They’re destructive, they’re slimy, they pop up out of nowhere and they are a menace to gardeners everywhere. Let’s face it, slugs and snails aren’t anyone’s favourite, and finding them in your garden, or veggie patch, just won’t do! Snails and slugs have voracious appetites, eating several times their own body weight every time they chow down on your beautiful garden. They rely on the production of mucus to keep their bodies moist, which means that you won’t find them much in dry, hot seasons or in areas with little shade. Rather they prefer areas that are damp and can readily be seen when it’s raining or there is a lot of precipitation, especially if the weather is mild. You often find the havoc they wreak on your plants the next day as they are most active at night, leaving shiny trails and holes in your plants. While you may initially think that it’s just a bit of cosmetic damage, snails and slugs are fully capable of destroying crops and killing your plants. So how do you get rid of these slippery suckers in natural eco-friendly ways?
There are many different natural remedies to ward off snails and slugs in your garden including barriers, predators, and organic repellants.
Barriers are created by placing things in the path of the offending pest that stops them from reaching your beloved plants. Snails and slugs are deterred away from your plants from things that make them uncomfortable, injure them or make it harder for them to move. Barriers for snails and slugs and take many forms. Copper wire or fragments are very good conductors of electricity and can shock snails and slugs when they make contact, which is very unpleasant indeed. Gritty dirt, eggshells, sandpaper, and diatomaceous earth are also very good barriers as they are very rough harmful to the sensitive skin of these slimy suckers. Sprinkling a bit of these around your plants should help prevent snails from getting too close. Ashes and fur have also been quite effective in impairing the movement of snails and slugs, deterring them from munching on your healthy vegetation.
The use of natural predators can also be a way to protect your garden without using harmful chemicals. Using predators is one of the most effective natural biological control methods you can use. Introducing chickens, geese, and ducks to your garden can go a long way in making sure snails and slugs don’t get the opportunity to ruin your plants. Other animals such as tortoises, frogs, snakes, lizards, beetles, and birds can be useful in controlling these pests.
Probably the best way to defend your crops and plants from the slimy invaders is the use of eco-friendly, organic substances that fortify your plants and soils. Products like Ferramol, whose active ingredient is iron-phosphate, are the best course of action. Iron-phosphate is a naturally occurring compound found in soils, and applying it to your soil, forms an effective control method. When applied in pellet form (like Ferramol), the pellets act as bait, luring the snails and slugs to consume it. Iron-phosphate is poisonous to them and after ingesting the substance they die, keeping your plant safe and gardeners everywhere, very happy.