Lo-tech Slug removal

bunnycat(z6 NY)August 27, 2007

Going broke trying to keep a new hosta garden in the back slug-free. Every night they eat it all of the Sluggo. Could "they" really be only slugs? Every time I go out I have my ammonia spray bottle, and can always find some (lots). Can't seem to make a dent.

Tried Cowboy's solution (soda caps with Sluggo, covered with a dish. I used plastic dishes and a stone on top. No takers for days. Then after 4 days, every one of the dozen plus dishes were flipped off, all the bait was gone. I think it was my crow family.

Went back to scattering the bait in the garden, and around the perimeter. And lots of it. 95% would be gone each morning. I think it's really bad in this garden because it backs up to my fence, and beyond that is my neighbor's "wild" area. Slug heaven.

So..decided to go all out. Put out the Sluggo, and also twenty tuna and cat food cans filled with el cheapo beer. Some of the cans had over 2 dozen slugs the next morning.

Voila! Note the late comer to the party...

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They belly up for a drink and drown?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 11:49PM
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I've never seen such long slugs. Am I looking at this right? Or do they swell (lengthen) up after eating the Sluggo? ewwww.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 12:16AM
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bunnycat(z6 NY)

Oh yeah! Fall right into the juice. And the weird thing is that it really pickles them. If I spray a "sober" slug with ammonia, it melts in minutes. Almost no trace left. I am vindictive, so sprayed the dead/drunk ones with ammonia, after picking them out of the beer with a stick (yick) just to make sure. The bodies were still on the grass a couple of days later. Preserved in alcohol. ho ho ho

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 12:19AM
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bunnycat(z6 NY)

They do lengthen..relax? They appear about 2" long, which is really gross. But I understand that they are 5-6" long in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe are called Banana Slugs? At any rate, banana slugs are mascots for Univ. California at Santa Cruz. Travolta wears a Banana Slug t-shirt in scenes in "Pulp Fiction" DH just HAD to order a banana slug tee from the campus bookstore for my son. He loves it)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 1:02AM
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Our slugs drunk and crawl away. Have drown only the tenth part. I observed of them. I think, the others result friends following night. "Hey, Guys! In next garden free-of-charge beer pour!" They creep from neighbours of meters six to hosta Antioh, for example, every night

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 1:28AM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)


I had to stick with the sluggo.
The beer thing just didn't work for me.
I tried, but by the time I reached the garden I had drunk all the beer.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 1:50AM
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    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 2:16AM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

Sluggo was getting too expensive for me too.
I found a place online that sells it in 40lb bags.
I had to pay for shipping, but no taxes.
No more buying those 1 lb cans for $10.
I saved alot of money on Sluggo buying it in bulk.
Check out the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sluggo in bulk

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 2:29AM
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Sluggo is not afraid some water? Or this is metaldegit? You must use Sluggo again after each rain and each watering?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 3:00AM
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I have found concern. to active Ingredient in Sluggo- it is iron phosphate, not metaldehyde. And what about watering and Sluggo?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 3:14AM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

Hello v71nat,

I don't believe I've seen your name around here before. Welcome.

Wow...you're in Moscow? Silly of me...but I guess I never thought of hostas growing in Russia.

How many hostas do you have? What kind?

Now, your question about Sluggo....according to the Sluggo ad it's supposed to remain effective after a sprinkle, irrigation or rain.

Below is what I cut and pasted from their ad.

Apply bait evenly at 24-44 Lb./acre depending on infestations, 1 lb per 1000 square feet or 1 teaspoon per square yard. Apply more heavily if infestation is severe. Reapply Sluggo as bait is consumed. Scatter Sluggo on the soil around or near plants to be protected. May be applied over the top of plants. Aerial applications allowed. Sluggo remains effective after a sprinkle, irrigation or rain.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 3:23AM
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Hi, Sassy!
We while do not have such remarkable Sluggo. The civilization has not come yet to our huts :-)
I am hostaholik from Russia, really. I have about 50 hostas now, but it is difficult to get any new hostas in our country.
In your country are very low prices and an enviable choice!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 3:41AM
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lynnem(5 Ohio)

Ack! My slugs are little tiny tiny things! I think I'd be afraid to go out in my garden if I saw those!

Seriously, I'd expect to see those in the Pacific NW, but in NY? Geez.....

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 6:11AM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Natalia, Welcome to the forum. I'm always interested in hearing how things are down around the world. Share some idea's and ask some questions. It's a friendly place.
Sassy, I have the same problem getting the beer into the garden. :)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 9:18AM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

Nancy,those aren't slugs,they are some kinda prehistoric monsters re-incarnated! Lol!! I haven't had nary a slug this year,or any year,for that matter. It has been too dry for too long,although we are getting rain now,again. I feel for you and your hostas. Phil

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 10:48AM
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bunnycat(z6 NY)

Hi Sassy,
First off, I owe you a long overdue BIG THANK YOU for your source for cheap Sluggo. I ordered the big bag after reading about your "find" earlier this year. It took me a while to get around to coughing up the money all at once, rather than bit by bit. Around here they sell 2 lb. jugs for $19.99. Yes, you also have to pay shipping, but not sales tax. So that figures into the comparison also.
While dawdling about spending the big bucks, I didn't buy another (third) jug of Sluggo, and the little buggers attacked. My fault. I had them under control for a while early in the year. Lately we get rain for a few days, then back to drought. Most of my hostas are ok, but I must have missed sprinkling the Sluggo in some areas, because the damage is random. I don't find a lot in the front gardens when I roll rocks or look under the leaf canopy on the bigger ones. The "problem" garden in the back yard is another story. I use Sluggo AND beer. I need all of the help that I can get back there.

A big welcome to you! It's really cool to have new members, especially from other countries. Please do tell us about your hosta collecting in Russia! By the way, Sluggo won't kill birds or pets or other wildlife if they sample(eat)it. It will last through several rainstorms or over-head waterings (hose and sprinkler). It depends on how much total rain falls. Since the slugs eat a lot of it, you can't always know for sure whether it is dissolving in rain or getting eaten.

Most slugs here seem to be only about and inch or less in length. Some stretch out to 2" when they are crawling across a rock, but then look thin stretched out. They blimp up on the beer. I've never seen a fat slug in the garden. They get beer-bellies I guess.

I envy you! No slugs! We have even bigger ones at our little summer cabin in the Adirondacks. And gross snails too. EEEWWW! They all like beer. So do I, but I keep the good stuff for me. :o)


    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 11:57AM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

Below is an article I found on Hill Gardens of Maine website. I ordered some hostas from them and spoke to the owner about slugs last spring. I was going to try his method but went with Sluggo instead. Might give it a try sometime though.

Here's the article.

Saucers of beer? Forget it! You may nail a fewÂbut thereÂs a better way. Snipping the creatures in two with sharp scissors? Too labor-intensiveÂand yukky! Sprinkled table salt? Yes, salt does cause them to dehydrate and die, but thatÂs not the answer either. Which brings us to two highly-effective methods: one to thin the crowd, and another to prevent their re-entry into our gardens.

Large populations can be quickly (thatÂs a relative term, depending on the numbers in your garden) reduced through the use of yeast-baited traps. Slugs love yeast! ThatÂs why theyÂre minimally attracted to saucers of beer. A more concentrated  and therefore more attractive to slugs  form will quickly draw them to their demise from several yards away. HereÂs the deal: collect two one-quart Mason jars with lids and pour two cups of warm water into one. Add a packet of dry yeast, and one teaspoonful each of salt and sugar. Mix thoroughly and divide the odiferous concoction between the two jars. Nuzzle each jar into soft garden soil at an angle so the lower lip of its opening is just at ground level. Slugs smell the yeast, travel to its source, crawl in and drown. Every two or three days, collect the slimy mess and either flush it or put a tight lid on the jar and place it in the garbage. Place yeast-trap jars every six to eight feet where populations are high.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 12:28PM
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Do you have foto of yeast-baited traps? So it is interesting!

Off. Thanks for warm words to me!
I shall try to make foto album more quickly.
My hostas list today:
Abiqua Drinking Gourd
American Halo
August Beauty
August Moon
Big Daddy
Big Mama
Blue Angel
Blue Diamond
Blue Umbrellas
Bressingham Blue
Brim Cup
Christmas Tree
CliffordÂs Forest Fire
Color Glory
Fire and Ice
Fortunei Aureomarginata
Fortunei Hyacinthina
Frances Williams
Great Expectations
Honeybells (?)
Krossa Regal
Magic Fire
Night before Christmas
Nothern Exposure
Potomac Pride
Regal Splendor
Snow Cap
Spilt Milk
Sum and Substance
Sun Power
Thomas Hogg
Undulata Mediovariegata
Wide Brim
In our country since September up to the middle of February it is impossible practically to buy any hostas for any money. And very much it would be desirable! Therefore also has bought at this time many old hybridized hostas.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 3:56PM
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trilliumway(z 4/5 MT)

Just wanted to say hello to Natalia, too. I was gonna offer to send you some hosta (you said that you have a limited selection) but you are WAY ahead of me in collecting already. I just started last year. Anyhow, welcome and if you stick around, you definately need to learn to post pictures. It is always so much fun to see others gardens or just individual hostas or whatever. Welcome again. Oh, about sending hostas, would that have worked or are there some rules about sending plants overseas? Just wondering

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 4:50PM
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I am surprised that you have any plants left after seeing that picture!!
Natalia your description of the slug beer party was funny. Welcome to the forum. I'll bet you don't have to worry about getting enough cold weather for your hostas like I do.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 5:15PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Welcome Natalia. There are lots of very knowledgeable people on here. Your list of hostas sounds like you have a pretty nice collection started. The picture of slugs, Ew! Ugly buggers. Sassy, thanks for the Sluggo link. I missed a while applying it and some of mine look like swiss cheese. Think I'll definitely order bulk for next year. I had to prioritize which plants I protected this year. Guess we should be glad we don't have the slugs here that I saw when visiting Alaska a few years ago. My hubby and I were walking along ( I think it was in Sitka) and I thought someone had thrown a cigar on the sidewalk. Then I got close enough to see that it was moving. Ugh! That slug was enough to give you hosta nightmares.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 10:49PM
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digs57(5b, Ottawa!)

So, what would happen if one was to add just a little ammonia to the beer or yeast brew? would they be repelled or attracted by the combined "fragrance"? Anyone in slug-happy country care to experiment?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 5:09AM
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Kind time of day! Thanks all for kindness.

Trilliumway, your offer to refuse it is impossible for hostaholic. If it is possible, I in addition would pay your services as I am afraid, that for you from Russia I can not send in the answer interesting hostas.
Mary52, cold weather it is a sick theme for northerners, (also, probably, as well as a heat for You :-) As 9 months white winter also three months green winter (but not in this year)

Hostaholic2, Greetings from Russian Hostaholics! Your knowledge of process of cultivation a host, really impress!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 2:34PM
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hostamanfred(5 Ohio)

Natalia, welcome to the Forum.
If it was possible to send you hostas to Russia, I am sure some of our Forum members would be glad to do so, not expecting you to send anything back in return.
Only plants, which have been inspected are allowed to go between Canada, the USA and Mexico.
A question: are the Hostas you get grown in Russia, or are they brought in from other Europaen countries?
Manfred from Berlin

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 6:37PM
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Manfred, greetings from the neighbour to the neighbour!
I did not wish anybody to offend, as I understand, that people offer the help by kindness. 99% our hostas are grown up in Poland, Holland and Germany. At us it is considered, that your flowers are grown up better and at us they the most expensive (on 40-50%, I think). But the choice practically is not present. Though, I think, a wide range of hostas only in England, America, Holland, Poland and Germany. I was in many countries of the world, a variety did not see

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 12:23AM
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Manfred, excuse me, please- I not at once have read through, that you in Berlin lived earlier, and now have moved to Ohio :-)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 1:23AM
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ofionnachta(z6 WNJ)

Say Natalia, dobrye utro from NJ!

On the mason jar with yeast & sugar--I am washing out the nearly empty peanut butter jar right now! I suppose they will do as well as Masons. Does it work on snails, because they have been wrecking the hostas this year here.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 12:07PM
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sassy7142(z5 OHIO)

ofionnachta, Yeah, I think a peanut butter jar, soup can or anything that holds water would work.

About the snails....aren't they the same thing as slugs, just snails carry their little house on their backs? LOL

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 12:59PM
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