The damage and little slimy trails suggest that snails and slugs have been grazing on my plants. In addition to picking them off, we usually sprinkle Sluggo around the yard. Even though Sluggo is organic, I don’t like using it around my vegetables and herbs. My peppers are currently being eaten by both slugs and snails so I’m experimenting with some ways to control these garden pests naturally.
This is my new favorite method of natural snail and slug control. We just had a Super Bowl party so there was plenty of beer in the fridge. For no good reason, other than perhaps the name, I opted for the Sierra Nevada Torpedo. You’ll also need a foil tin or other disposable container.
If you can, dig a little hole and submerge the tin into the dirt. This makes it easier for the snails and slugs to slide into the beer. Pour the beer in the tin and wait. The slugs will smell the beer, drink it, get drunk, and then drown. I am feeling slightly guilty about it as I type this.
The kind of beer actually doesn’t matter. I left the tin out during a rainstorm and the slugs still came to drink watered-down beer. Sorry if the photo below is too much information, but I want to provide evidence.
Copper tape is another method I have used successfully. It repels snails and slugs through a natural electrical charge. I use it around my dahlias. Take copper tape or wire and wrap it around the base of your plant. It helps to have wire supports around the plant to stabilize the tape. One ring of tape lasts me an entire dahlia growing season. Once the plants fill out, they hide the tape. However, seeing a ring of tape is much more attractive than a bunch of chewed up leaves.
Don’t get me wrong, Sluggo is organic, considered safe around pets, and breaks down in the soil. It is also labeled safe for vegetable gardens. I just prefer using a food alternative near my raised vegetable beds and in the backyard where the kids play.
So, in the event that you can’t finish your beer, use the remainder for snail and slug traps.