Thursday, May 10, 2012

Slugfest 2012

Day 112
The Daily DuBrule

You know you have a serious slug problem when a friend brings her chocolate lab puppy over to meet you and the dog looks up at you and has a slug on the end of her nose. Now that is truly disgusting. With all the rain we've been having, slugs are out in full force. They are out during the day and easy to spot. So easy in fact that you can count them on your hosta leaves and keep track. Not that I do that sort of thing but I know someone who does.

When it comes to slugs, I am not a squisher. Red lily leaf beetles, no problem. But you just can't squish a slug, they are too slimy. I have been know to pick them off, put them on a rock, and step on them, but that method can be dangerous as their slime is so persistent that you could easily slip and fall in such wet weather. I will put on rubber gloves and pick them off and throw them in a bucket of salty water. Usually I just use Sluggo, iron phosphate. It's safe and effective.

Slugs multiply at a disgustingly rapid rate.  You'll be thrilled to know that slugs lay hundreds of eggs a year. The eggs hatch in three weeks and baby slugs will start laying eggs when they're only a few months old. This week I am seeing mama slugs and lots of baby slugs, so the next generation is already happily ensconced in my garden. 

I should have jumped on this problem sooner. Using Sluggo to control the first generation of slugs can really make a dent in later generations. The problem was that spring started out with a heat wave and drought in March and early April and slugs were the last problem on my mind. Now that have established themselves amongst my plants and it's going to take a lot more Sluggo, and a lot more of my attention, to deal with them.

Enter the toad eggs in my pond which I can report have happily become thousands of healthy pollywogs. I am hoping they will grow up to be voracious slug eaters. Until then, its up to me. No, not to eat the slugs, to control them. 

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