Moist plant debris, underneath rocks, low weeds, mulch and fallen logs all provide hiding places for snails and slugs. Moisture is a key requirement for snails and slugs since they are adversely affected by dry conditions and the loss of body moisture.
Pouring salt on a slug will kill it in a matter of seconds, however, it generally takes quite a bit of salt to do so. The salt kills the slug through osmosis – it draws water from inside the slug and rapidly dehydrates it.
Coffee grounds, wood ashes, sand, crushed eggshells, and diatomaceous earth (DE) all do this when sprinkled around plants—with DE being the most deadly. Another barrier option is copper tape or copper wire.
The climatic conditions determine how quickly the eggs develop and hatch – the warmer it is, the quicker they develop. It takes about a year for slugs to mature into adults, which can live for about two years. Slugs can be serious garden pests, eating seedlings, plants and fruit and vegetable crops.
Slugs and snails are very important. They provide food for all sorts of mammals, birds, slow worms, earthworms, insects and they are part of the natural balance. Upset that balance by removing them and we can do a lot of harm. Thrushes in particular thrive on them!
Vertebrate predators of snails and slugs include shrews, mice, squirrels, and other small mammals; salamanders, toads and turtles, including the uncommon Blandings Turtle Emydoidea blandingii; and birds, especially ground-foragers such as thrushes, grouse, blackbirds, and wild turkey.
Slugs do not really have a proper brain, but they do have knots of nerve cells which are capable of processing a myriad of sensory inputs, from the eyes to the touch receptors on the animal’s fleshy underside.
When two slugs meet, they can mate with one another and fertilize each other’s eggs. A few days later, both will deposit eggs in a sheltered spot with adequate moisture. From there, the next generation of slugs is born.
Contamination of the hands during the preparation of uncooked snails or slugs could also lead to ingestion of the parasite. People who handle snails or slugs while gardening should wash their hands thoroughly before eating or preparing food.
Slugs do have a simple protective reaction system, but they don’t scream when salt is poured on them. Any hissing sound is caused by the action of the water being drawn out of the slug.
They hide during the day so place wood boards near your garden. The slugs will go under the board for shelter when daylight comes and you can flip over the board and find them all there. You can then get rid of them without having to search for them.
Note that slugs do not regenerate from each half when cut through. That is worth remembering when you encounter the adults while doing other chores; just snip them, stomp them, smash them; anything to separate head from tail. … A good mulch can deter slugs.
Slugs remain active throughout the year, unlike snails, which are dormant during autumn and winter. Warmer weather, combined with damp conditions greatly increases their activity. Slugs are most active after dark or in wet weather.
The Lives of Snails and Slugs
Like bears, land snails and slugs sleep through cold winters . Snails nap in their shells, and slugs sleep in holes they’ve dug in the dirt . In the spring, they come out . They’re very hungry after they wake up, and they need to find plants to eat .
The slugs don’t like the feel of it, apparently, and it sticks to their bodies, which can be funny.
There’s no doubt that slugs and snails help to clean up garden debris. Almost all common garden snails and slugs (except the uniquely destructive Field Slug Deroceras reticulatum), prefer dead garden detritus to living plants. Their feces make a nitrogen-rich, mineral-laden fertilizer that enhances plant nutrition.
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