Slugs and Snails



If the actual pest cannot be seen, there is usually the giveaway evidence of silvery slime trails - especially on very spiny plants. Slugs can attack even the spiniest of plants, getting between the spines to reach the succulent flesh beneath. Damage consists of rounded bites taken from stems and leaves, usually around the edges.


Keep your greenhouse clean and tidy - remove all debris - dead plants etc. as these serve as breeding grounds. If bringing a new aquisition into the house make sure it comes from a slug-free home!

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Slug damage on EpiphyllumSlug damage on EpiphyllumSlug on cactus

Image supplied by Julie Frith
Website: Mobiles by Julie Frith - Modern Mobile Art


Chemical control - Start the year (January/February) using aluminium sulphate (Doff Slug Attack) as this kills slugs and slug and snail eggs.
Then, for the rest of the year, use slug pellets. Although slug pellets have a bad press and are assumed to kill all sorts of wildlife, when used correctly they pose little or no problem.
Thinly scatter metaldehyde-based slug pellets (Bayer Bio Slug and Snail Killer Pellets, Doff Advanced Slug Killer, Doff Slug Killer Blue Mini-pellets, Scotts SlugClear Advanced Pellets,Westland Eraza Slug & Snail Killer Pellets) around vulnerable plants.
If you're worried about using slug pellets, use aluminium sulphate or a pelleted bait containing ferric phosphate (Bayer Organic Slug Bait, Growing Success Advanced Slug Killer, Vitax Slug Death XL).
Go out with a torch during the evening and pick them off by hand and place in a container. Kill them in hot water or a strong salt solution. Don't throw them over the fence; believe it or not, they have a strong homing instinct and will soon come back.
A biological control (Nemaslug) is available from a number of biological control suppliers. See links.

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