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I've Been Breaking The Law


By AndrewR


We had a speaker at the local Horticultural Society earlier this week talking about pests and diseases and non chemical ways of treating them. He was a lecturer at Sparsholt College and has also worked at RHS Wisley, so he knows his stuff.

For several years now, I have been attempting to control the slug population in my garden by doing dusk patrols, especially on damp evenings, and putting a pinch of salt on any that I find. According to the speaker, this is illegal because it takes too long to kill them.

The recommended (and legal) method is to use the cream from full fat milk. This contains a protein that will finish them off within 20 minutes. Do not shake the milk – it has to be the full cream, and you cannot use other grades of milk as they do not contain the right protein.

But the good news is my method of controlling snails, by throwing them into the road and letting them cross it back to their ‘home’, is totally legal. I hope the passing police cars are not calling to arrest me for using salt on my slugs.

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But, I wonder which method makes them taste best??

6 Nov, 2015


LOL, Andrew you've made my day, in other words its now illegal to have snail races, we used to collect them when we were kids, ask mum for a bit of salt to shake on their tails and see which one could move the fastest up the garden path...Must have been lots of budding criminals growing up along our road....

6 Nov, 2015


I bet its that EU bloke again, you know the one who wanted straight cucumbers Grrrrr ?

are you allowed to get them drunk?.......
I guess even the EU couldn't breathslyse a snail....?

6 Nov, 2015


At least with the salt, u are targeting the slugs but with the beer traps, anything , harmful or not, could drown in it!

6 Nov, 2015


What about cutting them into two halves?

6 Nov, 2015


PP - I'll leave you to check that out.

Pam - getting them drunk was mentioned, but the speaker said it wasn't the best option. Lemonade is better - they like the sweet taste. Keep the beer for the gardeners! :-)

Siris - yes, that is quick. I prefer to watch them suffer though.

6 Nov, 2015


Milk! I will try that one Andrew.

6 Nov, 2015


In that case Andrew, skewer them through the tail, and watch them trying to escape in circles!!!

6 Nov, 2015


Siris you are a bloodthirsty one.......I do hate them with a vengeance, especially the spanish slugs which are huge....
Andrew are we expected to put saucers of milk down, is that what your saying? so now we have to start buying full fat milk lol...
And what did he say regarding slug pellets? no way could I go round our garden we have so much undergrowth for them to hide, if I catch snails I just tread on them or put them in the compost bags for OH to take to the tip.....

6 Nov, 2015


I had asked whether the Spanish slugs were killed by salt (yes, they are) when I was told my methods were illegal. I think you are supposed to put one or two drops of milk on them with a syringe - they are probably too wily to drink the stuff. Seems like hard work to me.
The talk was about alternatives to chemicals so slug pellets weren't included.

6 Nov, 2015


What a load of (&@$
"According to the speaker, this is illegal because it takes too long to kill them."

"takes too long" makes it inefficient not illegal.
If you do a dusk patrol a better method is throwing them into a bucket of salty water - but you are only ever going to deal with a small proportion of the population as you are only going to spot a few of the few that are above ground at any time.

I'm waiting to discover whether any of my tadpoles survived to froghood and in the spring I will be trying out the oatmeal method.

7 Nov, 2015


My neighbours think I am batty already, without skulking around the garden with a syringe and a torch!!
Urbanite it is obviously against their human rights lol whatever next, but you have to laugh!??

7 Nov, 2015


Are you sure the Prof meant not recommended (too much salt could be detrimental to the soil) instead of illegal? I understand the morality of avoiding a torturous death can be aptly applied to other animals or plants for that matter e.g. Pulling one out roots and all and letting it dry out in the sun slowly, but a LAW for slug eradication? If true, the people that thought to introduce this law and the governmental body that passed it would have spent the time better clipping their toenails. All goes to prove what I have been saying so long to others is that a great data base of laws for every action under the sun is being created so if you protest some governmental move whatever it is or your neighbor didnt like what you planted in the garden, the police will be knocking on your door at 4:00 in the morning to cart you away..with nobody questioning what happened to you the next day. The charges? Sprinkling Salt On A Slug! Next on the agenda... Guilty Until Proven Innocent...No! you say? We will see.

8 Nov, 2015


I put a tablespoon of salt in a coffee jar add hot water to dissolve it then go slug hunting at night. I can assure you they are dead pretty quick ..... seconds not minutes!
Top of the milk is for my cornflakes.

10 Nov, 2015


Or if one uses the milk method it is advisable to pour it through a strainer to keep the slugs from getting into the cereal.

10 Nov, 2015


Ah - that's where I'm going wrong then :-)

10 Nov, 2015


Loosestrife, the things you do say, talk about thinking outside of the box. :)

10 Nov, 2015


I guess that's one thing I haven't retired from GF:)

10 Nov, 2015


Good luck with finding milk with cream on the top I say, which age is that professor living in, I have not seen un- homogenised milk for years. lol. Even the Jersey/Guernsey milk I have searched out for in the supermarket is homogenised, but oh boy it is worth it. lol. not going to give that to the slugs however much they chomp on my hostas.

14 Nov, 2015


Quite agree, Barbara!
The milk I like best to drink is ewe's milk. It has such a nice clean taste & doesn't coat your mouth. When my boy was having dairy allergies we tried goats but it was often iffy, We would go miles to find the ewe's milk.

14 Nov, 2015

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