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Post  sherryeo on 4/11/2011, 10:08 pm

I found a tip that I thought I'd pass along for what it may be worth. I wish I could take credit for thinking of it, but it was in Mother Earth News magazine.

This is a method to put up a barricade of sorts against slugs. I would think it would probably work for snails, too. It does require raised beds (lucky for sfgs, eh?). Purchase silicon carbide, used to sand drywall spackle (your home center, hardware store, etc should have it). It comes in boxes of 50 sheets - 4 1/4 inches wide by 11 1/4 inches long - in 80 grit. Be sure it's the waterproof kind - not all kinds are. Cut sheets in half lengthwise, then staple them (using staple gun and stainless steel staples) end-to-end to the uppermost sides of your raised beds. Be sure to staple them tightly against the raised bed frames. Don't leave any gaps for slugs to crawl under. The silicon carbide sheets should only have to be replaced about every 4 years. The slugs reportedly don't like the "scratchiness."

It makes sense to me and I plan to try it as soon as my other half has a bit more time to recover from the cost of the boxes/Mel's Mix/plants. I think there would still be a problem when you have plants that have grown enough to trail low over the sides - guess the slugs could climb up the plants. But at least while the plants are smaller or if you have a bed where you don't have plants that will trail over the sides - sounds to me like it could work!
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Post  middlemamma on 4/12/2011, 12:23 am

I read this in that magazine too this month and I am totally going to try it...
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Post  boffer on 4/12/2011, 12:33 am

What you're suggesting would only make the slugs in the PNW smile because it tickled their bellys!

They crawl across -5/8 crushed rock and lines of broken glass. Coarse sandpaper? Save your jingle.
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Post  middlemamma on 4/12/2011, 12:44 am

yeah you have those big ugly ones....blech. (shudder shiver)

Hmmm...wonder if it would work on the teeny tiny ones I get? I didn't get much damage last year....
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Post  Barkie on 4/12/2011, 5:02 am

The first year here I was over-run with slugs but I have got it down to manageable level by attacking from all sides.

The slug pub. A container sunk in the ground with a few inches above the soil level. I glug in a few inches of the yeasty dregs from my wine-making but you can use beer or mix up a pinch of yeast, sugar and water. Slugs go in the pub, drink themselves into a stupor and drown.

Slug hotel. A plank of wood, slugs go under to hide from the sun, you turn the plank over next morning and collect up the little blighters. Check underneath pots and containers too coz they hide there as well. You can attract more if you provide B&B for them by adding bran or a saucer of canned pet meat under the plank.

Seek and destroy. I go out with a torch late on a damp night before the breeding season starts which is a pain but it saves hunting down the hundreds of offspring later.

Cover story. Bottle Cloches for seedlings, some slugs live on dead plant matter and live above ground but some live underground and prefer tender juicy seedlings, do you call plastic drinks bottles soda bottles? The top half of one of those bottles, minus the cap, goes over the seedlings and is buried partly in the soil as a barrier. The bottom half of the bottle makes a slug pub.

Move em out. Collect up your leaves for composting. Make compost as far away as
possible from your veg beds and move what they will hide under like
piles of stones.
Fill in crevices and check the inner edges of beds where they hang out during the day.

I also encourage blackbirds and thrushes to come and dine on whatever they find.
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Post  Goosegirl on 4/12/2011, 8:11 am

@Barkie wrote:

Seek and destroy. I go out with a torch late on a damp night before the breeding season starts which is a pain but it saves hunting down the hundreds of offspring later.


Got slugs? 889526 Got slugs? 889526 Got slugs? 889526 Got slugs? 889526 Got slugs? 889526
It took me a few seconds to realize that the torch you are referring to is what I call a flashlight! I was picturing going out in the dark with a butane burning torch in one hand, flashlight in the other, and that the 'damp night' was so that anything that got in the way (like mulch) would be damp and less likely to burn quickly! Got slugs? 656620 All this going through my pea-brain in the few seconds it took to realize what was REALLY being talked about! Can you tell I am only on my second cup of coffee?!
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Post  FarmerValerie on 4/12/2011, 8:16 am

Hey, that American version of the torch works, I used that on some seriously infected squash plants last year, they were dying anyway, I fired it up and made a serious dent in my squash bug population.

I use the beer method, they love it.
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Post  Goosegirl on 4/12/2011, 8:18 am

@FarmerValerie wrote:Hey, that American version of the torch works, I used that on some seriously infected squash plants last year, they were dying anyway, I fired it up and made a serious dent in my squash bug population.

I like your style FarmerValerie!Got slugs? 410210
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Post  Barkie on 4/12/2011, 11:09 am

@Goosegirl wrote:
@Barkie wrote:

Seek and destroy. I go out with a torch late on a damp night before the breeding season starts which is a pain but it saves hunting down the hundreds of offspring later.


Got slugs? 889526 Got slugs? 889526 Got slugs? 889526 Got slugs? 889526 Got slugs? 889526
It took me a few seconds to realize that the torch you are referring to is what I call a flashlight! I was picturing going out in the dark with a butane burning torch in one hand, flashlight in the other, and that the 'damp night' was so that anything that got in the way (like mulch) would be damp and less likely to burn quickly! Got slugs? 656620 All this going through my pea-brain in the few seconds it took to realize what was REALLY being talked about! Can you tell I am only on my second cup of coffee?!

Got slugs? 656620 Same for me reading words you guys use when I haven't got through my second cup off coffee. Keep telling me the right words and I'll learn.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/12/2011, 11:36 am

One of my sons left some cans of beer here, and as we are wine drinkers, I decided to use the canned beer to try trapping slugs. Big Zero, nada, no slugs. Not THAT surprised.....I don't like Bud Light either. No
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Post  Barkie on 4/12/2011, 12:03 pm

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:One of my sons left some cans of beer here, and as we are wine drinkers, I decided to use the canned beer to try trapping slugs. Big Zero, nada, no slugs. Not THAT surprised.....I don't like Bud Light either. No

Light beer or lager? Nah, try them with the dark bitter stuff.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/12/2011, 12:05 pm

Thanks, Barkie, I'll try again. Guess we should try brewing our own. I can see it now: Slugfest's Best.
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Post  FarmerValerie on 4/12/2011, 12:24 pm

The higher the malt content the better-think Schlitz Malt Liquer, the kind with the bull on front.
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Post  nancy on 4/27/2011, 9:34 am

You should have seen me at the grocery store last night trying to pick a beer for the slugs. I could not find a malt liquer, so I settled for the cheapest single can I could find. I think it was Milkwaukee's Best Ice. 24 ounces for $1.19.

I raided the recycle bin and pulled out some cat food cans. I burried these near my affected plants and filled them to the top with said beer.

This morning I saw several dead slugs and snails. I feel badly because my leopard snail succumbed, but I bet he was one of the biggest culprits. Hopefully the hostas, jacks-in-the-pulpit, and trilliums can recover. There is even a bit left in the can for night 2 - which may be tonite depending on this massive storm front.

Thanks all! I'm so excited it worked!
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Post  quiltbea on 4/27/2011, 9:48 am

I'll try the beer method this year. I've got the tuna cans cleaned and ready, now I have to find a malt beer and keep it handy.
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Post  Lavender Debs on 4/27/2011, 11:42 am

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:snip....I decided to use the canned beer to try trapping slugs. Big Zero, nada, no slugs. Not THAT surprised.....I don't like Bud Light either.

I don't know about malty, it must work for the poster BUT My slugs prefer the cheapest stuff I can get and the yeastier the better. It has to be fresh. I put it out at night and dump it in the AM. It has no effect after a few hours (at least not at my house)
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Post  nancy on 4/27/2011, 1:34 pm

Quiltbea - I agree with Deb. I don't think it needs to be malty. I bought the cheapest can on the shelf and it worked great for me!
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Post  quiltbea on 4/27/2011, 1:59 pm

Thanks. Any time I can save money, I'm for it.
Yeasty and cheap sounds good to me.
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Post  Barkie on 4/27/2011, 3:05 pm

Yeah, I don't know about malty but just yeasty works for sure and cheap cat meat works like a charm.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/27/2011, 3:28 pm

Barkie, does the catfood merely attract the slugs, or does it actually kill them somehow? Or do you add it to the beer?
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Post  Furbalsmom on 4/27/2011, 6:06 pm

Last year my slugs were content with a cheap drunk beer party. I even used "skunked" beer that we found hidden in the storeage area of our fifth wheel for over a year (hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold - not good for beer)and the swimming pools (tuna cans and cottage cheese containers) were full of drunken slugs. We did dump and refill daily.
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Post  Barkie on 4/28/2011, 2:42 am

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Barkie, does the catfood merely attract the slugs, or does it actually kill them somehow? Or do you add it to the beer?

Catfood just attracts them, as far as I know, so it saves on time going looking for them. If they are going for the bait they aren't going for your seedlings and pea shoots etc. It's a good solution if you merely want to catch them but you have be around to collect them up before they go off to hide again.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/28/2011, 10:51 am

Thanks for your explanation. So you just wait until it's dark and head out with your headlamp, bucket and tongs to pick up the slimies and drop them into the bucket. Are you one of the gardners who have soapy water in the bucket, or do you add some ammonia to the water to hasten their deaths? Twisted Evil
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Post  Barkie on 4/28/2011, 1:57 pm

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Thanks for your explanation. So you just wait until it's dark and head out with your headlamp, bucket and tongs to pick up the slimies and drop them into the bucket. Are you one of the gardners who have soapy water in the bucket, or do you add some ammonia to the water to hasten their deaths? Twisted Evil

You're welcome Nonna. I do but only when it is damp on the ground and the slimies will be out of hiding. Funny you mentioning headlamps I keep meaning to splurge on buying one so I can be two hands free. I'm a barbecue tongs and drop them in the tallest jar of wine gardener. Twisted Evil If I didn't cull the adult population earlier in the year and had adult athletic climbing slimers I'd have to go for bucket of soapy water.

I hadn't thought about using ammonia, can you tip the sorry mess into the compost bin? I don't know if marinated slimies are ok to leave out for the birds or not and somehow we don't like the thought of composted slug No so I tip the night's haul down the outside drain.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/28/2011, 2:43 pm

Until I became a SFG'er, I'd dig a hole at the edge of the garden, and tip the ammonia-marinated slime (and it DOES become slime) into the hole, replace the large divot, smack it once with the shovel and return to the house. Now, the garden area surrounded by deer fencing is much smaller, so I have to carry the bucket out to the edge of the forest, where I can just pitch the mess in the blackberry brambles; we don't pick those blackberries anyway.
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