Im sure Im not the only dealing with this issue. SLUGS! Its been about 6 weeks now, and they are absolutely everywhere. There in my tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, broccoli... even inside my damn greenhouse crawling on the walls, and obviously on the plants in the greenhouse.
Im looking for sure fire ways to kill them... aside from laying the useless pellets that evidently do very little, besides get wet and grow mould on the soil. Here's what I have tried and does not work:
1. Copper tape- useless! I may as well put in a 4 lane highway for them to zip across. I have literally captured slugs and placed them on the copper tape (4 inch wide). Yeah it does nothing. FAIL!
2. Iron Phosphate Pellets- may have killed some, over the course of a month, but I seen no difference even after applying them for 2 weeks every two days. Eventually the damn pellets got wet and the cabbage leaves covered them, and mould started growing in that area. I placed a few slugs in a mason jar with a cabbage leave and some pellets (SLUGGO, not cheap either). I turned off the lights in the shed for three days. YUP... slugs still moving. To me this is a FAIL!
3. Beer Traps- If i had to compare the number slugs i can remove manually each night, over the course of a week, and compare it to the 16 beer traps I placed in the cabbage garden, I would say its a ratio of 1:100, Beer Traps: Manual Removal. Not too mention expensive. FAIL!
4. Fire/ Flame/ Extreme Heat: Takes about 5 seconds and they pop. Works like a charm, too bad it kills the damn plant also. FAIL!
5. Salt: Takes about 60 seconds to completely destroy the slug. Extremely cheap. About $1.00/ Kg. Also kills the plants. FAIL!
6. Manual Removal: Literally means waiting until almost dark to spend a good hour examining every leaf for slugs and removing them and placing them in a solution o f water and ammonia. PASS! Too bad it takes an hour every single night for almost 6 weeks. Meaning Ive spent over 40 hours picking slugs in my garden this year so far. To me thats a FAIL! That almost two full days picking slugs. Cant get that time back. And I'm not done yet.... so it may as well be two full days.
7. Egg shells/ coffe grains/: Useless. Ive sprinkled coffee on them, and nothing happened. it flinched and kept going it merry way. Coffee is a FAIL. Egg shells did nothing. They just slimed their way over the top of them. Eggshells are a FAIL!
I know everyone raves that these methods work great online, but in reality Ive tried these and to me they are useless methods. I can easily pick 20-30 slugs every night form the garden. I may cancel vegetable gardening and just harvest slugs. Id make a killing at it.
My question is not how to kill slugs. I know the bottom of my shoe is no match for them!
Q1: How do I prevent them? How do I destroy the eggs so that they are not back next year?
Q2: A chemical mixture of 1 part water: 10 parts Ammonia, with some dish soapworts wonders in the bucket I throw them in. Can I put this in a spray bottle and spray the soil (under cabbage leaves) where they hide? Can I spray the plant leaves the slugs are on with out damaging the plant? Will spraying the soil help kill the eggs? If I spray the soils, will this destroy the plants roots?
Q3: What about a mixture of bleach and water? I know it kills the slugs but will it damage the plants?
Q4: Does sawdust actually work? Or will I just have another mould problem once it gets wet?
I hate sounding so negative toward these methods that so many swear by as surefire ways to rid yourself of slugs... but they don't work. Manual removal with a sewing needle is the easiest and cleaned method so far for me. But its so time consuming. Not too mention, i don't see and end to it. seems like they just keep on coming.
If I were able to keep the cabbage leaves off the ground I believe that would help a lot. The leaves provide a home for the slugs.
I've also thought of trying to design a hoop house with a sealed bottom and a plastic covering to keep the soil dry. I would also put an inch of sand over the entire surface. But how do I water the plants then? The cabbage need a good bit of water. A drip watering system build into the tunnels?
Im open to suggestions. Im just very intolerant to these damn slugs.
Will nematodes do anything to them in the soil. Ive sprayed a lot of nematodes in the past two days. Will it kill the slug eggs?
If I could buy a pesticide that would destroy them right now... I would. Im fed up picking slugs every night, only to see just as many the next night.
I appreciate any responses that other members have.
How do commercial cabbage farmers control these things? I doubt they are laying beer traps each night, or hand picking them each night.