The UK is set for an invasion this summer and it’s not from ISIS – it’s a foe far more formidable, much more insidious and a lot slimier.
The warm winter weather has left slugs in a sleepless state and unable to hibernate. And with all this free time they now have, breeding levels have skyrocketed and this baby boomer generation of slugs is set to descend upon your garden.
To help you in the slug war, CBJ Star has enlisted a St Ann’s allotment owner, Sally Tyler, to give you her top tips – both humane and inhumane – to deal with the mollusc menace.
1. Scorched earth
Remove cover for slugs such as leaves and bricks. Don’t give the blighters anywhere to hide.
2. Give them a shock
Put copper tape around your precious plants. Sally says: “Copper tape gives slugs a little electric shock, due to reaction with the copper in their blood.”
3. Natural selection
Have you got a pond? Frogs love to snack on a slug. Sally says: “Not everyone has a pond, but frogs are brilliant for getting rid of slugs.”
Leave out some cornmeal and the slugs will nosh on it happily, totally unaware that it will expand inside them.
5. Natural selection 2: hedgehogs
Let the kings of the road be kings of your garden, and slugs really are a meal fit for a king for hedgehogs. Sally says: “Make your garden hedgehog friendly by leaving out piles of leaves and sticks for them to make shelters with.”
6. Plant warfare
There are several plants which slugs hate; Bergenia (elephant’s ears) Aquilegia species, Euphorbia species, Geranium species, Digitalis purpurea (foxglove) and Alchmilla mollis (lady’s mantle).
Egg shells, cut up plastic bottles and other sharpish objects. Sally says: “It’s all about creating a barrier, slugs obviously can’t jump over things so they’ll avoid going over pointy objects.”
8. Garlic spray
Slugs aren’t quite as scary as Count Drac, but they’re both warded off by the smelly stuff. You can make a garlic spray by boiling a garlic bulb in two pints of water and leaving the liquid to cool.
9. Get them tanked
Slugs love beer. Sally says: “Leave out cups of beer and they won’t be able to resist. They’ll take a drink and then fall in.”
10. Parasitic worms
Nematode worms kill slugs by feeding off them parasitically. They can be bought online and introduced into the soil.
11. Don’t use pellets
Sally says: “Pellets are certainly effective, but they’re also toxic and will hurt any animals which eat the slugs.”