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The Manic Slughunter

Can anybody help me get rid of what seems like the entire worlds population of slugs in my garden? I began gardening two years ago and the first year was fab...lots of veg and flowers with very little attack from the slimy critters...ugh! but last year total destruction:/ I tried slug pellets and beer traps, the dusk patrol with torch, crushed egg shells and soapy water...all failed and having seen the size of some of them I'm not surprised. I've read about nematodes...any good? I gave up with bulbs too because they disappeared by the next year I believe due to black keel slugs? My hubby thinks its hilarious when I go on my night-time patrol armed with torch and salt pot) I will win! with your help any suggestions gratefully received...thanks everyone


Last year was slug heaven -this year might be different-you are doing all the right things-but if you can find their daytime hiding places and remove those that could help.

You might find white clusters of small white eggs now under stones and suchlike

There is a garlic spray that is supposed to help-never tried nematodes but have heard mixed reports


Walking round with aspade on a damp evening gets a lot of big ones but I think manic slughunter's salt pot ii better on the small ones. Maybe that's because when I aim the spade at a small one i miss often as not. Never been much good at aiming.


If you've got pots outside (or in the greenhouse maybe) standing on gravel there'll probablybe some underneath. Not so many obviously about in the real world now it's gone cold. Slugging is one of my summer evening pursuits, along with watching the bats and shining a torch in the pond to spot the newts. Wine comes later or I lose control of the spade and torch.


The Manic Slughunter

lol....I've got loads of pots scattered around my garden and two on each step going up the patio, I will definitely be in manic mode tomorrow I thought gravel was a good deterrent:/ I have so much to learn My hubby sits drinking his beer and watching the bats while I'm snarling at and squishing the slugs better than watching the telly he reckons Do the keel slugs lay their eggs underground? I have raised borders for my veg and flowers and they're quite deep but the slugs seem to be coming up from underneath:/ can't seem to find the answer to how deep the slugs live underground...any idea?


Not sure which are keeled slugs. The ones I associate with underground are fairly small, black on top, lighter underneath. They go as far underground as they need to to find the food, potatoes for example.

I think I have a full set, lots of different slugs. 2012 was a year for large brown ones and slim, light coloured ones

On the gravel I find the slugs are on the bottom of the pots. They may be on the ground as well but I can't see them


Last year was indeed a slug & snail paradise with all the damp weather later in the year. You could mix 2 crushed cloves of garlic with 2 pints of water and boil (then let it cool down), watering plants that are at risk works, aswell as crushed egg shells, used ground coffee, copper foil around pots, and I tried something I saw last year which is copper tape around a cut soft drink bottle middle with the top and bottom cut off and set this over your newly planted "slug food". Slug beer traps are good, but make sure you empty the corpses out daily & sharp gravel is supposed to work. Its good if you can encourage birds into your garden (provided your not using pellets). Trouble is if the birds are being fed too much by us then they are not looking for their natural food, slugs, snails and bugs. An upturned pot is always a good idea, then if any find that its their shelter for the daytime, when you go out it makes them easier for you to find them. I think I will try nematodes this year aswel. 

flowering rose

slugs love dog food,(and before you say it so do rats)if you put a little pile in the same place each night  you can scoop up the offending gritters and dispose of them to the green heaven,do pick dog food and replace next evening and you will get rid of a few,but you need a army of hedgehogs,frogs,toads,birds and beer traps. 

The Manic Slughunter

Thanks for all your suggestions I'm heading outside now..wish me luck! 


Liquid slug killer will save your bulbs.
I have read on certain sites and mags that you should let them live, ok if you have money to waste, I will be killing them this year with nematodes, they work well but you have to keep renewing them also as a back up I will use liquid killer.

For those who would like a slug spray - a deterent not a killer (similar to Dave's)

Crush 2 bulbs of garlic (bulbs not cloves) and boil in 1 litre water until just soft. then strain and top up mixture to 1 litre. Leave to cool.

To use: stir 1 tablespoon into 4.5litres water, spray onto foliage and allow to dry. Apply in dry frost free weather. repeat every 2 weeks.

I just leave them and hope my army of helpers (frogs,hedgehogs,thrushes etc) will eat them. I  tell my grandchildren that they are someone elses dinner, so we leave them alone. I am totally organic and believe that after a while there is a predator for everything. It works for me.




As I said, we have lots of the huge black and orange ones and we leave them alone because we understand that they eat smaller slugs more than they eat plants.

In the 18 months we've lived here I've honestly not seen more than half a dozen other slugs (if that)  and we've really not had any slug damage that I've noticed, despite growing hostas and salad veg amongst other things.

We've had some snail damage (one got into the cold frame and munched on some basil seedlings - there was also some snail damage on a Cos lettuce)  

That really has been about it - I think we're lucky with the gritty nature of our soil (a sandy loam) - don't think the slugs like it - and of course we have resident hedgehogs and also encourage lots of birds into the garden, and I understand that the previous owner here gardened organically for 30 years.

I'm not going to waste my money on slug killer 


kath51 wrote (see)

I just leave them and hope my army of helpers (frogs,hedgehogs,thrushes etc) will eat them. I  tell my grandchildren that they are someone elses dinner, so we leave them alone. I am totally organic and believe that after a while there is a predator for everything. It works for me.

Problem is few predators actively seek slugs and none like larger slugs, so if Slugs survive to maturity then there is a good chance that they breed. I normally have a dozen slugs in my garden and I still had a plaque this year. I had to use the blue pellets as they were picking my garden clean. I had 6 frogs in spring and 6 in autumn.

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