Slugs and snails are annoying pests, more so as they are “invisible”. They are rarely seen at work because they come out at night and hide in dark and moist places, mostly underground.
I accidentally discovered this very easy and organic way of reducing and eventually eliminating slugs from the garden. Initially, I had a problem with a cat from the neighborhood. Mostly in spring when our small city patch is bare and being prepared for new seedlings, the cat would be inspired to dig in and do her business there. I tried several tactics and one was to scatter squeezed out orange halves around the garden. I read somewhere it deters the cats.
Eventually, the cat stopped coming due to oranges, new seedlings planted, or other tricks. But what I discovered when I went to the garden after dark was dozens of snails in each orange half! It took only minute to collect the orange halves with all the snails in them, probably close to hundred.
Now, whenever I make freshly squeezed orange juice, I scatter the halves around the garden edges and pick them later, usually few hours after dark. I just make sure one edge is close to the ground so the slugs have an easy access. Grapefruit halves work as well.
What to do with all the slugs? Up till now, I usually put them all in a plastic bag and threw them in the rubbish bin. Now that our three chickens are bigger, I’ll try offering the slugs to them. Apparently, some chickens love the snails and the other not -it’s all matter of taste. Alternatively, they can be kept in a container and offered to the birds, drowned in soapy water or squashed (I couldn’t do this somehow).
There are other natural and organic methods of slug and snail control available, especially if your garden isn’t close to where you live. Wandering with a torch in a community garden at night for example wouldn’t be the wisest slug control option! Instead you might try this:
Beer trap: mix a little flour with a stale beer and fill a shallow container with the rim 1 or 2 cm above the ground so that slugs and snails can climb. Substitute beer for wine, sugar water or water mixed with yeas.
Coffee spray: make a weak coffee brew with ground coffee and water. Spray the plants.
Pot trap: place a plant pot upside down in a shaded area of the garden away from seedlings and check regularly
Physical barriers: scatter crushed egg shells, sawdust or wood shavings around plants at risk.
Would you like to share your tips on natural control of slugs and snails in the garden? Please do so in the comments!