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  • Writer's pictureTraci Arellano

Organic slug control

Let me just say that I am NOT a huge fan of slugs...they gross me out. Intellectually, I can grasp that they play their vital role in the ecosystem as a food source for birds/mammals/insects, and for decomposition of vegetable matter; however, I really don't like when I reach down into my cabbage patch and get slimed...blech! I am lucky to report that it has not been a huge issue in our garden, and because of that, I rarely think about them when I do reach my bare hands into the understory of my vegetable plants. Each time it has been an unexpected and repellent surprise!

I have gone on a search to find an organic way to get rid of the few slugs I have and hopefully prevent them from reproducing in my garden and becoming a bigger issue. So far, we have read that if you surround the box with copper tape, that the slug will get a shock and not proceed to your plants. I liken this to sticking your tongue on a 9-volt battery to check the charge. Oh come on...I know I am not the only one that does that! The problem I have with this method is that the slug will just turn to my other vegetables. Additionally, I do not think that logistically it is very do-able to run copper tape all over my garden AND that only keeps the new ones from waltzing in, it does not get the current residents out.

Another suggestion was to invite predators that love slug snacks into your garden. Perfect. Now all I have to do is get the HOA to let me keep ducks and chickens in the garden. I hear that those feathered friends are fantastic as slug control. Although while I work on that uphill battle with the HOA, I will need to find an easier solution that fits my situation just a little better and maybe you as well.

For now I decided the best solution is ME/YOU. Always peel down several layers to the head of the cabbage, and clean your vegetables well with white vinegar water in a full sink so that it has time to soak for 5-10 minutes. This way, any slugs that may be hiding come out very quickly...well as quickly as slugs do...and the vinegar is the best way to clean off any residual slug slime.

A farmer once told me while I was picking out ears of corn by a roadside stand and saw me put down one ear when I saw a caterpillar as I pulled down the husk that those are the sweetest ears and that evolution has made insects the best vegetable pickers ever. I liked that. It made sense. I like to think that he was correct and not telling me a bunch of horse manure. What do you all think? I would love to hear.

Here is a website if you are interested in finding out about some fascinating slug facts (

Always healthy happy eating and continued good growing!

#caterpillar #cabbagepest #redcabbage #communitygardens #gardennerds #organicgardens #snails #beginninggardeners

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