Molluscs: snail and slug in the garden, how to fight against

Molluscs: what is it?

The mollusks preferentially attack young plants at night or during periods of rain. Of course you know them well these gastropods: slugs and snails sometimes very intrusive. They are capable of doing colossal damage in ornamental gardens, as in vegetable gardens.

What mollusks do you meet in the gardens?

The snails that you find most often are the helix aspersa, the little grays, or Helix hortensis the colored snails with dark lines. On the sides of the slugs you will find the red slugs Arion rufus, (large orange / brown slug), rustic slugs, ash slugs - limax maximus, long and light brown-gray with black spots, and a few more…

Did you know ?

There are over 100,000 species of slugs - sea or land slugs. Land slugs are an evolution of sea slugs.

How to limit the damage of slugs and snails?

Around areas to be protected, flower beds, borders, etc. Make borders with untreated sawdust or wood ash - this is useful in keeping the ashes when you have a fireplace or a wood-burning fireplace. Both sawdust and ashes will have the advantage of hindering the slugs in their movements. In fact, they will not be able to reach the plants they want.

Note all the same that each rain or windy episode will undermine these protections which will in fact be resumed immediately after.

How to eliminate molluscs, slugs and snails?

• The first method is basic…. It consists of simply picking up the gastropods, and removing them from the garden.

Organic treatments exist:

• Use copper sulfate diluted at 1%. Pay attention to the doses. Incorrectly dosed, this mixture could destroy or damage crops and plants. (1% is 100g for 10 liters of water)
> Spray when it is dark to make sure you hit as many snails and slugs as possible.
> Spray the soil.
> For vegetables, if possible, do not water the crops but the soil. If your plantations are almost at harvest time, be patient and harvest. Otherwise, if the plants have been sprayed, no problem, wait a few days before harvesting and wash the vegetables well.
> Spray based on wormwood, leaves and flowers. Same, spray quad it is dark.

For these treatments, it is wise to make sure that it does not rain immediately afterwards. Because obviously this would have the effect of diluting and making the treatment against slugs and snails ineffective.

Photo: Mad Max Edited under CC-3.0 license - Creative Commons

How to fight against mollusks?

Preventive treatment

One of the best ways to scare the mollusks out of the garden is to ...ecological ! Around the crops you want to protect, make fairly thick ramparts using sawdust or wood ash.

The advantage of sawdust or wood ash is the fact that when the mollusc go over it, he can no longer advance properly and will eventually die.

Disadvantage of this method is that start again after each rain.

There is also another natural way ! To do this, take an empty tin can and fill it halfway with beer. Bury this preserve at ground level in the vegetable garden. Mollusks who are very fond of beer will be attracted and will drown in the beer! Find this more detailed tip here!

Eliminate them

You can eliminate mollusks from the garden by spraying copper sulphate into snow or crystals.

At the quantity level, add 100g of copper sulphate to 10 liters of water. Remember to mix the mixture well. We advise you to spray this mixture late at night when the mollusks are out! Once the solution is sprayed on the plants, wait a few days and especially wash your plants well before consuming them.

The best way to remove the snails without killing them is still to pick them up to eat them ! And if you ever don't like snails, consider giving them to your family or friends who do.

Enemies of molluscs

Although mollusks are real pests for your plants, they nevertheless have an interest in the food chain. The main predators of molluscs are:

  • Ground beetles
  • Toads
  • Hedgehogs
  • The birds
  • Orvets

Anti natural slug

The slug is certainly one of the most feared garden pests.

Those who want to protect them should know that although slugs feed on the corpses of small animals and plant waste, they also transmit infectious agents to plants, through their slime or droppings.

1 - Watering

Slugs need moisture, so limit watering in your garden as much as possible.

2 - Beer

Cut the bottom of a plastic bottle then pour in the beer.

The smell of beer attracts slugs which will go into the bottle and never come out.

- or have saucers filled with beer.

3 - Branches

Protect your plants by arranging branches of conifers or thorns around the plants.

4 - Hair

Sow cut hair on the ground to protect. Slugs will be irritated by the hair, secrete until dehydrated.

5 - Wood ash

Pour wood ash around the plants to be protected, slugs hate to walk on them! To renew after a rain.

6 - Crushed eggshells

Sprinkle crushed eggshells around your salads or plants.

7 - Ammonia water

Spray a solution composed of ¾ water + ¼ around the plants, avoiding the leaves. The slugs won't come back.

8 - Water and garlic

Spray around the plants at the roots with water mixed with 2 crushed garlic cloves.

9 - Potato starch

Place a small glass jar at ground level that you fill halfway up with potato starch and powdered sugar.

The slugs will fall there without being able to get back up.

10 - Copper wire

Wrap the plant pots with copper wire, the slugs will turn back.

11 - Electric lamp

By going out at night in the garden with an electric lamp then you can easily harvest the slugs.

12 - Coffee grounds

Pour coffee grounds around the plants.

13 - Grapefruit

Near an infested plant, turn over half a grapefruit, emptied of its contents, snails and slugs will use it as a shelter.

This will allow you to easily pick them up and get rid of them.

14 - Traps

Cut plastic bottles in half, drill small holes and place them on the shoots.

15 - Wet boards or tiles

Place planks or tiles previously moistened near your plants.

Lift them up during the day and pick up any slugs that have taken refuge there.

16 - Plants

Cultivate around your plantations fennel, ginger, thyme, chives, mint and endive and especially Comfrey. They are good slug repellents.

17 - Fine sand

Sprinkle fine sand around the plants. The sand will block the slugs.

18 - Bran and methylated spirits

Moisten the bran with methylated spirits. Pour it into a plastic bag, then in rainy weather sprinkle it on the places where people pass by. slugs.

19 - Salt against slugs

A line of salt around the garden will scare them away.

Pour salt not on the ground or on the plants but on the slabs.

20 - Parasitic worms

In garden centers, it is found in the form of powder to moisten and spread around plants a microscopic parasitic worm, Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita.

It is a natural enemy of slugs.

21 - beer slug traps

It is an effective product and completely without toxic product in to fight the invasions of slugs and snails which ravage the garden and the vegetable patch.

Organic tips to fight against slugs

First of all, it should be noted that this is not about eradicating these gastropods, but rather about controlling the population and pushing them back.
To keep it as natural as possible, it is therefore not recommended to use chemicals whatever they are. Even those that are allowed in organic farming are responsible for a number of collateral damage, especially to soil organisms.

Acclimatize your plants before they are planted

Plants from garden centers or leaving your greenhouse have benefited from special temperature and humidity conditions. These being intended to promote their growth, these young plants are more fragile and more tender for a slug.

Before putting them in your flowerbeds or your vegetable garden, it is therefore essential to acclimatize them. To do this, leave them in a pot by placing them outside for a few days in a place that is difficult for a gastropod to access.

Favor auxiliaries

Nature being well done, slugs and snails also have predators. The best way to limit the number is to give nature a helping hand, for example by:

  • keeping a wild corner to favor insects
  • setting up an insect hotel
  • putting hedgehog nesting boxes or toad shelters.

Anti-slug and anti-snail prevention

Eggshells, ash, sawdust or even coffee grounds, gardeners each have their own tips to prevent groupers from attacking their plants. All are probably more or less effective in sunny weather because they constitute a "dry" barrier.

On the other hand, a rain or even a simple summer dew is enough to make these tips completely useless. Worse, coffee grounds spilled in large quantities on a floor can modify its structure.

Keep gastropods away from flowers and plants

The slug has a guilty pleasure, beer. By installing a cup far from your most fragile plants, you will keep them away. You can also sow crucifers (mustard, radish, etc.) in a corner, they love young shoots.

Make a slug shelter

A tile or even a plank on the ground is a great shelter for slugs. Every day, flip this shelter, collect these junkies and release them much further. You can even give them to your chickens!

Eliminate slugs and snails

9- Put beer traps in strategic places, prefer non-alcoholic beer or a more sustainable ecological attractant.
10- Use a biological control by spraying a solution based on nematode parasites of slugs: dilute the nematodes in 16L of water, to obtain 1 liter of solution for 1m². Keep the soil moist for a month after application.
11- Set up anti-slug traps
12- Hens love slugs, let them hunt in the garden!

Video: How we Eliminate Snails in the Garden. Black Gumbo

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