Manage slugs and snails naturally

Slugs and Snails

Get rid of hiding places like boards or pots, unless you are using them as traps. Choose plants slugs and snails don’t like. Ask at your local nursery for ideas.

Handpick slugs and snails. A few evening or early morning "raids" can keep their numbers low. Drop them into a jar of soapy water, or use snip or squish methods.

Use simple traps. Flower pots turned upside down or boards raised an inch off the ground make good traps. Beer traps can help, but must be covered to keep out rain and refilled every few days. In the fall, look for and destroy pearly clusters of eggs under garden debris.

Use barriers. Install copper tape or foil around planting boxes.

Use pesticides as a last resort.

Many baits contain metaldehyde which is poisonous to dogs and cats. Some baits may also contain carbaryl, which is toxic to beneficial insects and fish. If you use these use a tamper-proof bait station to help protect children and pets.

A least-toxic bait (containing iron phosphate) used around seedlings when they are young can protect them until they mature and can withstand a little nibbling.

Pesticides pose varying risks to people, pets and beneficial insects. Keep using non-toxic methods and over time you can reduce pest numbers and the damage they cause.

If you choose to use pesticides, pick a safer product using Grow Smart, Grow Safe product tables.

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