Any committed gardener might suffer a mild heart-attack at the mention of the dreaded words “garden slugs“. Slugs feast on many plants that you have grown with much effort and care and it is natural that you don’t think of them with affection. Though slugs are eaten in some parts of the world, garden slugs are largely considered to be disgusting and harmful creatures. This view is not totally correct. One must always attempt to keep in mind the value of slugs and their contribution to the environment.
Some people might not be aware that garden slugs are natural “recycle bins“. They eat rotten leaves and produce rich, fertile soil. In this sense, slugs actually help plants to grow. This is why it is unfair to see slugs as “little monsters” that eat away and destroy all plants. Garden slugs are also important as they provide food for hedgehogs, raccoons, snakes, turtles and frogs. You must remember that your attempts at reducing the slug population would invariably lead to a reduction in numbers of animals who prey on them. Various new methods aimed at reducing garden slugs are considered to be a major reason for the fairly drastic decline in the hedgehog population in England.
You could take certain steps to reduce the amount of garden slugs without actually killing them. You can remove the any food that slugs might find in your garden. You must get rid of fallen leaves that lie about your garden for this purpose. Slugs also need a cool place to stay during the day. Remove stones or pieces of wood that could provide protection for slugs. Such practices could be used to reduce garden slugs without using inhuman methods to kill them. You can also attempt to attract animals to your garden that prey on slugs.
There are other methods that you could use to achieve the same purpose though such methods are likely to have a greater adverse impact on the environment. Some would recommend stirring your garden soil which would expose the eggs laid by slugs to the elements. This would destroy these eggs. Slug pellets could also reduce the number of garden slugs though you might not be aware that such deaths are likely to be painful for these animals. The salt in these pellets could cause excruciating pain as slugs have bodies that contain a high percentage of water.
Garden slugs could be more harmful than helpful. This however, does not mean that all slugs should be killed. Allowing slugs to live peacefully might not be in the interest of your garden either. That is why a balance must be struck in the case of garden slugs. Do not try to kill all of them but make sure that you keep the number of garden slugs under control. Try not to use methods that harm the environment when you are getting rid of them.