Slugs can be formidable enemies of the crops and plants in your backyard or farm. Slug bait is usually very effective in getting rid of slugs and snails. However, these substances are toxic and can pose a danger to children and pets in your household. It is advisable to look at natural, environmentally friendly ways of deterring slugs instead of using toxic bait.
Step 1 – Prevent Excessive Numbers of Slugs
Slugs usually thrive in dark, moist places where they can hide all day. By keeping your garden neat and tidy, you can minimize the number of slugs that find shelter there. Once in a while, turn over rocks and planks in your garden to look for slugs underneath. Dispose of them by dropping them in a pail of salty water. You can also catch them red-handed when they are eating your crops at night. Slugs leave a slimy trail behind, which you can follow to track them down.
Step 2 – Use Barriers
Slugs have very soft, unprotected bodies that are sensitive to sharp materials. To keep these creatures away from your plants, you can sprinkle crumpled egg shells, diatomaceous soil in the vicinity. This should be an effective barrier for slugs. These creatures are highly sensitive to salt. You could kill them by sprinkling salt on their bodies, but it isn't a pretty sight. Sprinkling salt around the vicinity of your crops can also keep the slugs away. Avoid letting the salt too close to your plants or sprinkling it on soil that you intend to use for planting, because the salt can harm the plants and also alter the soil properties.
Coffee grounds also act as good deterrents for slugs as is copper. Place copper coins around your plants so that the slugs maintain their distance. For plants in pots, you can keep slugs away by making the path slippery. Apply a mix of salt and petroleum jelly on the sides of the pot so that the slugs will stay away.
Step 3 – Use Beer or Yeast
Beer and yeast are effective baits that attract slugs and snails in large numbers. To set up such a trap, fill a shallow container with beer or a mix of water, yeast and sugar. Dig a small hole in the ground and place the container there, so that the rim of the container is level with the earth. Slugs that are attracted to the beer or yeast solution will end up falling into the container. Set up this trap in the evening and you should have a good collection of slugs the next day.
Step 4 – Trap Slugs
Instead of removing all the wooden boards in your backyard, you can keep some of them and use them as traps. To improve the effectiveness of the trap, line the boards with a sugar solution. Leave the boards in the garden and check them after a couple of days. They should be lined with slugs, which you can dispose of.