What's eating my parsley?

alamoladyApril 21, 2012

About a week ago my husband planted 3 6-packs of parsley, Italian and curly-leaf both.

We immediately started noticing "something" had been eating it during the night, and the damage looks EXACTLY like snail and/or slug visitations. Hubby put a generous amount of slug/snail pellets from a box left from last year, but the next day there was increased damage (but 1 dead snail was found). I bought a fresh box of bait, and some was sprinkled around with the old. Today, STILL more damage! We see no other insects around the plants.

Husband said he's thinking about getting out his sleeping bag to spend the night next to the plants, but that seems a little extreme. However, I really want to make tabooli this summer!

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Have you inspected for caterpillars?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:19PM
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alamolady

We sure didn't see any, and they should be easy to spot now that most of the branches are bare. We'll look again in the morning.
We've been growing parsley for years, and have never seen so much damage (unless there were slugs or snails).
I told my husband that perhaps the nursery put a few slug eggs in the middle of each plant (where we didn't throw bait) so that we'd have to go back and buy more!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:33PM
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alamolady

Checking the parsley this morning, I spotted 1 dead slug and no caterpillers as far as I could see.
Since there are 18 half/eaten plants, it seems that just a couple of slugs/snails couldn't do all that damage, and the dead slug was not unusually fat or large, either. Are some slugs now immune to bait???

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 12:31PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Beer traps work very well versus slugs and snails. Rabbits and other four-leggeds could be helping your parsley plants as well.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 9:03AM
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Edymnion(7a)

A good deterrent for snails and slugs are crushed egg shells, or anything sharp and jagged really. They're soft bodied creatures, and they don't particularly like sliding over broken eggshells any more than we like walking barefoot on broken glass. Nice ring a couple inches wide around your plants should help keep them away.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 2:45PM
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alamolady

Edymnion, that sounds like a great idea; I'll try it.
BTW, I've seen no new damage the last couple of days, and no new dead bodies either.
Still, it seems like the damage to 18 plants was a lot for 1 snail and 1 slug to do in one night, but that's all I see.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 4:52PM
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