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Slug control in the garden

Turtle eating slug

At first, I was puzzled by the box turtle I photographed for yesterday's post.  Why was she hiding under the sweet potato leaves when the turtle-friendly zone is currently around the dropped raspberries fifty feet away?  Then I took a look at the turtle's chin and realized she had been chowing down on slugs.

Toad in straw

Some gardeners stop mulching entirely after a few years because they feel the slug populations get too high.  We have seen an increase in slugs since we started mulching seriously, but our resident critters seem to keep them mostly in line.  Along with box turtles, other wildlife I've seen in our garden intent on slug patrol include skinks, worm snakes, garter snakes, ringneck snakes, shrews, mole salamanders, wolf spiders, and even (potentially) some species of slugs.

So far, the benefits of mulch outweigh the negatives, but I suspect the tables would turn if we tilled.  Chopping up the soil would invariably also chop up a lot of our slug predators, giving slugs the upper hand.  So maybe the moral is --- either till and don't mulch or mulch and don't till.

Our chicken waterer is the POOP-free solution to a filthy homestead problem.


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No WONDER she was so happy! Yummy slugs! :D

A few weeks ago a lady brought in a five gallon bucket with a lid with holes punched in to the Nature Center on a Sunday. She'd found a snake and she wanted me to identify it. The woman was so very nervous, so I didn't know WHAT I was going to find. While I was prying the lid off the lady admitted she put it on tight because she was afraid the snake would escape. Once I got the lid off I laughed because the snake inside was a Northern Brown. We let him go in the woods, and during the conversation the lady mentioned she had a slug problem. I told her she had just made a huge mistake, since the little guy would be eating them for her. "I'd rather have the slugs."

Some people. Hrmph.

Comment by Emily from Bristol Fri Sep 13 09:46:45 2013

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