How to get rid of snails and slugs that spoil the crop

Unwanted neighbors and common pests are slugs and snails. In good sunny weather, they are rarely found, preferring the moisture and dampness of numerous shelters. They prefer to eat plants, spoil crops and leave numerous traces of mucus in rainy weather and at night.

Gastropods feed on soft and juicy parts of leaves, leaving veins and stems. The favorite «dish» of these parasites is strawberries, cabbage, flowers, fruits and berries. Noticing irregularly shaped holes, mucus and heaps of feces on plants, urgent action must be taken to combat snails and slugs. Otherwise, you can be left without a crop, fairly feeding the satisfied pests.

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Slugs and snails are gastropods, and slugs got rid of the shell in the process of evolution. But there are also semi-slugs that have retained a rudimentary shell. The most voracious and harmful are the grape snail and the plowed slug. They are the most common. But there are also black (up to 15 centimeters long) and garden slugs (3-4 centimeters). Causing damage to the personal plot, these mollusks can also harm pets. They are carriers of helminthiasis — a parasitic disease.

Many ornamental plants, vegetables and fruits are attacked by these small mollusks. More than 150 species of cultivated plants are regularly on the verge of their functional purpose. Slime-covered, gnawed crop — that’s not all! The fruits do not store well and rot. Eaten flowers do not contribute to pollination and the formation of the correct ovary. Photosynthesis also suffers. Damaged plants subsequently become easy prey for fungi, parasites and many pathogens.

Slugs and snails are garden nurses, eating dead plants and their parts. But their number must be controlled. Measures must be taken to reduce them. In gardening, there are several methods of dealing with snails and slugs. Softer and more cardinal.

Ways to prevent the appearance of slugs and snails

Carrying out the prevention of slugs and snails, it is necessary to take into account that the following factors can prevent their appearance:

  • Improving the structure and composition of the soil, increasing soil fertility.
  • Selection of plants that are compatible with each other.
  • Compliance with sanitary and hygienic procedures during disembarkation.
  • The presence, or attraction, of useful birds and animals (hedgehogs, fireflies, frogs).
  • Compliance with the above points hardens plants, helps to strengthen them. Plants become stronger and much better resist diseases and various pests.

    To prevent the invasion of slugs and snails, it is necessary to create unfavorable conditions for them. Deprive pests of the place where they hide during the day. To do this, remove excess stones, boards and rags, mow the grass, dry especially moist areas.

    Plant plants, try not to densely. Be sure to cut off the lower leaves of cabbage and lettuce, which serve as a kind of hut where mollusks like to settle. Loosen the soil so that pests cannot hide in earth cracks.

    When harvesting, be sure to remove from the site all the remains of plants, fallen leaves, heaps of uprooted weeds. Thus, slugs and snails will be deprived of food for the winter and a secluded shelter.

    How to kill snails and slugs

    The main methods of combating harmful mollusks at present are: mechanical, biological (environmental), phyto- and chemical.

    Mechanical way to fight

    The mechanical method involves setting traps for snails and slugs. Collect pests by hand (preferably using tweezers or gloves). Traps use a variety of: cabbage leaves soaked in beer or fruit juice, boards, fabric shreds. During the day, the clams will slide into a trap, and in the evening they just need to be collected. You can destroy pests in saline or soapy water. In such an environment, they die.

    You can delay the movement of snails and slugs using dry porous or coarse material. Shells, eggshells or gravel scattered around plants. Such a surface is unpleasant for the soft body of pests. Lime and superphosphate absorb moisture from the body of the mollusk, also complicating movement. At a distance of 15 centimeters from the plant, 3-4 strips of the substance are poured. With high humidity and rain, these products significantly lose their effectiveness.

    Grooves dug into the ground filled with water will trap pests. They simply will not get out of the water if they decide to overcome such an obstacle.

    There are also ready-made solutions to the problem, they can be purchased at garden centers and specialized stores. Self-adhesive strips, headbands, copper-coated coating material (shellfish get an electric shock from contact with copper) and much more.

    Biological (ecological) method of combating mollusks

    A wonderful tool in the fight against snails and slugs is the nematode (Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodit). These are living microorganisms that do not harm the environment. They are poured with water, mixed, and the desired area is treated with a sprayer or watering can. As a result, slugs and snails die in significant numbers already in the first week after treatment. The disadvantage of this method is the short shelf life of microorganisms. Keep them cold.

    The ecological method involves the involvement of natural natural enemies of the mollusk. According to the food chain, these are hedgehogs, toads, birds, lizards, ladybugs. Birds can be attracted with birdhouses. The rest can be grafted with food.

    Phyto-methods of control of gastropods

    Creeping pests do not tolerate spicy odors. Therefore, planted dill, parsley, sage, laurel, lavender, thyme or rosemary will scare snails and slugs away from plants. Having prepared an infusion of fragrant herbs, treating plants with it, you can also ward off pests from the crop. For example: a mixture of mustard, coffee, hot pepper.

    Only in extreme cases use chemical means of protection. Blue granules of metaldehyde, attract and kill shellfish. But it is poisonous to both pets and people. Fruits, subsequently, need to be washed well. Do not allow animals to enter the metaldehyde-treated area.

    Treating the surface of the earth with copper or iron sulphate gives good results in pest control.

    There are a large number of methods and ways to deal with snails and slugs. Do not let the situation take its course and start fighting pests that spoil your crop in time. 

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