Slug Hunting

ConnieMay(6a(CAN))June 13, 2013

Somehow I have graduated to picking the slugs and snails off the leaves with my BARE FINGERS!

We have had so much rain that the slugs are now out in full force. At this time of year I pick them off nightly for a week or two and then that is generally it for the season. This is the first time the feel of them on my skin hasn't made me feel squeamish...

Do you slug hunt with bare fingers?

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Slug hunting is something better done with an object to lift with, and a bottle of a drowning agent to dunk into.

I was so mad at a slug for getting on my #1 "Mama" plantaginea that just once I grabbed it off and stomped on it, after covering it with a leaf. Don't want that goo tracking into my house. Eeeewww.

But, I know that you are operating under extreme conditions. I have to respect you for getting toughened to what the task demands. You go girl!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:59PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

No way. I use those latex or whatever finger tipped gloves. Then I have NO FEAR! But I will advise that you should not squeeze on a snail really hard, as it will explode. Like into your eyes and mouth. I won't relate the words I yelled I just toss them into the street to try to find their way back before a crow or car does them in.

I use Sluggo around all my hostas and have had no holes. The snails/slugs I find are on other plants.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 11:06PM
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I use chopsticks lol!!!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 11:19PM
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Melati, after the chopsticks, what do you drop them in, soy sauce or hot mustard? :)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 11:45PM
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Yuck!!!! 100% vinegar!!!!! LOL!!!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 12:03AM
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Shudder....I don't think I could pick those slimy things up with my bare fingers. The wet weather has brought them out in full force this week. What works best me is to sprinkle a little bit of salt on them. I have killed well over a hundred just in the last 3 days using this method. You don't need much at all and if you get a little salt on the plant it's not enough to harm them. It works very well for me. I'll make my round again in the morning.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 12:35AM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Don't think I could ever graduate to picking slugs with my fingers. I use slug bait. I also use a pump sprayer filled with ammonia and water (10:1 ratio). My sprayer has a wand which makes it easier to reach my hostas and I can use the wand to lift leaves to look underneath. I go out some nights and spray on the slugs to kill them.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 1:09AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Phooey on the soy sauce...go for the wasabi.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 1:18AM
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Gesila(MI Z5)

I use toaster tweezers. My DH follows me around with a 32 oz cup of salt water. I pick them up with the tweezers and drop them in the cup he's holding. He's responsible for disposing of the contents of the cup when we're done.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 2:18AM
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jadie88(7 MD)

I use child labor. My fearless three year old daughter has been well schooled in backyard bugs: earthworms are friends, but cutworms, grubs, and slugs go in the ammonia cup! She spends hours out there on the prowl, rolling rocks and picking out the slugs. She even sings cheerful little songs about naughty slimy slugs going into the bad bug cup...morbid, but effective!

My neighbor has seen her handiwork and asked if she is available to rent. :)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 7:30AM
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I don't even get a chance. Literally every night at 8:30 pm like clockwork the toad patrol comes out, always within 30 minutes of that time, and they hope into my pots, up on my patio, and they get fat and happy. I've watched them hop up my steps to get onto the deck, 3 deck dwellers, made me laugh really hard when I first saw them use the stairs, but I guess I never thought about how they got up there before.

I do snail hunt because I like stepping on them. I thought that was evil till I heard you guys salting the slugs. I think slugs are way more gross than snailsl

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 7:36AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

No way am I touching them! I squish them with whatever is available, shovel, rock, etc. I have snails and slugs and I have picked up the snails with a gloved hand before and thrown them into the street too. My son accidentally stepped on a snail with about gross ewww!


    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 7:52AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

You want to be careful with salt. If you get too much salt onto the soil you may kill your plants. Fertilizer is a salt and too much will burn roots. Better to use a 10-15% ammonia and water solution in a spray bottle. They will melt under that spray.

I will admit to hand picking and stepping on them using flat rocks as the killing ground. No mercy.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 8:43AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Jadie88- A smiling, singing slug hunter beats ammonia any day! ;-)


    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 12:46PM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

I Generally spray then with ammonia and water,but occasionally,when I don't have my spray bottle handy,I will grab one and toss it deep into the woods. (They don't make it back this year)! This year has been bad with all the rain. We are having a plethora of brown snails,however,and I don't mind grabbing them and tossing them deep into the woods,as they aren'ty slimy. Phil

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 1:51PM
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jan_on zone 5b

Love this thread. All our nasty little secrets uncovered.
Remember that snails have a 'homing instinct' and will find their way back if you fire them over the neighbour's fence or on the road. I suppose one could test that theory by painting dots on their shells before tossing.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 1:52PM
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I thought they like to slug beer!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 2:32PM
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I haven't seen even one snail or slug this season yet. What's up with that? And with all this rain too. I even bought ammonia for the first time to be prepared for the onslaught but so far, I haven't used it. And no apparent damage to the hostas either (except for a couple that have been nibbled by deer, I think). I have noticed a lot more toads in the garden this year. I guess they are my slug-busters. Better them than me. Go Toads Go!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 2:57PM
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jan_on zone 5b

Yup, that guy certainly looks hungry. Welcome to the forum toad. Hang around!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 5:55PM
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I love the toad! He looks like he has an attitude.

I just googled "adding toads to the garden" and it sounds like I will need to put in a pond if I want them to stay.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:00AM
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