Some WNY gardeners inundated with slugs

slug in garden
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Slugs chomp on a variety of garden plants, and Western New York’s rainy weather means that some gardeners are battling with an increased population of slugs.

What should you do if you have slugs?

Well, keep things in perspective. You can reduce the numbers of slugs, but not get rid of them completely.

To decrease the number of slugs, slug bait seems to be your best bet.

There are two kinds of slug bait. The conventional bait is a typical pesticide and probably should not be used near pets and children. The iron-containing bait or iron phosphate bait is safer to use around pets and children.

I and many other gardeners have set out plates of beer for slugs with varying success. According to Kathryn Olmstead, who wrote an article on her tests of beer for slugs, cheap beer works the best. See our previous article here.

This article on slugs from Tompkins County Cornell Cooperative Extension is a helpful overview of what you should do about slugs.

I especially like this extra tip from that article: “When digging in the soil this fall, watch out for clusters of eggs resembling tapioca. These are slug or snail egg clusters. Take the extra time to dispose of them when you see them, and you will have a head start on next year’s slug/snail control.”

4 Comments on “Some WNY gardeners inundated with slugs

  1. Spread a thin layer of play sand around hostas or other plants slugs like, in the spring before the leaves spread out. Sand has quartz crystals that are too sharp for the slugs to slide over

  2. I have not seen slugs in the garden for many years, however I have shrubs with holes in the leaves. Is that a sign of slugs.

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