This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Monday, 18 July 2011

Slug Wars

This post contains photos that may be disturbing. 

Left: Snail munching through young delphiniums.
I've pointed out the evidence of slug(s) amongst my courgette /zucchini - trails of slime and nibbles out of the plant. Probably a smallish slug or it would have eaten more.

This slug lives in my compost bin so I leave him alone. I just hope he doesn't visit my cabbage at midnight! (I'm assuming slugs are good for composting; never really thought about it until now.)

Left: This little fellow climbed up a delphinium plant and was hanging on a small branch he seemed to be munching.

Slug Facts*...
  • The average UK garden has a population of over 20,000 slugs and snails.
  • Only 5% of the slug population is above ground. 95% is underground digesting seedlings, laying eggs, and feeding on roots and seed sprouts.
  • A cubic metre of garden will on average contain up to 200 slugs.
The underneath of the above slug. Can't believe he has balanced on this tiny branch whilst having his dinner.

(He's kinda cute.)

Party days started in June for the slugs when I served up Guinness!
Left: The outcome of the beer traps - lots of drowned slugs. They love Guinness and Coors Light - but beer is just too expensive at circa £1.30 per can! 

Cheaper idea - I decided to mix dried yeast packs (only cost 79pence per box) with water and pour into the 'beer traps'. This DOES NOT attract slugs! 
Next I'll be trying milk. 

My war against slugs continues!
For a long list of slug control measures have a look at -


  1. I don't think slugs are all baddies. It's usually the smaller ones I think. The ones in the compost bins are doing a job. I've tried lots of different measures against slugs including going out an collecting them at night and putting them in a bucket of salt water. I have a friend who goes out with a pair of scissors.......
    Interesting post Kelli. I now know as much as I want to know about slugs!

  2. That's how slug look like! Nasty pest!
    Hope this method works for you!

  3. Coors, Huh? It must be expensive because for you it is an imported beer. I grew up just a few miles from the Coors brewery. And Guinness, too. I will ask my friend what she uses for slug bait to protect her hostas from slugs. Perhaps you can order something on line. If the average garden has 20,000, it must be a losing battle. I had seen them in the old garden, but o far none here. Good luck. Your battle continues.

  4. I can totally relate to your slug friends. We have the same climate which makes it slug city!! Bring in the kegs!! =0)

  5. I've never really suffered from slugs in the garden until this year, there seems to be loads around at the moment.

  6. This makes me even more glad than ever that I do not have a major problem with slugs in my garden. I have heard that grapefruit skins are very attractive to slugs, and you can collect up all the slugs that congregate on the skins and dispose of them.
    I am an advocate of chemical slug pellets I'm afraid. Nothing else seems to work, and it's a question of priorities for me: do I worry most about killing slugs or preserving my lovely veg? The veg win every time.

  7. Hi Kelli,brave woman facing the enemy with a camera!You got some great photos, I am admiring the photography NOT the subject!
    We have not lost too much to them this year, its probably been too cold and dry

  8. They are not pretty. Nor edible (at least to me). And in large numbers, they are quite disgusting. My mother sent the children out at night with a salt shaker to battle them. Could you post your cat as sentry equiped with a salt shaker???
    Jokes aside, it is a bad problem!

  9. We are also having slug war at the moment. Good Luck I am looking forward how the next trap work.

  10. Lots live in my bin. There are good slugs too - some are carnivourous and predate on others or clean up decomposing animal matter whilst others consume decaying leaves and help enrich our soils. Telling the good from the bad though is difficult especially after a few glasses of Guiness. I condemn the ones caught in the act. p.s. Your lovely images suggest you have a soft spot for them!

  11. Judging from my recent experience strawberries would make a wonderfull bait for slugs...

  12. I'm trying to get my head round the 20,000 slugs in my garden. I thought our frogs were looking rather well. Great photos as well - our snails only seem to come out in the dead of night.

  13. I'm joining you in battle. I've found the monstrously sized ones munching on my pumpkins. They haven't made it to the zucchini yet..If it would stop raining, I would put the beer traps out..seems pointless right now with all the showers we continue to have. Instead I am picking them off. Nasty business altogether.

  14. How dare those slugs eat your beautiful delphiniums! I can't grow them, even though I try. They are so gorgeous, but once I plant them, they promptly die. Boohoo!