slugs eating hostas

ncognito88(7)April 2, 2010

Every year my hostas get attacked by slugs i think. I heard some people use coffee grounds any other remedies that any body knows of?

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Babka NorCal 9b

Sluggo works.

-Babka

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 9:09PM
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paul_in_mn(4b)

Start now/early to eliminate future breeding cycles. I was checking hosta under leaf litter and mild winter in MN seems to have been good for slugs(lots) as well as my plants.

10% ammonia to water for direct contact spraying around stems/petioles at base - dries em out. Cheap - will have to reapply. At dusk take a flashlight and spray amongst petioles and base ... doesn't take that long since the skeeters keep you moving.

Ortho Bug-geta (Home Depot), just read up on use around pets - similar to sluggo. Will need to reapply as rain and watering will dissolve pellets in time. $10/bag

Diatomaceous earth sprinkled on soil around base - creates unfriendly barrier to crawl across. May need to reapply as water washes away. $18 or so for big box (pool supply store) - used maybe 20% of box last year.

If you wait till you see holes in leaves, you didn't start early enough. I used combination of all three last year on some hosta which had slug problems the previous year - hosta looked great all year in 09.

Paul

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 9:45PM
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beegood_gw

I put all my coffee grounds under the hostas and have no slug problem. And they are out there.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 9:46AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

check the FAQ page for stuff about slugs .. its right there above the banner that says HOSTA FORUM ...

and try the search engine within GW ....

IMHO.. coffee doesnt work .. you drink it.. and go spray with ammonia or vinegar ....

ken

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 12:35PM
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beegood_gw

Works for me. And it's only the grounds like I said. But I have a feeling like most forums if you are not one of the IN crowd you amy as well just quietly go away, RIGHT?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 1:03PM
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tomahawkclaim

Please don't go away! the vast majority of those who post on this website are really helpful and encouraging; witness Paul from MN's response. Ken sticks out some sharp elbows at times, but he really knows hosta, so most of us put up with him.

But regarding slugs, I used sluggo last spring and it worked well through July. I guess I should have reapplied it because by September, slugs were feasting. I didn't care at that point because I wasn't hosting any big garden parties.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 5:48PM
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susie53_gw

beegood, come on back. Don't be bothered when someone dissagrees with you. There is alot to learn from here. Something that works for you might not work for someone else. Share what you feel works for you.. I am always looking for new ideas..

If you think this forum is bad, check out Hot Topics. They chew you up and spit you out if they don't agree.. This one is so nice compared to them.. So come back and share with us...

Susie

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 10:31PM
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gayle0000(zone 5-Normal IL)

The best options are listed out in the FAQ, that's why you were referred there. You weren't asked or implied to "go away". Take a breath.

I've never had success or luck with coffee grounds.

Poisons and baits work best for me. Put it down. Slug death. Reapply as necessary.

I've used ammonia and it works, but I'm getting old now...have a 4 year old...and don't have to time to go hunting at night. Ahhhh...fond memories of hunting/spraying in my youth.
Gayle

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 7:46AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

ya know.. all i said was that it WAS MY OPINION ... what the heck is a sharp elbow about that???

if i am not allowed MY OPINION.. i may as well not bother ...

ken

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 8:12AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

ken, PLEASE do bother! More often than not (always?), your posts are clever and funny and packed full of info.

I find everyone here to be great resources. I am off to buy my Sluggo this afternoon! The babies are coming up, so it's time. I have also used the diatomaceous earth and I agree with Paul-it works and is probably cheaper than Sluggo. I'll see if HD has any. I used to raid my father's pool supply. :)

Happy spring all.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 12:47PM
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peggy_hosta(z4 neSD)

I'm glad we're not all the same or it would be a boring forum. I've learned so much on this forum. And if the zone in discussion if way far from me, I'll take what info pertains to me and disregard the rest.
Nobody here is mean or snippy. Some just don't beat around the hosta bush!
Peggy

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 1:40PM
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talynnp(7)

there's an IN crowd????????? never knew it...always honest answers from the guys and gals here...beegood, there is a TON of information on the GW site, maybe he was unsure if you were aware of it.

paul_in_mn, love the bundle on your slug. too funny!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 1:55PM
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linaria_gw

Hello
I looked around in my perennial border and found some eggs that looked like slug eggs under a piece of timber I use as stepping stone. Perhaps if you have similar places you can check. Just recently on BBC GQT they emphasized the importance to kill off the first lot of slugs at the start of the season.
Well, happy hunting and good hostas, cheers, Lin

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 3:24PM
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bernd ny zone5

Sluggo = EXPENSO,

I use Ortho Bug-Geta or Bug-Geta Plus. At Home Depot or Walmart you will get up to 3 times as much in weight with Bug-Geta than you get with Sluggo for your dollar. Considering that you have to use those pellets from end of April to September every two weeks (plus some Ammonia) this will save you many $$ which you can use to buy more hostas.

Others will explain that cats and dogs might get sick from Bug-Geta, but I have never seen any of this go on.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 6:33PM
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anitamo(5)

I just read somewhere, can't remember the exact source, so not sure how reliable it is, on how to use slug control products. The article stated that instead of spreading the sluggo, or whatnot, around each hosta plant, spread it under ornamental grasses and shrubs. The reasoning is that that's where the slugs are hiding during the day, so in theory, you're getting them before they get your hostas.

What are your thoughts on this?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 6:46PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Around here Bug-Geta kills the slugs and snails but their bodies and slime are there the next morning.
With iron phosphate (Sluggo) they eat and go away to die. When the bodies are left, other slugs and snails come running to eat dead ones. I use Sluggo all year around and just consider it part of the expense of having hole free hostas, tomatoes, pansies, impatiens, citrus liriope mondo, etc.etc.

-Babka

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 8:27PM
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bernd ny zone5

In respect to placing the bait into bushes or grass, that requires possibly more pellets because the distance to the plants is larger. I will try to leave small boards underneath the plants under which the slugs can hide and to be picked up from easier.

In respect to slugs sliding away to die when using Sluggo, I liked it to see and count the dead slugs after using Bug-Getta, it is like counting dead enemies after the fight. It showed the effectiveness, never saw a healthy slug eating dead ones. We pick off slugs by hand from vegetables.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 8:38PM
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countrygarden01

I have also had "good" experiences w/ coffee grounds. The trick seems to be too apply enough around the hosta and also in the base.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 10:34AM
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livvyandbella(MA.)

New to hostas. I was just reading gardening magazine and it said to put copper strips around your plants. Anyone ever done that?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 8:27AM
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thisismelissa

I have to say that I think the notion of the slugs hiding in grasses and shrubs cannot be true in my case.

I have NO shrubs or grasses in my hosta beds. And given how slow these buggers move, cannot believe they'd travel over 80 feet from shrubs and grasses to get to my hosta. I'm virtually certain they're camping out under my mulch.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 8:55AM
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gardengirl_nancy(Z5 Midwest)

The new Garden Gate Magazine said to try copper brillo pads, they pull apart like threads, place around base of plants. Hey remember the one about using cucumbers in aluminum pans, or something, what was that one, I forget? My opinion about asking questions instead of going to the FAQS, is that this way everyone gets to read the answers. It's the best way to share info and learn, not everyone read previous posts from way back when, and there are newbies. I don't post much, but sure have learned a lot from just reading on here.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 3:43PM
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bernd ny zone5

I just vacuumed off the last leaf litter from around my hostas, had to wait until I could see the plants. Now there will be less places to hide for the slugs, did not see any slug yet here in zone 5a this spring.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 7:18PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

I've heard they don't like crawling around pine needles, so I use that as mulch around my hosta's in addition to the sluggo and coffee grounds. Hope this year is better!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 7:24PM
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gardengirl_nancy(Z5 Midwest)

Anyone have any luck with egg shells around hostas? I am trying that one too this year.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 1:28PM
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