Eww — Slugs invade New Jersey. Here’s how to kill them
😳 Slugs are invading gardens and yards across New Jersey
🌧 Rain and damp weather often bring them out in big numbers
☠ The best way to remove or kill slugs from your garden and yard
The recent rains have brought a resurgence of a slimy pest to gardens and backyards in New Jersey.
But before you grab your salt shaker, read more about what these pets are and the best ways to get rid of them.
What is a slug?
Basically, they are snails without a shell.
Technically, a land slug is a shell-less terrestrial gastropod mollusk.
Most slugs possess two pairs of tentacle-like feelers on the head. The top set contain rudimentary ‘eyes.’ The bottom set are used for smell.
A mantle sits right behind the head and feelers. This contains a respiratory organ, genitals and anus.
The bottom of the slug is called the foot and it’s what produces that slimy trail. A slug moves by a series of undulating muscle contractions and the mucus helps reduce friction.
What do slugs eat?
Slugs are generalists, meaning they will eat just about any organic material.
They are important to the ecosystem because they generally will consume decaying plant matter and fungi.
However, they will also feed on a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers in your garden. Slugs will also eat fruit, like strawberries and blueberries.
Uh, fine. I just want to kill them
Slugs have a fair amount of natural predators from birds to toads, but if you are seeing them in your garden, on your deck and patio or on your walkway, there are several ways you can deal with them.
Most of these methods do not use harsh chemicals that can hurt beneficial insects, pets or other animals.
How to get rid of slugs
Just reach down and gently grab the slug by the middle part of its body. Throw it away or flush it down the toilet.
Wear gloves or use tongs if you are squeamish.
◼ Slug Trap
Simply placing a flat piece of wood or a piece of shingle on the ground in your garden will attract slugs. They will slither on top. Just pick up the board and toss it in the trash.
More specifically, beer.
Use the metal top of a jar and add a little beer. Slugs love this stuff. They will drink it, get drunk…and drown. Just toss the lid when its full.
You can fill a small spray bottle with a solution of water and ammonia. Use a ratio of 10-parts water to 1-part ammonia. A little spritz will kill the slugs.
It also wont harm your plants.
◼ Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds won’t kill slugs, but they can act as a deterrent in your garden. Just sprinkle them on the ground around your plants to act as a slug barrier.
They may also keep away other harmful pests
◼ Commercial baits and traps
Your local home supply store will have a wide variety of slug traps and killers. Use caution, however, the chemicals used could be toxic to beneficial insects and pets.
What about salt?
If you pour salt on a slug it will curl up and die. While that may provide some sadistic satisfaction to some, it can actually be harmful to your plants.
Salt is not good for soil, and could kill both your plants and your grass.