Slugs ruining your hosta plants? 10 smart ways to prevent them
We all know it is hard enough to keep our hostas flourishing and healthy without the added stress of worrying about slugs getting out of control and destroying them.
While slugs are common pests, they are often destructive and annoying. Some of their favorite foods are hosta leaves, and they will eat entire leaves or leave behind small holes, diminishing the beauty of your garden.
Slugs need moisture to survive; so, they prefer dark, damp areas. If you have a lot of rain in your area, slugs are likely a big concern for you. They often come out at night or under cloud cover. So, we don’t see them right away until the damage has already been done.
If slugs are a problem to your hostas, here are ten ways to help prevent them from destroying your beautiful garden! Keep Those Slugs Away with These Easy Tips
Try these simple suggestions to prevent slug damage to your hostas. Permanent Solutions
The only way to get rid of the slug problem is, simply put, to get rid of the slugs. Here are a couple of solutions that will stop the slugs…well…dead in their tracks!
- Coffee really is a fix for everything! Most of us drink coffee in the mornings anyway, but don’t throw away those coffee grounds! Instead, sprinkle them on the ground around your hostas. The caffeine in them is actually deadly to slugs. When they crawl over the coffee grounds, they will absorb the caffeine into their system, which will eventually kill them.
- Invest in some slug eliminator products. Since slugs are such a massive problem worldwide, causing severe damage to million-dollar crop industries, there are a lot of products out there to stop the slug problem at the root. Target, Home Depot, Walmart and other departmental stores carry an extensive range of slug eliminators.
However, you will want to do some research before you choose this route. Some of these products can be harmful to your lawn, the environment, or other animals you may have.
- Slugs like to drink beer. No, really, they do. Slugs are very attracted to beer, so create a beer trap for them.
To do this, take a small, very shallow container (about an inch high) and bury it in the ground near your hostas, then fill it with beer. This will attract the slugs and they will fall into the container and drown. But they will drown happily.
- Contribute to the circle of life. Make a do-it-yourself birdfeeder, or buy a few. Keeping birdhouses around will attract birds, who love to eat slugs. This is a natural way to solve your slug problem, and you will have the added pleasure of being able to do some bird-watching, which is always enjoyable.
Other, Less Permanent Solutions
Maybe you are one of the many who would prefer a more compassionate solution to slug control. Don’t despair – there are many options, although they could be a little long-term.
- Sprinkle some Epsom salt. Place a ring of salt around wherever you want to keep the slugs out of, and they will avoid that area.
- Eggshells will work, too. Similar to coffee grounds but less harmful, use your leftover eggshells to deter pesky slugs from your hostas.
Place your eggshells in a baggie or other container, crush them lightly, and distribute around your plants. Since the eggshells cut the slugs’ sensitive skin, they will reach the barrier and then avoid it, leaving your hostas safe and sound.
- Choose your hostas wisely. There are actually slug-resistant hostas available. These plants have naturally thicker leaves, which are harder for slugs to eat.
Rest assured, you don’t have to sacrifice color or fragrance for efficiency, either. Many of the slug-resistant hostas are still vibrantly colored, beautifully shaped, and deliciously fragrant.
- Pick them off yourself. For those who want to get down and dirty and fix the problem, there is the old saying, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”
When you know the slugs are in their active feeding time, generally in the evening, take a flashlight and a bucket and (with or without gloves, your choice) pick them off by hand one at a time. Then you have a less humane option of using a bucket of soapy water to drown the slugs.
- Give them a “jolt” to remind them to leave! Place a strip of copper wire around your hostas, or invest in a copper mesh fencing around those problem areas. The copper gives off a slight electric charge to the slug, who is full of moisture.
This doesn’t kill the slug, but definitely works as a strong deterrent!
- Put obstacles in their way. Something simple, like stone paths, makes a slug think twice about heading in the direction it was going. The bigger the obstacle, the stronger the deterrent.
There are many artificial and real stones and garden décor available that you can place around your hostas as a line of defense. Protect Your Hostas From Slugs Today!
Many of these solutions can be done simply and quickly. Go ahead and choose one, so when the slugs come out to feed tonight, they will have to find a new banquet because your hostas are off the menu!