These soft-bodied molluscs thrive in moist conditions and are the most likely culprit for the many holes punched through the leaves, flowers stems and roots of your plants. Whilst there are many ways to treat these pesky visitors, how can you know if it’s really slugs causing the problem? These three simple tricks are a fool-proof way to identify a slug infestation in your garden.
The telltale signs of slugs amongst your plants is their shiny – slime trail which they leave behind.
Slugs feed at night so be sure to look out for their glistening trails in the morning sun, particularly during the summer months when the evening humidity is particularly attractive to these slow-moving creatures
Pay particular attention to these silvery deposits in your garden after heavy rain and after plants are watered especially in the Spring and summer as damage is usually most severe during warm humid periods.
READ MORE:Gardening expert outlines best options for gardens without lawns
From early March to late May, fewer insects are active so the likelihood of slugs being the culprit is higher.
If slugs have visited for a nibble of your garden, you’ll notice tiny scalloped edges or continual rows of small bites if a large pack of slugs have got to your flowers and vegetables.
Tip – check your plants at night with a flashlight to catch these pests in the act and confirm whether you’re dealing with slugs or snails.
How to protect your plants against slugs
The beer trap is a quick DIY fix for dealing with slugs through the art of distraction.
Whilst your plants are very appealing to these pests, a beer or yeast water substitute is a great distraction to ensure they are no longer hungry for your vegetables or flowers.
All About Slugs recommend the following method for an effective beer trap:
- Cut half-circle entries in the rim of a margarine or yogurt container.
- Bury the container an inch or so in the ground near any susceptible plants like veggie seedlings.
- Make sure to leave about an inch of container above the ground so helpful beetles don’t fall into the trap.
- Fill with an inch or so of stale or cheap beer.
- Finally, replace the lid to keep out the rain.