DangerMany people will have read in the news recently that we are likely to have an invasion of slugs this summer. Hopefully this is an exaggeration because the last thing we want is for gardeners to resort to slug pellets as a way of pest control. Many slug pellets contain metaldehyde, a lethal poison, which will kill a hedgehog if it eats a slug that has been poisoned by a slug pellet. Even so called organic slug pellets can be lethal for hedgehogs. Please please consider using alternative methods of slug control

There are a few good websites with helpful suggestions www.hedgehogstreet.org or www.slugoff.co.uk

Choose Nematodes as a non toxic alternative to slug pellets (see fact sheet)
More about alternatives to slug pellets here

Nematodes are the most abundant creatures living in soil. A handful of soil will contain thousands of these microscopic worms, many of them acting as parasites on insects, plants or animals. Gardeners that are concerned about using toxic products because of the impact on wildlife will often use nematodes to control garden pests.

Slug Pellets Kill Hedgehogs

Take part in the snuffles Keep Hedgehogs Safe challenge by using chemical free slug management methods. Let us know how you get on via the contact us page of the website.

“There is nothing we can do for hedgehogs that have been poisoned other than give pain relief as they always die”

Snuffles Top 10 Tips for Effective Slug Management

1. Collect the slugs in the evening
One method of doing this is to create a slug friendly area by planting lettuce and cabbage just for the slugs. When they gather for their night time feast you can go around your garden and gather them up or leave them in this area. There are several ways of disposing of them including putting them in a bucket of salty water. This seems a rather cruel way of killing them off but please choose the least painful method.
2. Encourage predators
Birds, frogs and toads all like to snack on slugs. Ducks and some hens also enjoy snacking on them too. Hedgehogs eat slugs but too many can lead to lung worm.
3. Beer traps and sprays
Bury shallow plastic containers around your garden (take away containers are the ideal size) put beer in each one. Alternatively pour some beer into a spray bottle and spray all the weeds. As the slugs like the beer so much the idea is that they’ll eat the weeds, leaving other things alone.
4. Egg shells
Collect and wash egg shells then heat in the oven to harden them. Put the egg shells in a food processor and blitz until small, then place a protective ring around seedlings or anything you want to protect from slugs.
5. Copper Tape
Place a thick band of copper tape around areas that you want protecting or around plant pots. This is a great slug deterrent.
6. Bran
Place a circle of bran around each plant ensuring it doesn’t touch the stems. As slugs are almost entirely made up of water, the bran has a desiccating effect which kills them.
7. Planting flowers and herbs
Some plants are known to repel slugs so placing plants such as Astrantia, Lady’s Mantle, Dianthus, Foxglove, Geranium, Peony, Lavender, Phlox, Alyssum and Lobelia, African violet, Strawberry Begonia and Gloxinia may help.
8. Avoid watering your garden in the evening
Slugs are most active at night and thrive in moist conditions. Water the garden in the morning so the surface soil will be dry by the evening. This can reduce slug damage considerably
9. Orange and Grapefruit Skins
If you place halves of squeezed oranges or grapefruits the slugs will be attracted to the shells and makes it easier to gather up the slugs and then dispose of them afterwards
10. Garlic spray
This is a well used deterrent. Make a spray by boiling 2 bulbs of garlic crushed in 2 pints of water for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture and add more water to make up to 2 pints. Let the mixture cool before use. Use a spray bottle and spray the area you want the slugs to avoid

Please help to keep hedgehogs safe by spreading the word about the danger of slug pellets.