Gigantic slugs !
24th September 2021 at 11:54 am #34141
Is anyone else having serious problems with gigantic slugs homing in on the hedgehog biscuits?
Maybe it’s the area where I live, but evenings I put out 2 or 3 dishes of wet food and same of dry biscuits for my visitors. Problem is the uninvited visitors (those very big orange belly slugs) take over – almost swarm – on the biscuit dishes and frankly they seem to be disturbing the hedgehogs!
I watched a hog trying to eat from a dish last night before running off as there were six big slugs virtually smothering the dish.
The slugs don’t appear to go for the wet food.
Any ideas?24th September 2021 at 1:56 pm #34144
Yes, those big slugs can be a bit of a nuisance – it’s usually worse if it’s been or is raining. Not sure why the ones there aren’t going for the wet food – but maybe that’s one solution, offer that to the hogs instead! Maybe you could try putting the food bowls in the middle of an area of sharp grit – that might deter them a bit. But apparently they don’t like the smell of garlic. I’m not sure how hogs react to garlic – never tested that, but maybe it is a bit of trial and error.
Most hogs just ignore those big slugs – it’s the smaller ones they tend to eat – but I suppose if the bowl was almost covered in slugs, it might be hard work for the hog. But maybe he wasn’t hungry enough to want to move that many out of the way!25th September 2021 at 2:00 pm #34151
Thanks very much for suggestions. Last night I did put a few handfuls of sharp grit around the biscuit dishes. Within 30 minutes 3 of these enormous slugs had slithered over the grit into the biscuits! It obviously didn’t bother them at all.
In desperation I scooped them up on a trowel and threw into a wild (slug friendly) area, and as I closed my door ‘little girlie’ emerged from behind pots and made the most of an undisturbed biscuit meal!
I seem to have had this small hedgehog on a very regular basis for almost a year now. She(?) sniffs the wet food but bypasses those dishes with no interest and only ever eats biscuits. so I am loathe to stop the biscuits.
Don’t think I’ll try the garlic idea as hedgies have such a keen sense of smell and may be bothered by it.
Considering a moat of some sort now ? Will let you know how that works !! 🙂26th September 2021 at 12:16 am #34161
I nearly suggested a moat – it works for growing salad plants in fairly small containers on bricks in the middle of a large water tray. But you would need to make sure there wasn’t any ‘drawbridge’ at all, so it would need quite a big water container to be able to make an island big enough for a hog to eat from in the middle. But if you can think of a way of achieving it, water should stop the slugs. I was wondering about something with legs, each in smaller water trays. Look forward to hearing what you come up with.
Alternatively copper tape works a bit, but I think a fairly wide band is needed for the longer term. But grit doesn’t really work all that well unless they have to get over a fair bit of it, especially if it gets wet. Sheeps wool works a bit, but again, if it doesn’t get wet, and does need replacing fairly often. (also the hogs would probably move it out of the way climbing over it). Your best bet might be evicting the slugs to another part of the garden, as you did. They will probably be back, but it still leaves the time it takes them to get back.
But, re. the garlic – yes, hogs do have a very good sense of smell. But it’s garlic spray that people use to stop slugs eating hostas, apparently – some people seem to think it works. You’d need to try a dilute solution of it to see if the hogs minded. But, I would definitely not spray garlic solution on the actual food, or too close to it, but the hogs may not object to it in a circle round the wider feeding area.
Good luck. Hope you solve the problem.
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