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Video: Fighting Slugs And Snails
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 20:34
Snails on nettles
A slug, as a pest, is known to every summer resident and gardener. This is a mollusc, whose body is covered with thin delicate skin, protected from drying out by mucus, and it is constantly consumed not only during evaporation, but also during movement. And since the mollusk is 98 percent water, it is vital for him to restore it. And it is in the years with wet summers that their mass appearance usually occurs.
In a favorable period, slugs and snails multiply intensively and cause significant harm to almost all garden crops, simultaneously spreading fungal diseases. The external signs of the damage they inflict are not difficult to notice: in young seedlings, they gnaw the stem, eat holes of irregular shape on the leaves, and, eating fruits and berries, eat out depressions in them.
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Ways to deal with slugs and snails
They can be divided into agrotechnical, mechanical and chemical control methods. In the first case, it is usually recommended to dig up the soil more thoroughly, loosen it, thin out plants, weed, etc., which creates unfavorable conditions for the existence of slugs.
Mechanical methods of struggle
Most often, a mechanical method of dealing with slugs is used, which consists in laying out various traps among the plantings and in the subsequent destruction of the pests gathered under them. Traps, which are pieces of boards, plywood, cardboard or burlap, are laid out in the evening, and slugs are collected in the morning or afternoon and destroyed.
However, as experience shows, both of these methods are not very effective, since the rapidly appearing young generations, which at first cannot be discerned even with a simple glance, after a very short time continue their harmful work. The accepted method of their mechanical destruction by crushing does not help the fight against slugs, since their testicles, with which they are stuffed in an amount of up to 100-150 pieces, can give new offspring in a month. Therefore, it is best not to crush the caught slugs, but to shake them out of the traps into some container filled with kerosene, where they quickly die.
For a more complete catch of slugs with the help of traps, individual gardeners put a wet burlap under the traps, grease the surface facing the soil with rancid oil, lard, yogurt or a weak solution of sour dough. At the same time, slugs accumulate in traps in much larger quantities.
Good results are also obtained by the construction of obstacles in the path of slugs in the form of stripes and grooves consisting of sand, sawdust or fallen needles, as well as sprinkling the places where the slugs are concentrated with eggshell and fine salt. Inter-row cultivation of the soil with boiling water or stove ash and the attraction of natural enemies of slugs - frogs and toads to the sites helps in the fight against them.
Experience shows that in the fight against slugs and snails, it is most effective to use not one particular method, but the whole range of measures mentioned above. This allows you to reduce the "population" of slugs by 60-70%, and sometimes it helps to completely prevent their invasion for some time.
Chemical methods of struggle
Unfortunately, despite all the work expended, such a fight with slugs and snails does not guarantee their complete disappearance. Therefore, in recent years, gardeners are increasingly forced to resort to chemical methods of control. The greatest use was received by four drugs: a thick saline solution, a 10% solution of iron or copper sulfate, a free-flowing mixture consisting of one part of mustard and red pepper and two parts of furnace ash, as well as five percent metaldehyde granulate (molluscicide of contact and intestinal action), available now on sale. In Russia, it is sold under the Groza and Meta trademarks.
True, as experience has shown, the first three drugs have a negative effect on the skin of slugs, but are quickly neutralized by moisture. Moreover, in response to irritation, slugs only shed mucus and, in order to destroy them for sure, they must be subjected to repeated processing. More effective turned out to be a 5% metaldehyde granulate, consumed in a dose of 30-40 g per 10 m². The granules are scattered in the aisles, on the paths, on the soil surface, as well as in the places of shelters and breeding of slugs in dry weather, and either in the evening or in the early morning. In this case, slugs, losing mucus under the influence of granules, dry up and die after 2-3 days, but again, not all.
A common disadvantage of all four drugs is considerable costs, since after watering the plantings, rains or even dew, the treatment has to be repeated. And when using metaldehyde, as stated in the existing recommendations, due to the toxicity of this drug, only two treatments per season are allowed, and the latter should be carried out no later than 20-30 days before harvesting.
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My method for killing slugs and snails
Many gardeners have their own time-tested methods of dealing with slugs and snails. For example, on my site, after repeated experiments, I managed to achieve almost one hundred percent death of slugs by pollination of row spacings and aisles between beds with a mixture of fluff lime with superphosphate or with ammonium sulfate in a ratio of 2.5-3: 1.
This method is effective provided that such treatment is repeated up to three times with an interval of no more than one day. The best treatment time was late in the evening, and the slugs lost not only mucus, but also their skin, as a result of which both adults and newly appeared young slugs died by morning.
It is also important here that all the components of this mixture are useful for the soil and for plants, are familiar to every summer resident or gardener and, importantly, this method is 3-4 times cheaper than all the previous ones. I believe that this method of dealing with slugs in combination with agrotechnical measures can be considered quite promising for wider application on the sites. In addition to this, I would like to point out other well-proven mixtures consisting of tobacco dust and ash in a 1: 1 ratio or tobacco dust and slaked lime in the same ratio. When pollinated, they use 30 g / m² with an interval of 5-6 days.
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