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How do you keep the snails/slugs off arum lillies

South Africa Za

I have fallen in love with arums and unfotuanetly so have the snails- they are been eaten minute by minute and the funny thing is i havent been able to find one culprit please help!



Hi Melanie welcome to GoY.

I was wondering why you had snail problems in January until I realised where you are from. But nonetheless, I am sure your problems are the same as the UK's but at the opposite end of the year.

Basically, there is no hard and fast answer to slugs and snails. All you can hope to do is catch the little sweeties and have NO MERCY. They will kill off all your plants if they get the chance.

There are various things you can do to minimize damage (if I had £10 for every time I had posted this I would be a millionaire.)

The common ones are:

1. Put egg shells round your plants.

2. Put orange peel round your plants.

3. Put saucers of beer round your plants.

4. Go out every night with a torch and catch them physically (especially after rain.)

5 Use slug bait.

6. Keep ducks.

There are other methods but you will never totally eradicate them. My own favourite is the beer trap answer but everybody has their own and others may come in with suggestions.

It is the joy of gardening in all parts of the world.


15 Jan, 2009


I have one of these in the pond. It requires no special treatment and has really grown huge now. It dies down for the winter then grows even bigger each year. I'm sure if it was in the garden it would almost certainly have been eaten by slugs and snails - my worst garden enemy! Tehy're cunning creatures and only go for my favourite thinks, munching their way through like it's a gourmet dinner. I use a jug of salt and an old pair of BBQ ongs to scoop them up, they fizz a bit in the salt but the satisfacion is immense!

15 Jan, 2009


You can b uy copper rings which go around the bottom of plant, but they do tend to produce leaf growth near the soil and the plant gets very big in diameter. You can get organic slug pellets as well which won't harm animals or birds

15 Jan, 2009


Hi, Melanie
I use a 4 pronged approach, I sprinkle organic slug pellets around and under the pots, beds etc. and then I set out small plastic jar lids of beer in the beds and I pick off and salt any I find. This and one new method I heard about seems to be keeping them at bay for the most part. I read that caffeine will make them quit eating and slowly die so I also spray twice a week with cold coffee! My problem was they were coming in the green house eating my vegie plants.

15 Jan, 2009


Hi Melanie, all of the above are very good saggestions, i have another to add, which i have found very effective, - bio warfare! we have a product in the UK, i would imagine you can get it on line delivered to you. it's called 'Nemaslug' it is not cheap but i have found it the most effective yet, and with the smallest amont of hassle. you need to apply it 3 times at the begining of the growing season at six week intervals, completely safe to use and invorinmetally friendly. how it works,,nemaslug, micorscopic organisum (nematodes) that will actively seek out the slugs below ground enter their body and spread bacteria which causes the slug to stop feeding and a bit like a fatal desease to them, i have found that this is miricle stuff, no mess, no hassle, no eaten plants, but the one draw back is that it is rendered usuless once you get a heavy frost. so you do need to appy the 3 treatments, which will top up your army, and if you have gaps inbetween use one of the other ways of protecting plant that are at risk...have a look at my hostas last year they were virtually blemish free! and i have a very high population of the slimey pest! hope this helps.

16 Jan, 2009


Just to back you up, Maj - I've used Nemaslug too and it really works well. But you *have* to do the applications every 6 weeks to keep the nematode population up. (Thought: don't slug nematodes work by laying eggs in the attacked slugs? So why do we need to replenish every 6 weeks? Commercial sterility??)

20 Jan, 2009


Hi pete, i think it is to do with frost, because when we have had a frost a week or two before next application due, i have found the slugs have come back with a vengance. do you buy yours on line? i did this last year and they arrived just at the right times to insure i had good coverage throughout all spring, and i did'nt have any problem at all after the last one, even after the 6 weeks had past, but by this time danger of frost had past. i remeber reading that frost can render it ineffective, so best to have a few organic pellets on the ready just incase.

20 Jan, 2009


I was fascinated by the thought of using Nemaslug instead of my usual 12 bore shotgun or laying cyanide traps Maj. so I did some research on it. The consensus seems to be that it becomes ineffective once the temperature hits 5oC so you don't even need a frost, just a chill and that it is only really good if used, as Pete says, every 6 weeks. Still thanks for the tip. I think I'll be trying it late May onwards (which is, let's face it when the little darlings are at their worst.) But for early seedlings I will stick to getting them drunk and using a Howitzer. You see I am far more sensitive than the rumours that you have been spreading say. Lol.


20 Jan, 2009


Hi John, lol, i would start using a bit earlier if i were you, i got mine from an on line company last year that sent them through every 6 weeks, from around March/April time, to be honest i still found them to be very effective, even applied earlier in the year. i applied 3 times at 6 week intervals, as recommended, and as i remeber we did get some heavy frost around the end of March begining of April, which did knock it out, and i had to put pellets down for a week or two before the next one arrived, but just a couple of handfuls here and there. all in all i must say very impressed, my Hostas were the best they have ever been, completely blemish free, no mess, no harvesting, it really is great stuff John, if you go with one of the on line companies they send them to you at the right times for applying and at the right intervals to be effective. hope this helps

20 Jan, 2009

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