Pests & Problems

Slugs and Snails – Oh my!  Not a gardener’s friend.  And this is no pedestrian moan about a little leafy damage to the delicates in the beds.  Oh no!  Slugs are disaster for agriculture and are estimated to cost UK farmers in excess of £8 million a year.


Slug in the compost bin (April 2020). Photo by G.

Mama bear always says (with a smile that brings a chill): ‘Kill ’em with kindness.’  And so that is my way with slugs and snails – I collect them and rehouse them to the compost bin, to a happy prison where they can happily eat themselves to death.  Hic!

Tip for dealing with SLUGS in winter months: Slugs become more inactive and like to hide away in winter, which means they become easier to trap.  Place a wooden board down on garden beds.  Then, when on garden patrol, simply lift the board and collect the slugs to dispose of how you will.  (I like to put them into a composting bin.)  Similarly for SNAILS, put down plant pots upside down.  Snails will shelter in the underside of the pots, making them easy to collect and remove.

A side note on particularly British slugs:  It’s a fact that not all slugs are bad.  Some are very good indeed, and help clean up dead matter and aid composting.  Indeed, it may come as no surprise to learn that the best slugs of all are British (as reported in The Telegraph article by Helena Horton entitled “Hunt in your gardens for slugs, RHS urges, amid worries beneficial British slug is being wiped out,” on 24 March 2019, about the yellow cellar slug and its imperilled state by the green cellar slug which arrived to the UK from the Ukraine in the 1970s.  Another strangely Brexitesque story.)

View the RHS’s guide to slug types(with photos to help you identify what you’re seeing).

For more information, or help with identifying garden pests, see the British website.


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