Snails and slugs are an eyesore. Their mucus-covered bodies and slime trail are not pleasing to the eye. And this is one of the reasons I keep them out of my home, especially in the garden and around the water tank, tap, aquarium, and fish pond. Apart from being a turn-off, the mollusks are pests. They eat plants, so they can really reduce crop yield. They feed mainly on leaves which means that they can be a threat in your leafy vegetable garden.
Ways to Get Rid of Snails and Slugs From Your Leafy Garden:
1. Use baits.
First, the most effective baits are beer and iron phosphate. Second, to use this method, you can fill a bowl or wide jar half-way with beer and place it where the snails frequent. You can bury the jar to make it easy for them to crawl in.
When the pests come out from their hiding places, they will be attracted by the beer, move in, and get drown. You can then dispose the dead pests away from your garden, aquarium, or water source. Some great options for beer are grape juice or a mixture of yeast and honey or sugar.
2. Use traps.
The common traps for snails and slugs include inverted grapefruit halves, overturned flowerpots, and boards. A grapefruit has a scent that attracts the snails. When they crawl under the halves, they get trapped inside and die with time. Some great alternatives for this method are inverted melon or orange rinds and inverted cabbage leaves.
3. Use barriers and repellents.
Copper is the best barrier or repellent for snails and slugs. The metal creates electric shocks in the body of the snails. To control the pests with copper, you need to place a tape or strip of the metal around the garden, aquarium, or water tank. You can also sprinkle copper fragments around these areas.
Diatomaceous earth is another material that can acts as a good barrier or repellent for the pests. The powdered material has sharp edges that cut their bodies, and to control the pests with it, you need to sprinkle a non-toxic one around the infested area. Some good options for this material are crushed egg shells, grit, lava rock, and sandpaper.
You can also use coffee, ginger, sage, mint, vinegar, or garlic as repellants.
4. Introduce predators.
One of the biological methods is the use of predators. For example, you can introduce chickens, geese, and ducks in your garden to feed on the pests. Other predators that can help include tortoises, turtles, frogs, toads, snakes, newts, salamanders, hedgehogs, beetles, nematodes, and birds.
You can also use predatory snails. These snails are attractive and do not carry parasites. You can introduce them in your garden and you should not use other control methods such as baits, traps, and pesticides.
5. Grow resistant plants.
One of these plants is hosta, but not all hostas can resist the snails. So you need to choose the variety that is not friendly to these organisms. According to my own experience, the best hostas for resisting these pests are the ones with thicker leaves.
Another resistant plant is seaweed. This plant is salty, a condition that doesn’t favor the pests. You can introduce seaweed in your garden pond to keep the pests away.
Other repellent plants include aromatic herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and sage. You can also try plants such as California poppy, geraniums, begonias, fuchias, nasturtiums, lantana, impatiens, and purple robe cup flower.
6. Use killer substances, chemicals, and pesticides.
Salt is one of the substances that kill the pests. It absorbs water from the mollusks, dehydrating and killing them. To control these pests using salt, you need to find the organisms and sprinkle the substance on them. Salt can harm plants and other animals, so be careful when using it.
Garlic can also kill the snails and slugs. To use garlic on these pests, you need to mix it with water to create a solution then spray the solution on the infested area.
When it comes to chemicals, the most recommended one is iron phosphate which is effective in killing the pests. As mentioned earlier, this chemical is safe, so you can use it in any place infested by the pests.
7. Change cultivation methods.
One great way is to change the watering schedule in your water garden. For example, instead of applying water in the evening, you can start doing it in the morning. This will make the garden unfavorable for the pests at night as it will be dry.
Another great way is to till your garden frequently to kill the snails’ eggs. When tilling your garden, you can remove any debris and introduce materials such as gravel and wood chips. Removing the debris creates unfavorable living conditions for the pests while introducing the mentioned materials makes their movement difficult.
As you can see, there are a number of methods that you can use to control snails and slugs in your garden, water tank, or aquarium. Depending on your preference and other factors, you can choose a method that suits you to control the snails and slugs at home.