Slugs & Snails

Karen Cambre, Sharpe, Kenneth W.  |  5/9/2018 4:40:02 PM

News Article for July 3, 2017

With all of the rain, I am getting a lot of reports of slugs and snails. They thrive in a damp environment and use foliage and thatch to hide from the summer sun.

They are mostly active at night or on cloudy wet days, a common occurrence lately. Both slugs and snails are foliage eaters. You will see missing foliage or holes in leaves especially on lower growing plants and shrubs. When caterpillars eat they leave a trail of dark pellet like droppings. When slugs and snails are present you will see a trail left by the slime as these randomly move around, it might look like reflective silver lines.

Controls can include the standard slug and snail baits which contain metaldehyde. One word of caution here is that metaldehyde is toxic to both dogs and cats. There is a newer less toxic product out now that uses iron phosphate as the active ingredient and is commonly sold under the brand name Sluggo.

I like trapping slugs and snails even better. Slugs and snails are attracted to the carbohydrates in beer. Put some beer in a shallow container or lid and place it on the ground in the area they are feeding. Add some straw or thatch up to the top of the container so they can easily climb up and jump in. The alcohol in the beer will dissolve the slime from their bodies and they will drown because they will not be able to climb out. Be sure to use beer with alcohol. We have used this method very effectively even in large plant beds for commercial vegetables.

For more information on these or related topics contact Kenny at 225-686-3020 or visit our website at www.lsuagcenter.com/livingston.

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