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Get rid of these garden pests safely, without endangering kids or pets.
- Put a tablespoon or two of cornmeal in a jar and lay it on its side wherever there is slug activity. The slugs love this stuff and after eating it they die.
- When you go out in the evening, you should find many slugs in and around the trap. It is also quite easy to pick them up at this time.
- Dig a hole approximately 4-6 inches deep.
- Place a plastic (disposable) cup inside the hole.
- Fill the cup about 80% full of beer. Yes, beer.
- Check daily. Empty out the slugs and refill with beer as often as needed. The slugs are attracted to the yeast and barley in the beer.
- Mix plain household ammonia (or sudsy ammonia if that's all you can find), 1 part ammonia to 6 parts water. This dilution doesn't seem to burn foliage.
- Spritz onto slug, come back in 5 minutes and slug will have dissolved.
- A pressurized garden sprayer, or a trigger sprayer will work.
- Use salt. Spread salt on the surface where they are crawling around and they will dry up. However, if you plan to use the soil to grow plants in, salt can very easily ruin the soil for plants.
- Coffee grounds and egg shells will also deter slugs. Place used coffee grounds (the stronger the better) or broken egg shells in a circular perimeter around the plants you are trying to protect.
- Buy copper strips as an alternative. While these are expensive, they are also a good alternative for protecting small areas or individual plants. They react electrostatically with the slug or snail slime. The pests dry up.
- Consider the other organic slug deterrents that generally contain sharp, water-absorbing, stone chips. Slugs don't like to slide over sharp stone on their delicate tummies and if they do come into contact with it, it acts rather like salt and desiccates them.
- Use sand. Distribute playground sand around young plants early in the Spring. Be generous with the sand. Slugs hate sand because it rips their bellies open and they die.
- Consider the remedies available that involve toxic materials (neatly disguised with slug/snail attractants). Unfortunately, dogs are also attracted and can consume the poisons and become very ill. If you have a dog, avoid pesticides that contain toxins.
- Any decent garden section carries the non-toxic ingredients needed, or you can just use beer.
- Slugs come out at night, and chances are that you won't see them, unless you work in your garden at 3 am. Evidence of slug damage is a slimy trail that has an iridescent color.
- If hunting slugs by hand, seek them out in early evening, preferably on moist, damp nights or catch them in the early morning.
- Use chemicals only as a last resort.
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