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Emily Scarratt

Watch out - Slugs are about!

Posted by British Bird Food 17/03/2015 0 Comment(s)

How to stop Slugs in the garden.

This morning I saw my first baby Slug (17.03.15). It reminded me that all the plants, flowers and vegetables in our garden will shortly be springing into life and the Slugs will once again come out of hiding and start trying to kill and eat every plant they can slither onto. Now, when I think about Slugs, I automatically think about Hedgehogs - why? As most people are aware now, the Hedgehogs are in serious decline and numbers are now less then a million. On today's BBC news there is the opening of a new Hedgehog Sanctuary in the Midlands. There are many reasons behind the decline in numbers but one of the most significant and probably the easiest to eradicate is the use of poisonous Slug pellets. When we use slug pellets the Slug becomes a poisonous lure fro the Hedgehog, and as soon as the Hedgehog eats the Slug he is doomed. Hedgehogs eat many Slugs and Snails and if we are lucky enough to have a Hog or two in our gardens then they will take care of the Slug population for us, so please don't use Slug pellets if you think there are Hedgehogs around you. If you have a Slug problem and don't have  the benefit of a garden Hedgehog, then try other methods of removing Slugs - blunt I know, but that is what must happen in order for the plants in your garden to thrive. Gather and remove - go into the garden after dark and find as many as you can and remove them to a safe distance - no guarantee they won't make their way back. Gather and eliminate - as above but put the Slugs in a solution of saline (salt water), this will kill them over night, dispose of in the green recycling bin, rather than allow them to be eaten. Feed with oatmeal - if you can keep it dry (in greenhouse, poly tunnel or weather proof container, then Oats will bloat the Slug and it will dry up, unable to make slime and so provide a tasty meal for Frogs, Toads and our Hedgehogs and birds. Give them a drink of beer - The beer trap has been used for hundreds of years, just sink a glass jar into the ground leaving about 20mm above the ground level to prevent beneficial insects like the Ground Beetle from falling into the trap, half fill with beer and leave, next morning check the trap and remove any slugs, they are dead now, so it is OK to throw them under the hedge and leave them for the birds to find. There are many more ways to get rid of Slugs and Snails, so why would you want to use poisonous Slug pellets and risk killing the other wildlife in your garden? with just a little bit of effort you can make a real difference to the wildlife habitat and survival rate in your area.

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