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warding off snails

  • Subject: [cg] warding off snails
  • From: "Rebecca Crouse" <bcrouse101@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 18:53:56 +0000

Non-toxic Snail Control:

Slugs could be attracted to your eggplant because A) They enjoy dark, moist 
environments and your eggplant is a prime location; B) They feed on aphids 
and caterpillars and either your or someone nearby's plot is providing them 
with a meal; C) They enjoy alkaline soil, which yours may be; or D) All of 
the above.

Non-toxic Slug Control options include:

Lightly watering in the late afternoon will bring snails out of hiding and 
make for more successful handpicking. Look under leaves and on stems - 
especially any that seem to be drooping with unusual weight. Lift boards, 
bricks, rocks, piles of clippings, flower pots, etc... Place any found slugs 
in a screw top jar and throw it away in a manner that it will not break. 
(Soapy water in the jar will also kill slugs.)

Thoroughly cultivating soil.
Because slugs use soil crevices for daytime hide-aways, thorough cultivation 
of the soil with a rotary plow will rapidly reduce the numbers of slugs in 
the area. They are killed by the action fo the machinery.

A two-foot wide track of sharply granulated cinder bits, wood ash, copper 
screening, or diatomaceous earth (gardening, not swimming pool filter grade) 
around the garden will function as a barrier to slugs. Cinder bits are also 
effective when wet.

A pan of beer set on the ground with the rim extending 3/4" above ground 
will trap slugs. Beer attracts the slugs and then anesthetizes them. Place a 
second pan on sticks about 8" above the soil level pan to act as a canopy 
and keep out diluting rain, prevent evaporation, and keep out thirsty dogs. 
Different species of snails will actually prefer different brews, so if your 
first try doesn't seem all that effective, try something 
lighter/darker/maltier. Barriers work well with beer traps for slug control.

Good luck!

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