Some landscaping problems are easy to spot, most parasites and plant diseases have easily identifiable marks. But some pests sneak in under cover of darkness, eat up large parts of your garden, and then vanish leaving nothing but silvery trails. That’s right; we’re talking about slugs and snails. These small slimy critters may seem like simple garden bugs, but they can decimate plants like tomatoes, hostas, cabbage, and dahlias.
How To Identify Slug and Snail Trails
Due to their nocturnal nature slugs and snail damage can be hard to identify, but there are a few tell-tale signs. The most obvious evidence is that both creatures leave behind a silvery trail created by their mucus. This trail often dissipates as the day continues, if you hope to find slug trails make sure to look early in the morning.
Keep Them Away
Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to keep slugs and snails away from your plants. To start, they have particular habitats they like, namely moist, decaying matter. Make sure that your gardens have no rotting wood or leaf build up and that the lawn near flower beds is kept trimmed. Once their potential homes are removed, the next step is to take action to keep them away from your plants. In general, there’s no need to kill slugs like with other pests. Their sensitive and exposed feet are prone to irritation, and they tend to search for new food sources rather than risking injury. Acidic things, for instance, lessen their ability to climb, adding coffee grounds around your plants will deter them fairly successfully. Another option is to utilize an abrasive ground cover, crushed eggshells or sharp diatomaceous earth both create a ground surface that is nutritious for plants while being uncomfortable for snails.
There are also some plants that repel pests. Just as mosquitoes dislike citronella, slugs, and snails dislike rosemary, thyme, and marigold. These plants should be companion plants to any slug favorites to help keep the pests at bay.
Keep Watering to Day
One of the most crucial steps to both general plant health and slug and snail prevention is to keep the area around the plants dry at night. Slugs and snails thrive on damp conditions, and reducing moisture can keep them at bay. Watering in the morning to ensure that everything is dry by nightfall is a great preventative measure.
All of Your Landscape Design Needs FROM HONEYSUCKLE NURSERY AND DESIGN
At Honeysuckle Nursery and Design, you will get construction and maintenance crews on site who have a minimum of 10 years of experience in all types of landscaping. Our designers will work closely with you to understand how you want to use your space so that we can make the most of your entire site. We are committed to providing complete customer satisfaction and will work with you along every step of the way to be sure that you are happy with your landscape design.
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