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Slugs



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Slugs

Usually appear in

All year


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Caused By:-     Several species of slugs

Description

Slug is a gastropod molluscs that lacks a shell and most have evolved from snails that gradually lost their shells. The slug shown here is one of about 29 species in the UK. Most live on living and decaying plant tissue. Some live in the soil and some live in dark, damp places above the soil. Some plants like Delphiniums, Hostas, Marigolds, Brassicas and Potatoes are some of their favourite living plant tissues for eating causing irregular holes made by their rasping mouth parts. They can kill young plants in a matter of hours by completely eating them. There are some plants that slugs do not eat and some where they eat the young bark only. The class Gastropoda which means 'stomach foot' is the second largest class in the animal kingdom. Most land snails and slugs belong to the subclass Pulmonata and the order Stylommatophora. Some common garden slugs are the Garden Slug (Arion hortensis Agg.), the Keel Slug (Tandonia budapestensis), the Great Grey Slug(Testacella baliotidea), the Black Slug (Arion ater) the Yellow slug (Limax flavus), the Netted Slug (Deroceras reticulatum) and the Field Slug (Derocereas reticulatum). Their sizes varies from 1 to 20cm and some are more destructive than others. Most slugs live in or on the soil surface and are active at night when the temperature is above 5 degrees Centigrade and the conditions are wet or humid. When there is a frost they hide in a sheltered place or dig deeper into the soil. Slugs sometimes leave behind a slimy deposit where they have crawled over. Reproduction occurs mainly in autumn and spring when the weather is neither too hot or too cold. At this time clusters of spherical, yellowish-white eggs can be found in the soil, under logs, stones and pots. When the weather is too hot and dry they tend to hide in damp areas. Most prefer to eat decaying plant materials in the soil. Reproduction occurs mainly in autumn and spring when the weather is neither too hot or too cold. At this time clusters of spherical, yellowish-white eggs can be found in the soil, under logs, stones and pots. There are three stages in the life cycle of slugs which are eggs, immature stage and adults. They can overwinter in any stage. They are also hermaphrodite having both male and female organs, so every individual can lay eggs an reproduce on their own, but they usually mate and reproduce sexually. The eggs development and hatching varies depending on the temperature, during warmer weather they hatch in around 10 days, but this can be much longer in colder conditions. After hatching the slug matures within a year and can live for up to three years.


Control

There are hundreds of methods for killing or eradicating slugs some of which I have listed below, but I only follow three methods. First of all I make sure there is plenty of composted materials in the soil. This usually allows the slugs to stay in the soil where they continue to recycle the compost. This way I have less of a problem with slugs. Next I try and encourage slugs natural enemies into the garden like Hedgehogs, Frogs, birds and ground beetles. This also reduce the level of these pests. finally if these do not work I spray susceptible plants under the leaves with Scotts Slug Clear. When it rains the upper leaves get washed off but the leaves are still protected as the slugs and snails do not like the smell of this stuff and if they do eat it they will die. Although I have lots of slugs and snails I have little problem with this pest. Another method that is used with success by gardeners is to use nematodes and water the soil. This is said to work well. Slug pellets works well, but I am always thinking pets, kids and other animals may eat them causing great distress. Use traps like stones, upturned pots empty grapefruit skins which attract the snails then during the day they can be collected and destroyed or moved to another area. Salt placed around plants is said to work, but this might upset the soil nutrients. Beer cans or bottles with some beer in can be buried to ground level. These attracts the slugs which drown in the beer. Apparently researchers in Hawaii have found that a 1 to 2% solution of caffeine will kill slugs and a 0.1% solution will deter them if is sprayed on leaves. However, this latter strength solution also scorched the young leaves of cabbages. Sharp glass or stones or grit around your plant will help to protect it as the slugs do not like crawling over the sharp glass etc. Diatomaceous Earth is said to irritate the slugs and eventually kill them. Shiny clean copper used as strips is also said to be effective as the copper gives the slugs an unpleasant shock. Sacrificial plants or food grown around the plant to be protected help keep the slugs away.
See also these other Eelworms EELWORMS, ENCHYTRAEID WORMS, CHRYSANTHEMUM EELWORM, LEAF AND BUD EELWORM, NARCISSUS EELWORM, ONION EELWORM, PHLOX EELWORM, POTATO CYST EELWORM, CHAFER GRUBS, DIEBACK, IRIS BORER CATERPILLARS, LEATHERJACKETS, LILY VIRUSES, NUT WEEVIL, PEA AND LEAF POD SPOT, ROOT KNOT EELWORMS, SNAILS, STEM AND BULB EELWORM, TOMATO CYST EELWORMS, VINE WEEVIL, WILTING, WIREWORM, WORMS.

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