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War on Slugs

Updated on January 11, 2018
Gloriousconfusion profile image

I love gardening, garden design, learning gardening techniques and photographing plants. I was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society.


I HATE Slugs!

Snails - not so bad.

Slugs - loathsome.

With their slimy striated bodies and disgusting creepy habits. Have you ever felt a slug crawl over your hand? Regrettably, I have. It's cold and wet, like a tongue licking you, but not so dribbly.

I would say "live and let live", were it not for the way they disrespect my garden - they've turned it into their favourite restaurant, and I'M NOT HAVING IT!

I even get them sliming over my kitchen and bathroom occasionally - I've never found out quite how they get there, but I expect they come up from the air-space under the house, where the foundations are, and then up through a gap in the floorboards. At least I've never found one in the bedroom. That would be too much!

My Poem About Slugs - The Arena of War - Putting my feelings about garden slugs into poetry - revenge is sweet


The Arena Of War

Last night I remembered to bring in the washing

Before my seedlings welcomed the dark rain.

And when I awoke

Before first dawn,

Slipping warm fleece over nightdress,

My torchlit search for slugs

Revealed twenty four on active engagement,

One caught in the act still gorging

With my snapped beanstalk sticking out of his mouth.

"You won't be doing that again" I whispered,

So as not to disturb the neighbours,

As I despatched him,

along with his cohorts -

Collateral damage, rendition -

Just as it got light

Waterboarded in a pot of saline solution

Dawn execution

© Diana Grant 15th May 2009

Important to Remember on Your Killing Spree:

Don't be Seduced into thinking

a slug is harmless and apparently defenceless -

remember they can decimate your tender new seedlings

in one night!

Here are Some Sluggy Things You Can Buy

You need never feel lonely again - there's always a slug nearby

Some Life-like Plastic Slugs - Oh what fun you could have with these!

Fun Express Sticky Slugs Party Pack (1 Dozen)
Fun Express Sticky Slugs Party Pack (1 Dozen)

Fairly realistic slugs -

good for pranks.

Imagine finding a couple of these peeping out

of the Christmas presents or Christmas stocking


On the Other Hand -

If you are not so keen on slugs that you want to replicate them, you might prefer to exterminate them.

Monterey LG6500 Sluggo Slug & Snail Killer 2.5 Pound
Monterey LG6500 Sluggo Slug & Snail Killer 2.5 Pound

Organic slug killer

Remains effective even after rain, so you can sprinkle the pellets on the garden in the evening just before it rains, which brings out great armies of slugs.

Contains iron phosphate, which is harmless to pets and can be used around vegetables


Some Snails Survive Being Eaten by Birds

Summary of a BBC News Item - 11 July 2011

Research Scientists in Japan have discovered that about 15% of micro 2.5mm land snails Tornatellides boeningi survive intact after being eaten by birds known as the Japanese white-eye, and can be found alive in birds' droppings.

It follows that bird predation could be a key factor in the spread of snail populations.

As an experiment, scientists fed the birds with the snails to see whether any survived the digestive process and discovered that about 15% lived after passing through the birds' guts, and one even gave birth immediately after this process.

The main factor assisting the snails' survival after being eaten is their small size, according to the scientists, and they fared better than previous experiments with larger snail species whose shells suffered severe damage during ingestion by birds.


Poll About Slugs - How do you match up against other pollsters?

Some gardeners behave in a calm and rational way on most occasions. But slugs can bring out strong emotions and the populace is divided about how they view slugs - lovely silky little wriggly darlings, or slimy enemies of the people.

Here you see my best cabbage absolutely ravaged by slugs
Here you see my best cabbage absolutely ravaged by slugs | Source

How do you react when you find a slug caught in the act of devouring your precious plants?

See results

Say Something Nice or Not, as the case may be - But just let us know you've been here

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    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 3 years ago from Kansas

      I guess we are pretty lucky that we don't have much of a problem with them where I live.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 3 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Love your poem. I am with you, for sure. I hate slugs.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @TanoCalvenoa: I suppose the best way to conceal the taste of slugs would be to use lots of chilli and garlic, and then put them in a paella along with seafood, so you don't notice it. After all, some people eat snails so this is only one step further, isn't it?

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @TanoCalvenoa: Interesting. I am now featuring this article right at the foot of this page

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      I love slugs! Your poem was quite funny. I have a Squidoo page about banana slugs, huge yellow slugs found in Northern California.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Becksta: What would it be - slugs on toast, or sauteed slugs in a rich bechamel sauce on pasta?

    • profile image

      Becksta 3 years ago

      @Gloriousconfusion: I was going to suggest that we take a leaf out of the French's book - until I saw the part about that man dying after eating 2 slugs.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @greenspirit: I agree with you in principle - my brother and I used to have snail races when we were young, lining them up on our black and white tiled path - it would amuse us for hours. I do hate killing slugs, but keep reminding myself of the way they kill my plants, so it's a question of priorities, dog-eat-dog, or what-have-you. I've tried copper bands round my pots of hostas, which I had to plant in pots because they were decimated by slugs when in the ground. I found the copper bands ineffectual, but someone pointed out that it might be because I still had things overhanging the pots, and the slugs might have avoided the bands by climbing round them.......I didn't know slugs had brains, but they must have something like low cunning.

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 4 years ago from London

      I'm incredibly fond of snails despite the fact they eat my basil, and although I don't find slugs as cute, I do feel for them. They perform an important part in the cycle of decay and recycling, and need to eat too. I wish folk would consider ways of keeping slugs and snails off stuff rather than doing the very unpleasant and cruel things that they do. I find copper bands work.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      Interesting lens. In Australia we have a leopard slug which eats snails and things so I try not to kill them. They are huge and quite often they get trodden underfoot when they invade the patio. We have had some young children die from rat liver worm in the last year and apparently they are passed onto humans from snails. All of them are nasty in my book. Chickens and ducks keep them at bay.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 4 years ago from Idaho

      They are nasty creatures, thanks for the info!

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 4 years ago from Jackson, MS

      I knew I hated 'em for a reason! Had no idea they'd mess up our garden... of course I have no green thumb anyway but still! I'm buying a ton of salt today. That'll be the end of that!

    • profile image

      nicolane 5 years ago

      I don't want to kill them - I just want them to eat something other than my veggies!

    • Snakesmom profile image

      Snakesmom 6 years ago

      I hate those garden pesky slugs!

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 6 years ago from Liverpool, England

      There was a young slug, all slimy

      Slid into the garden just by me

      Some salt on his tail

      He was wasted and pale

      And all he could say was "Gor Blimey"

    • Tiggered profile image

      Tiggered 6 years ago

      I've heard about a very cruel way of getting rid of snails, I suppose if it works, it works for slugs, too. You need to cut a snail in half and leave until his cannibal friends show up to eat him. Then you can gather them all and dispose of as you see fit :)

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      I have the creepy crawlies just reading through this. is amazing how the tiniest creatures can scare the heck out of a person.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      What does slugs have?

      S L I M E ! Just Gross Stuff! Uck!

      I know you never want to walk bare-footed where slugs prowl.

      Now that is an experience you will not soon forget.

      When that happens, they win the battle that night.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      @delia-delia: Maybe Wisconsin has a very dry period, which would dehydrate the slugs - amazing, because I fondly imagined they were everywhere.

      Yes, they are part of the food chain - hedgehogs love them, and I imagine some birds eat them, but as I have a slightly wild tortoiseshell cat, we don't get many birds in my garden.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      I must say this is a very interesting subject...I for one never liked slugs or snails. Having lived here in Wisconsin have not seen either one...when I was young and went to summer camp in California, I dreaded stepping on either there anything good about snails or slugs? I mean they are a part of our cycle of life...hmmm...cute lens and poem.