Controlling various vermin in the garden can become a headache at times. Now in winter, the cold slows down everything and the pests are latent waiting for the good weather to rush to our garden to put on their boots. Slugs and snails are often a problem with leafy crops and especially when they are tender and growing. We will control them.
THE VORACITY OF SNAILS AND SLUGS MAY SURPRISE YOU
We all have the snail in our heads as a little animal, slow, very slow, that goes at its own pace without stress. Apparently, we see it harmless but be careful! Looks are deceiving. When they find young leaves to eat, the voracity of these mollusks is unmatched. They have no mercy on breakouts and if you are careless it will be too late to remedy it.
YOUR REPRODUCTIVE CAPACITY IS NOT SOMETHING TO IGNORE
Caracals and slugs are hermaphrodites, that is, they can produce sperm and eggs interchangeably. What they cannot is self-fertilize and they always have to resort to mating with another individual. Thank goodness because if they could self-fertilize, we were lost !! The egg layings are quite considerable about 50-60 reaching over a hundred on some occasions. Therefore, when we see a snail in the garden, do not be overly alarmed but do not get lost either.
One of the indicators of the presence of these mollusks is humidity. After the rains, at night in general. Who has not gone looking for snails at night in humid areas or after a copious rain? If there are many in your garden, either you are from a humid area (North Coast of Spain), or your garden has a lot of humidity (excess watering, shading, etc.)
PADDING CAN BE A PROBLEM
There will be few downsides to mulching in the garden. It is highly recommended. There are many more advantages than disadvantages, but one of them may be this. If you cannot control an infestation of snails and / or slugs and you have padding, you should remove the padding. You have to think like a snail:
- milder temperatures.
- constant humidity.
- protection against natural predators, including us (we see them worse).
In short, a perfect place to develop and make the sunsets. If the incidence is not very great, it is not worth getting rid of the padding. Only resort to it when it is uncontrollable.
WAYS TO CONTROL SNAILS AND SLUGS IN THE GARDEN
1When the presence of snail or slug is not excessive, manual control is the most logical and easy whenever possible. After rain it is possible that we meet some or other. We will be looking carefully at the stems and leaves. both on the top and on the underside and we will remove them carefully if we do not want to take the sheet with the snail.
When their presence becomes annoying, it is time to take action beyond manual control.
There is talk of scattering ashes around the terraces . They are not usually very effective if it rains or you water because in the end they will end up forming part of the soil and will lose their effect. You have to be very aware of this system. Also potato peels, sugar water, milk are attractive foods for them. The problem is that if they kill them, they go after the crops.
One of the best known remedies that many of you will know for sure is the “drunkenness” of the snail with beer. For those who do not know the technique it may sound like a joke but it works.
Cut a plastic bottle in half or a little lower, or use large half-liter plastic cups. We fill them halfway with beer. The container is buried flush with the ground to facilitate access to the leaf eaters. Spread a few around the beds near the plants in the garden and wait a couple of days. You will see how many have fallen into the trap. Know that not all beers are worth it. DO NOT buy expensive, but there are some types of beer more attractive than others. It is a matter of testing.
IF THE PLAGUE GETS OUT OF HAND …
It can rarely happen, but there are times when conditions are so favorable that neither beer nor anything can prevent snails and slugs from destroying our crops. It is in these cases when we must resort to somewhat more drastic measures with specific solutions such as granulated iron phosphate that we can find in any supplier of products for orchards and gardening.