Getting Rid of Slugs Naturally with Potatoes

Using potato slices to get rid of slugs!

Slugs.

DSCN5745 (800x600)Even the name feels gross in your mouth.

DSCN5751 (800x600)Slugs have no regard if it’s an old bit of rotted wood or the new blueberry bush you just planted two days ago in your garden. It’s all good eats to them. Before I share the interesting solution I tried the last couple days to rid my garden of these loathesome pests, let’s talk more about slugs in general.

DSCN5351 (800x572)Slugs decompose material, which is useful in a forest like this banana slug is doing. Their mucus is essential to their survival. If it dries up, they are toast. This is exactly why you notice more slugs when it’s been raining or wet out and less often when it’s hot. When things dry out, slugs will find someplace moist to hole up, such as in rocks, fallen trees, and man-made planters.

The other major bummer about slugs is they reproduce like nobody’s business. One slug can lay up to 30 slug babies at one time!

100_8533 (525x800)Also, that mucus trail? Can help slugs climb up and down things. Check out this guy I found bungee jumping into my garden from my deck! EEK!

Now I’m always looking for ways to remove these guys from lollygagging around my parsley and lettuce, and particularly, ways to do this organically. I’ve heard about the beer traps before, but recently stumbled upon the idea of using raw potato slices. I decided to try it to see if it would work because I just so happen to have some potatoes on hand. I took two and thinly sliced them, scattering them in various containers in my garden.

The first day, I got up early in the morning only to find NO SLUGS. I nearly wrote the whole thing off, but just left the potatoes out in the garden.

DSCN5836 (800x600)I returned to the garden around dinnertime and lo! A slug! I think the fact that it had rained encouraged them to come out, poke around, and eat potatoes.

DSCN5838 (800x600)I found an assortment of little slugs on this potato slice. Using the potato slices has another advantage: you can actually observe what you’re up against. I noticed right away that the larger slug was very dark in color.

DSCN5840 (800x600)Which could make this type of slug very difficult to spot in my dirt! Take a look at the picture above – do you spot the slug?

DSCN5845 (800x600)The other thing I noticed is that some of the slugs are very teeny tiny. On the edge of this potato slice, I spotted three baby slugs and some weird worm-like creature that’s TBD.

DSCN5743 (800x600)Recognizing how small these pests may be helped me to identify them elsewhere on my plants.

Remember: if you use the potato method, you will have to make sure to remove the slugs and/or the potatoes at some point. In my case, I just flicked the slugs off the potatoes into the yard waste bin and replaced the potatoes back in the garden to catch their buddies.

Over the next week or so, I plan on trying a couple different methods for trapping slugs. I’ll let you know how they compare.

Have you ever used potatoes to catch slugs?


Comments

  1. Caro says

    I’ve been looking for cheap beer, but I don’t think there is such a thing anymore. No cheap potatoes, either. I might try this, but I’m not sure I want slugs crawling around in or out of the “green barrel.”

    • Angela Russell says

      Perhaps you could try saving the peelings from potatoes – maybe that would work.

      And yeah, I always cringe thinking of using perfectly good beer on slugs. I might also try vinegar sweetened with a few drops of juice.

  2. Debbie says

    I have been using grapefruits cut in half (I eat the inside) turned upside down. They love them! And I can easily flick them into a pile and squish them…!!

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