Slug infestation on lawn is a serious problem because these pests like to chew on grass blades and plant leaves, eventually destroying them. You will mostly notice slugs in the yard at night time and wake up to chewed leaves and slime left behind.
In this article, we bring you all the reasons why slugs like to attack a particular lawn. Find out what causes slug infestation and how to get rid of it in this short guide.
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- What Causes Slug Infestation On Lawn?
- How To Get Rid of Slug Infestation
What Causes Slug Infestation On Lawn?
Slugs are attracted to a lawn that is kept wet and soggy, has a thick layer of mulch, or has too many logs and stones strewn around. In addition, you will find the attacking tall and dense plants, and damaging your leaves, and leaving and moving on slime tracks.
You will see an alarming increase in slug activity in the lawn during the rainy season and the year’s colder months.
– Wet Soil
There is nothing that snails like better than wet and soggy soil. They are naturally inclined to moist places because they are opposed to dehydration. Poor watering habits are detrimental to the lawn, and attracting slugs is one of them.
You generally should water a lawn at most one inch per week and carry it out early in the morning. When lawns are watered late into the day, the water evaporates all day, and the moist soil attracts slugs and snails toward it. If you overwater it you should try and dry it out!
– Thick Layer of Mulch
There is no denying the various benefits of mulching for growing a healthy and lush lawn at home. However, your mulch might be responsible for the sudden onslaught of slugs on the lawn.
Remember that they love humid places, and when the mulch has absorbed rain water from a recent rainfall, it will, of course, stay moist, and this is when and how these pests will come and lay on your lawn, through the mulch.
Putting a layer of mulch in the soil helps retain moisture for long periods. This retained moisture, plus the degrading organic matter, helps create the perfect humid environment garden slugs love to live in.
– Around Wood And Stones
Any rockery in the lawn where the pests can hide when not chewing leaves will increase the likelihood of an infestation. Have you noticed half-eaten leaves and grass blades in the lawn, but there seems to be no sign of slugs anywhere?
What you should do is to look and investigate under any moderate to large-sized logs or rocks in the lawn, and you will see where all these leaf eaters reside.
Moreover, when wood or stones have been subjected to rainfall, the same issue happens there as well, they will remain cool and not frozen cold, and as they are humid, these pests will come and try to infest on it. They would stay and reach to the ends of your lawn with their thriving mood.
– Around Tall And Dense Plants
It is only natural to assume that slugs like lawns with tall grasses and dense shrubbery. They can hide easily in these grasses and climb shrubs to eat leaves and foliage, and they will be safe to stay there and even to lay eggs and grow larvae, in the longer run. On the other hand, it would also come to your lawn, in case your next door neighbor is one who keeps their grass tall, the slugs from their lawn might spill over to yours.
The type of plants that you have growing might be attracting slugs unwittingly, this is because these pests like to prey on plants with fleshy stems and leaves. Staples like cauliflower and lettuce in your kitchen garden will be severely infested. These fleshy plants have leaves rich in nutrients, which is why slugs like them so much.
– Damaged Leaves
Often the first sign of slug damage in any lawn is that the leaves of plants and grass will be found half eaten. Slugs prefer thick and fleshy leaves over thin ones and often leave stems alone.
The reason behind this is simply due to their lack of ability to climb much higher, you will see that most of the leaves on top of taller plants will remain safe, whereas leaves near the bottom will be affected more seriously. If the leaves are bigger, they will hide, feel safe, and while living in the shade, they will remain in the cooler environment and prosper.
These pests like to come out at night and chew large pieces of foliage so that you will find more damage to your lawn every morning. They have a very particular way of chewing leaves and tend to leave a scalloped border by which they can be identified easily.
– Slime Tracks
If you look close enough at the chewed and damaged leaves, you will see that the slugs have left clear signs of their presence behind. The slime left behind by these pests will be the final confirmation that an infestation is underway.
Once you have evidence in the form of slime tracks, please search for live slugs at night to catch them red-handed. The reason is that they will move with their slime and even, at times know their own tracks, and as a result, you will see their tracks, the earlier you go in the morning, as they move in the evenings.
How To Get Rid of Slug Infestation
To get rid of slug infestation, you must introduce animals that like to eat slugs as food, as a pest control, then, make sure you get rid of their hiding places, and place some beer traps for them to perish in. Moreover, you can also use natural deterrents.
– Take Help From Plants And Animals to Eat Them
There are certain kinds of plants that slugs cannot tolerate being near. Planting them in the lawn or near the periphery of the lawn is a good way to keep these pests off. These plants mostly emit strong fragrances like rosemary, anise, and wormwood. They are, in short, plants that repel most pests from the gardens and laws, and if you plant them, they will stop coming, but they won’t die.
If slugs keep attacking their favorite plants, like cabbages, etc., in your kitchen garden, try planting deterrent plants next to them to keep them away.
On the other hand, an easier alternative will be introducing animals that act as natural predators for slugs into the lawn, such as mice or squirrels. Add some nematodes like earthworms to the soil as they are parasites for slugs.
– Close Their Hiding Places
Keep the grass mowed neat and low promptly which means that whether the snails or slugs cannot hide anywhere on the lawn, because remember that they would cohabitate peacefully, and when slugs come, so will snails.
What you must do is look around for large stones and logs of wood under which these bugs can find refuge and get rid of them, or you can even place pots of plants that are heavy.
Overall, make sure that your lawn is only sometimes moist and soggy from overwatering; this is a big factor in attracting slugs. You should also find the spot where they hide their eggs and remove them.
– Use Beer Traps
If you ask us how to get rid of slugs permanently, this is the most common and easiest advice we give you. All you have to do is to fill shallow empty cans one-third of the way with beer. The slugs are attracted to the scent of beer and will enter the cans only to be killed by the yeast and the carbs in the beer.
They would mostly come out at night after dark, so place these traps around the lawn, and you will wake up to the cans filled with dead snails. Make a can trap by setting the can sideways after cutting its spout and turning it inside, what this does is that when the pest approaches, it will be trapped once they enter the can, and you can even trap those resistant to beer.
If you do not have a beer at home or don’t want to, then there are some alternatives that you can take out right from the pantry. Mix an equal quantity of molasses, yeast, cornmeal, and flour to make a mixture that attracts snails and then kills them, just as they smell it, they would come to drink and get trapped.
– Place Natural Deterrents
We understand if using beer or pesticides for slug control seems an extreme route. In that case, several substances deter these pests and keep them off your property. You will find most of these natural deterrents already in your pantry and don’t even need to go and purchase them separately.
One of the best ways that you can use repellents is through coffee. Coffee is our top pick among the natural deterrents against slug infestation in houses and lawns. You can use fresh and ground coffee beans and spread them around the lawn where slugs are present in specifically large numbers. Slugs get uncomfortable by the texture of the coffee grounds, which is also toxic for them.
What you can also do is to keep collecting eggshells after each breakfast and spread them at the boundary of the lawn after crushing them. This will eliminate all the slugs in the lawn because they do not like the texture of crushed eggshells.
Another way is to use some diatomaceous earth which is fossilized aquatic animal remains and is easily available in pet and garden stores. It is a non-toxic and cruelty-free way to prevent slugs from entering the lawn by putting it all around its boundary.
Lastly, another option would be using copper tape to remove slugs from the lawn is our favorite technique. Copper repels them, so use the tape on the entire perimeter of the lawn. This way, they will no longer be lingering around your lawn.
Slugs are serious lawn pests, and it is wise to know how to get rid of them by all lawn owners.
- There will always be slugs in the grass after a rain so stay away from overwatering your lawn.
- A permanent solution for these pests is to kill them using beer or chemical slug bait.
- Textured items like coffee, salt, and crushed eggshells repel slugs and keep them away.
We advise our readers to go for milder cruelty-free options first because they are usually enough. Moreover, if an infestation becomes severe enough, you should use harsher chemical pesticides, if of course the case seems almost impossible.