Slugs and Snails
Prepare for war because these are some of the most worrying pests you’ll find in your garden! Slugs will eat their way into potatoes and feast upon your prize juicy strawberries leaving a myriad of holes, and its no wonder - Slugs have approximately 27,000 teeth!
Snails will munch holes in your lovely Hostas and devastate your Salad leaves and devour your Cabbages. Slugs are sneaky creatures which often hide during the daytime and thrive at night when the conditions are cool and moist. They retreat into the soil when it is dry and love it when conditions get humid and rainy.
How to spot
Snails climb and leave a silvery slime trail and nibbled leaves behind. They devour the soft green bits between the leaf ribs, leaving a ‘skeleton’ behind.
Slugs are similar to snails in that they eat all parts of leaves but they thrive nearer to the ground, they can even attack underground which is why potatoes can be a prime target.
They particularly like new shoots and soft growth, and therefore are likely to be the culprits if you notice new plants that have been eaten away to nothing.
How to treat
It is virtually impossible to eradicate snails and slugs completely because they are so prolific. However, there are some things you can do to contain them.
You can encourage natural predators like thrushes, hedgehogs, toads and shrews and insect predators such as beetles and fly larvae.
Grow vulnerable plants on further before planting out. This will ensure that they are larger and not quite so soft and tasty. Try removing slugs and snails by hand and then relocate them to the hedgerows. It may not be pleasant but you can wash the slime on your fingers or hands with some white vinegar and lukewarm water.
Also, try spreading well-crushed eggshells around vulnerable plants, or using copper tape around plant pots - Slugs and Snails do not like to rub their belly across them and will stay away from these plants. A line of lime or salt around your plants can also deter slugs and snails.
Another method to get rid of snails is to put a jam jar with beer in the bottom half into the soil near your vulnerable plants.
Snails and slugs are attracted to the smell of the beer and throw themselves into the jar and get stuck! Empty regularly to ensure you catch more!
Alternatively try our natural remedy, with these Parasitic Nematodes. Mix with water and apply to compost and soil around susceptible plants anytime from May to September. Protection will last for up to 6 weeks!