It didn't last long as one chased the other away so I'm guessing both males unless the female is also territorial.

I just regret that I can't provide them with any real habitat as my garden is quite small

Well we are so fortunate! This morning we have had blackbirds, 10 blue tits, 3 bull finches - male,female and a youngster, a song thrush, sparrows and a spotted woodpecker. We live on the outskirts of a city but have a large allotment area one side of us - a railway on the other : ( . Plagued with pigeons, grey squirrels and slugs! 


Victoria Sponge - invest in a couple of feeders if you can, one for peanuts and one for mixed seed, it could work.


I'm not short of birds generally here, but thrushes are very low


I heard a song thrush singing nearby here the other evening - it was wonderful.

Otherwise the last one I saw was in the churchyard opposite mother in law's - just up the road from you Nut 

We have blackbirds, sparrows, blue and great tits, goldfinches, robin,occasionally long tailed tits, odd pigeon

Victoria Sponge
Reikijo wrote (see)

Victoria Sponge - invest in a couple of feeders if you can, one for peanuts and one for mixed seed, it could work.

Hi Reikijo

The feeding is no problem- everyone rocks up...just my garden is too small for any decent sized trees/ nesting places...