Friday, October 1, 2010

Bombarding slugs with traps... day 1

By now I've certainly figured out that slugs like to hide under boards and rocks during the day. I've been using this to my advantage, by trapping them with boards and tiles and rock strewn throughout the garden. Though this works, I have noticed the following limitations:

1. Since I have placed so many traps randomly throughout the garden, I realize that I am just not able to get to all of them everyday, even though I try. Since I don't, this works to my disadvantage and just gives the slugs a place to call home and deposit their eggs.

2. I've noticed that there are days that I get many slugs under boards in certain areas and that the plants the boards are attempting to protect are still being attacked. Conversely, there are areas that don't seem to have any damage and day after day I lift the boards and don't find slugs. This has also worked to my disadvantage because I get lazy and don't check the boards that I haven't had problems with for several days, only to find that a slug has indeed found itself a home and perhaps laid eggs. A revision in my trapping methods is definitely needed.

So here's my new experiment:

I've gathered every board, tile, flat rock I have and bombarded this slug infested bean area with traps. I've placed tiles and short boards in the thickest of the under-plantings. Each day, I will go out in the morning and destroy all the slugs that are underneath. My theory is that in a few days the slug population will be dramatically reduced if not eliminated, except for the slug eggs that have already been laid. (anyone know how to deal with slug eggs?) Once the slugs are gone, or when it gets cold and I cannot check everyday, I will promptly remove the boards.

Tiles and little boards placed under the thickest areas. +++

This morning, with only 2 or 3 traps, I found five big fat slugs and a baby slug. Now I have upwards of 20. I hope to update the blog each day with my findings.

As a side note: the slugs definitely seem to prefer wet boards and rocks. If you are trying to lure them to your traps, it may be a good idea to thoroughly wet the area. If you are trying to keep the slugs away from the area, the less moisture is better.

For a list of all of my slug control experiments, please see this page.



Anonymous said...

Interesting, Amy. So now it's a matter of checking one spot instead of many. Hopefully they'll all congregate here and make your job easier.

Barbara said...

One recommended way of dealing with slug eggs is to wait with spading until it starts to freeze at night. By exposing the eggs through spading, they are then killed by the frost. If you spade too early it just creates more opportunities for the slugs to lay their eggs in a protected place - they then hatch in hordes in the spring.

Sue Garrett said...

The number of slugs and the rate at which they reproduce really means that you have little chance of eliminating them.