First published in Blogs St Albans & Harpenden Review: Photograph of the Author by

After the wettest winter since records began (and probably one of the mildest) we have been left to deal with a surfeit of slugs and snails.  At least these much hated creatures are slow movers so we don’t have to chase them.  They hide during the day ready to emerge in the evenings all set to feast on our vulnerable plants, they are especially partial to hostas, salad crops, bedding plants and strawberries but all too often it seems that nothing is safe.  This year has been particularly bad and having seen my newly planted containers being reduced to nothing reluctantly I have resorted to slug pellets. It is only necessary to use these sparingly and I must admit they have done a good job.  Where I have had to replace ruined plants they are virtually untouched.

Both slugs and snails are almost impossible to control but if you decide against slug pellets there are other ways to try to deal with these voracious pests.  Ideally if you are able to encourage wildlife such as frogs, toads or hedgehogs into your garden they will feast on any slugs they can find.  Another way is to scatter sharp grit round susceptible plants or I am told that slug traps filled with beer are very effective but on the down side you will have to dispose of the bodies.  Perhaps you could invest in a biological control pack from a garden centre.  I have also read that coffee grounds spread around will help as a deterrent but I haven’t met anyone who has tried this.  I have friends who go on a snail patrol at dusk and collect the offending creatures in a bucket and then dispose of them.  I am assured that the numbers collected night after night are limitless.  It seems that snails have homing instincts so it doesn’t work to toss them in your neighbour’s garden, they will just come back!

Whatever you have to do to protect your plants and crops I hope it works for you.

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