Slugs are pests in almost all home gardens. They survive in moist areas, devouring tender young seedlings overnight and leaving large, ragged holes in leaves of many edible and ornamental plants. There are more than 30 kinds of these slimy, legless, soft-bodied creatures, ranging in size from 1/2 inch to 10 inches in length. (Snails, which are similar but have a protective shell, usually don’t do major damage to gardens.)
- Slugs spend much of their lives hiding in cool, dark, and damp places, including under planters, rocks, decaying boards, and drainpipes.
- Slugs feed during foggy weather and moist nights, or immediately after a rain or garden watering. They are most active from 2 hours after sunset to 2 hours before sunrise. Given a choice, slugs prefer to chew tender young shoots and seedlings but will attack many different kinds of plants, including coleuses, dahlias, geraniums, hollyhocks, hostas, irises, lilies, marigolds, primroses, snapdragons, and violets.
- Female slugs lay jelly-like clusters of 25 or more oval eggs in damp soil. Young slugs emerge in about a month or sooner in warm weather.
What you can do:
Due to slugs’ high egg-laying capacity, populations can get out of hand. Controlling slugs in your yard requires persistence. Gardeners have a variety of home-style remedies for controlling these pests. Most rely on trapping and then destroying them or on dehydrating these moisture-needing pests. You can also go out at night and hand-pick them when they come out to feed on your plants.
For more reliable control, there’s snail & slug remover, which kills slugs by causing them to become dehydrated. Water the infested area, then spread slug killer around and under plants and hiding places that slugs prefer. It can also be used around fruits and vegetables. Do not water again for 48 hours. This product will continue to kill slugs for up to 4 weeks