London (change)
Today 11°C / 4°C
Tomorrow 10°C / 6°C
19 messages
07/12/2012 at 01:43

I have a problem with underground slugs eating newly planted shrubs in my front garden and want some help in trying to get rid of them before it gets too expensive to replace the plants that die.

07/12/2012 at 06:04

Can you describe the little horrors for us, or even post a picture?

 And are they eating the roots or the tops of the shrubs?  

And what sort of shrubs are we talking about? 

07/12/2012 at 08:12

Agree with Dove, we need to knoe more about these 'slugs'

07/12/2012 at 08:17

A pic of the shrubs would be useful as well to see the type of damage

07/12/2012 at 09:20

Sound more like cutworms than slugs. the only slugs in Britiain that live underground are keeled slugs and they mainly eat things like potatoes.

07/12/2012 at 14:06

small slugs live under the soil as for this is where the eggs are to be found,and its the small slugs that do the most damage.

07/12/2012 at 14:16

There are certainly slugs living in soil but I'm surprised to hear they're eating/killing  shrubs. Slugs cause damage in gardens but this sounds a bit extreme. 

07/12/2012 at 14:56

Might not be slugs at all-possibly weevil grubs-but again more info needed.

07/12/2012 at 15:08

If it's slugs, they are like the ones on our allotment and they do live under the soil, just coming up to eat our precious plants. I use Nematodes which are parasites to slugs and work brilliantly. You buy them online and water them into the soil. Easy to do and very effective. They saved most of our crops this year which was the Year of the Slug!

07/12/2012 at 15:31

Certainly a big slug year here and I can see them eating veg and other succulent leaves. It's the extent of the shrub eating that surprises me.

07/12/2012 at 16:54

I am very sorry to disagree with so many folks, but Slugs do not live underground. They live in the leaf litter on the soil and may appear to come from within the soil but they are surface living creatures. Nor, do they eat roots. Their preferences are for green leaves, decaying leaves and mostly for each other.

07/12/2012 at 17:22

so when you find a slug in a hole in a spud you've just dug up? or the rotting tubers of something that's died? Where did they come from?

07/12/2012 at 17:25

the little ones with the yellow/orange bellies. Little b......s

07/12/2012 at 17:50

I think Berghill somehow has made a unintended contradiction as keel slugs living underground was mentioned earlier this morning

We still are no further forward though

07/12/2012 at 17:58

Perhaps Sarah Garrett will come through with some more details soon.

08/12/2012 at 09:53

Waving at Sarah.


08/12/2012 at 13:14

The following facts I found in my documents, (using nematodes-without my judging!):

Infestations are less serious in dry weather but tend to become a problem during prolonged rainy weather. An individual grey field slug has the potential to produce 90,000 grandchildren and has approximately 27,000 teeth!

They live underground during the day, emerging at night to feed. One cubic metre of garden will on average contain up to 200 slugs. Slugs eat leaves, stems and roots of plants, weakening them and often causing them to die. They leave slimy trails over plants and soil, and are particularly devastating to seedlings and cuttings. Slugs leave their own individual scent trails so they can find their way home. Use packs of microscopic beneficial nematodes (eel worms) which are watered into pots or open ground with a watering can or hose. They enter the slug through a hole in its back while it is underground and poison it so that it will die within a few days underground, out of sight. Nematodes can be used indoors or outdoors, when temperatures are above 5°C. They remain in sufficient concentration to give good effectiveness for about 6 weeks. The best time to kill slugs is when the young are hatching in the spring, but nematodes can be applied all year round, whenever slugs are around. This year we were applying them in our glasshouses in January! Nematodes travel by slithering around the soil particles so the soil needs to be kept moist. If it is hot and dry they will either shrivel and die or hide away deep underground. These nematodes will kill snails if they come into contact with the soft part of their body. However snails feed on the surface, and the nematodes usually work underground within the soil so they are not a foolproof way of controlling snail populations. (The best way to deal with snails is to pick them off by hand or use a slug and snail trap).

"To know what we know, and know what we do not know, that is understanding."(Confucius)  Eco Thai German Farm, farmersvoice

12/12/2012 at 10:44

there is no point in applying nematodes in the winter, start again in March. you could try a liquid slug killer, if the ground isnt frozen. At least its better than seeing all those horrible blue bits on the ground.

22/12/2012 at 06:44

acording to my sources, Deroceras reticulatum,  the "grey field slug"


Deroceras reticulatum is almost exclusively restricted to cultivated areas, usually in open habitats, in meadows, near roadsides, in ruins, gardens and parks, not inside forests. It shelters under stones and ground litter (does not burrow into the soil). It is active at night.

email image
19 messages