Lupins are beautiful flowers that look great in gardens and landscapes.
They attract and support lots of beneficial insects like our beloved bees.
But they also attract slugs. And while these little creatures aren't harmful to humans, they do cause damage to lupin plants and your garden in general.
Fortunately, there are many different ways to protect your lupins from these slimy little pests, including traps, chemical, biological, environmental controls, and more.
First, let's know our enemy.
Slugs are small, soft-bodied, wormlike creatures that live in damp soil. They eat decaying plant material and excrete a sticky substance called mucilage that helps them cling to plants.
They're often confused with snails because they share many similarities, including having shells.
But slugs don't have shells; instead, they have a hard outer shell called a carapace.
There are over 5,000 different species of slugs worldwide.
Most slugs are harmless, but there are several species that carry diseases.
Some species can cause serious damage to crops and gardens.
They hide in dark and moist areas during the day and crawl out to feed (on your plants!) at night.
They eat plants, damage leaves, and can even spread diseases.
They are common garden pests and are one of the most destructive garden pests.
They can finish off new plant growth in an instant.
Basically, slugs are slimy little animals that are common garden pests.
Slugs damage looks like large, ragged holes in the leaves and flowers of tender plants.
They can also leave tiny scalloped edges on the leaves.
They leave traces of silver slime on the chewed leaves.
Slugs eat seedlings and take away entire leaves.
You can confirm that the damage is caused by a slug if you see a slug in your garden.
You can look under pots or anything shady during the daytime or catch them in the act at night time when they come out.
For slugs, prevention is also the cure.
The most effective way to control slugs is to use biological controls. Biological controls are natural predators that prey on the pests.
Biological controls work because they don't harm the environment.
In fact, they help keep the environment healthy.
To do this, you have to find places to buy these beneficial animals and simply release them in your garden.
However, there are some drawbacks to using biological controls.
One drawback is that these predators need to be released at night when the slug population is at its lowest.
Another drawback is that the predator may not survive long enough to find a slug.
Another method of controlling slugs is chemical control.
Chemical control uses chemicals to kill pests.
This includes spraying pesticides and applying slug baits.
While this method works well, it does have environmental concerns.
Pesticides can harm slugs but also humans, animals, and wildlife.
Slug baits can also harm beneficial insects that are important in our environment need like bees.
Organic gardeners or not, you can always opt for organic solutions.
Although they're better than straight-up strong chemicals in the sense that they're less harmful to the wildlife and people, they still pose risks of harming beneficial insects.
You can lessen the risks of harming or deterring beneficial insects through the careful application of the organic pesticide.
Organic Pesticide Recipe Using Garlic
Tools and Equipment:
To use this garlic solution, drench the ground with this mixture and parts where you see aphids.
Avoid the flower head as much as possible to prevent harming beneficial insects.
Do this at night, so the mixture doesn't dry as fast.
Also, remember to test by spraying a tiny area first before spraying the whole plant.
If you find the mixture too strong, you can add more water.
Repeat application of this plant drench/ spray after a couple of weeks.
The first step is working towards beneficial garden wildlife with a healthy ecosystem where slugs' natural predators can thrive and do their thing.
Create an environment that will deter pesky slugs.
You can also control the surroundings of your plants, so it's not suitable for slugs.
Keep in mind that slugs and snails crawl in the ground, so basically, we want to make the ground uncomfortable for them.
1. Water in the morning.
Slugs come out at night. If you water in the morning, the surface of the soil will be dry by the time slugs come out, making it hard for them to go around.
Watering the soil at night can give them the lubrication they need to run amok in your garden.
Make sure not to overwater. Slugs love wet soil and waterlogged soil because they can get around more.
2. Install copper rings or copper tapes around your plant.
Copper can give slugs an "electric shock" if it tries to crawl on it, which deters them. This method is recommended for susceptible plants.
Place the copper barriers around the potted plant or the base of individual plants as a plant collar.
3. Put sharp mulch, a slimy barrier, or garlic drench.
All of these can irritate the slug as it crawls, which would deter them.
Make sure to remove anything on the ground that they can use as a highway between plants, or your mulch will be useless.
Aside from the usual mulch, you can also use coffee grounds, egg shells, and cocoa shell mulch.
4. Pot plants. Pot your plants until you have a successful growth.
Young plants are vulnerable plants because they're low on the ground and don't have much in them, so the slugs can finish them off.
Potting them will make it hard for the slugs to get to them.
One of the most known ways to control slugs is a beer trap.
How to set up a beer trap:
Sink a container into the ground, with a little bit of the rim above soil level.
Fill the container halfway with beer (use a cheap one!)
That's it! Leave the container in the ground, and the slugs will be attracted to it and fall in.
Remember to cover your container loosely so that other creatures don't fall into it.
This could be the safest and most effective way, but this is definitely not the most efficient.
You basically have to go out to your garden two hours after dusk and manually pick the slugs off your plants and into a bucket of salt water to get rid of them.
To make this easier, you can attract the slugs to a dark and shady area with old veg leaves, dried cat food, bread rolls, oats, or bran.
You can also try to catch them during the day, but you'll have to look for them.
They mostly stay in dark and moist areas to avoid drying.
You'll have to check under plant pots, garden furniture, lying dead plant matter, pockets of soil, bricks - anywhere that's hidden and near the ground, really.
Slugs could be damaging to your garden, but they're not invincible!
Remember to be consistent with these solutions and preventive measures, and we're sure that you'll win your battles with these slimy enemies.
We hope this article helped you reclaim your precious plants from pests and keep the pesky slugs at bay.
See you in another article!