Where on plant do slugs attack?

phylrae(z5a/centralNYS)May 29, 2008

I plan to buy some Sluggo Plus next week from my local Agway when it gets in (all they had was regular Sluggo, and someone here advised me that the SP killed another dahlia pest-I think it was earwigs).

Do the slugs eat underground BEFORE the dahlia emerges from the ground? Or is it something that just moves on top of the ground?

I am hoping I am not too late in getting this Sluggo Plus...I put the tubers in the ground a few weeks ago.

Is it a spray or something I pour onto the ground?

Hope these questions don't make everyone laugh...I just don't know what/where the potential critters eat!


:0) Phyl

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Poochella(7 WA)

No one will laugh when it comes to dahlia death Phylrae. That is a serious topic. We are in the slug capital of the country, possibly competing with Oregon gardeners. The little !*($#&(*% are many and large, nothing compared to the mere whiffs of slugs in the Midwest.

They slime across the surface of the earth with mouth parts chomping and antennae sensing your most desirable plants. I learned long ago not to put a marigold anywhere in the earth; hanging planters or rail-rider planters only or I will put out a flat of healthy marigolds and overnight they are reduced to slime trailed stems devoid of bloom and leaf overnight.

They love tender young dahlias and will mow them down like a hayfield. I have also found them as high as 4 ft up chomping foliage having climbed a mature dahlia. They slither up your sliding glass doors leaving disgusting slime trails. They must die!

The Sluggo or Sluggo Plus will be elongated granules, very easy to scatter about the periphery of your garden or individual plants. It should be reapplied after a rainfall. I used to cover and uncover my young dahlias every night/a.m. with cut off milk jugs but those days are long gone. That was an effective anti-slug device though.

This year I'm experimenting with putting slug bait away from one garden bed to lure them far from the dahlias. Hand to hand combat and destruction of the pearly packs of slug eggs one may find underground or under cover of a rock, pot, or other garden item are also good efforts to control the slug population. It's war here.

The good news is, if they do take destroy a young sprout, it will likely regrow, but they can hamper early growth by taking off the leaves of even a robustly growing young dahlia. Best to get your bait out soon and replace as needed.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 12:29AM
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I'm sorry that I didn't remember that it was you, Poochella, who had told me about Sluggo Plus.
I have another question now. I remember seeing/touching my ONE & ONLY slug when I lived in Texas (in about 1987) and I was totally grossed out. Somehow it got inside my apt. north of Houston...and I walked downstairs barefoot to step on this slimy gross thing under my kitchen table! (I didn't even have a garden OR houseplants back then!)

Since I have never encountered another one, and I have grown 2 dahlias now (one from a tuber two years ago & one from seed last year-large bush, BTW), would that suggest that maybe they don't come around these parts?
My mom used to grow marigolds when I was a kid, and I used to have to help weed her garden....I never saw a one.

Thanks for the explanation about where they arrive...I was expecting something chomping underground maybe.
Guess I should still get the SP? For earwigs at l east (they must not be a flying insect, but a crawler too?)

:0) Phyl

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 5:27AM
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Poochella(7 WA)

If you haven't seen a slug in your area you are really living right! The little ones ride in on animal fur so I'll find one on the floor here and there.

Have you seen earwigs? They are so damaging to flower petals and tough little creeps to catch. If you do have them, I would go to the expense of Sluggo Plus as none of the other methods that I've tried anyway seem to catch them: inverted pots atop dahlia stakes, hose lengths on the garden bed floor, rolls of newspaper etc. Never caught one.

It's up to you. A spritz of ammonia will kill the stray slug you might encounter, and their eggs and is very cheap.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 10:28AM
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