General Question

lloydbird's avatar

What is an effective ,but kind, way to stop slugs and snails eating my Sunflower plants?

Asked by lloydbird (8725points) July 8th, 2009

So annoying.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

First, stop the incessant rain. Then pluck them off (wearing rubber gloves) and drop them into beer, alcohol or if you’re ambitious, garlic butter and chopped parsley.

lloydbird's avatar

@gailcalled But doesn’t that kill them?

gailcalled's avatar

True; I guess the only way in which to be kind is to package them up and send them to the witness protection program in another town.

Here the rabbits eat the sunflowers while they are still striplings.

AstroChuck's avatar

Tiny “Do not eat!” signs?

Facade's avatar

Why not just kill them?

YARNLADY's avatar

I would give them another food source. Maybe plant some sunflowers just for them, or move them to your neighbors garden (no, forget I said that).

Icky's avatar

you can’t have an effective /and/ kind way to genocide slugs from your garden. pick one and do it

gailcalled's avatar

Icky is right; One can be either effective or loving. (PS. Genocide is a noun and not a verb. You commit genocide.)

Trying to give garden pests their own private salad bar is like asking Milo to ignore the tuna I am trying to eat now. Slugs and snails get dessicated when there are enough hot, sunny days in a row.

YARNLADY's avatar

@gailcalled Yet the cats will choose the tuna, if you offer them a plate of tuna next to a plate of bread.

In the garden, if there is a good, safe place for the slugs and snails to eat something they really like, and you take them off your sunflowers, and place them on the substitute – far away- they will stay there.

gailcalled's avatar

@YARNLADY; How much free time do you have?

FiRE_MaN's avatar

spray your plants with soapy water. you can buy it or just make it yourself and use a spray bottle i know this works with other bugs because it makes the plants taste soapy haha imagen that.

YARNLADY's avatar

@gailcalled It’s not about me, I would just spray them with Clorox and have done – @lloydbird wants a kind way – which I took to mean non-lethal

gailcalled's avatar

Imagine that, indeed. Slugs are apparently stuck onto leaves with superglue, unlike, say, Japanese beetles.

@YARNLADY: If I were going to try a spray, I would use vinegar and water. Clorox is pretty noxious. And I do use boiling water (very labor-intensive) on poison ivy with no qualms. Funny how the slugs avoid that and devour my zinnias.)

YARNLADY's avatar

@gailcalled Yes, vinegar and water are good. I would use a watered down version of any spray around food, but I don’t know if these sunflowers are going to be eaten or just to look at. Personally, I would even consider eating the slugs and snails, but I haven’t had enough around to try. The only ones we have here are little tiny the size of my little fingernail.

Icky's avatar

@gailcalled i guess i’ve been playing too much nethack

mammal's avatar

put broken egg shells, or pistachio shells, or sharp stones around the base, they don’t like the surface

MissAnthrope's avatar

I second mammal‘s suggestion. Crushed egg shells around the plants are the only non-lethal deterrent I know of.

lloydbird's avatar

I’ve, tried garlic (Powdered and crushed), chilli powder, Cayenne pepper, egg shells, loft insulation!, powdered bay leaf all to no avail. I’ve even picked them up and put them in my compost bin. I’m now going to try watered vinegar (Thanks @gailcalled ) , if that fails, soapy water (Thanks @FiRE_MaN ). I’m going to get some pistachio shells or stones (Thanks @mammal ). I wouldn’t discount the prospect of eating them ( not going to though) because they only seem to eat what we would (Thanks@Yarnlady),I not French! And thanks to all other contributors
Anyway, the hamstrung battle continues.

p.s Well done you French for your gastronomic adventurousness.

MissAnthrope's avatar

BTW, garden snails are the variety the French eat as escargot. They were brought over for gastronomic purposes and (my favorite part) escaped. Ask yourself how snails escape, I find that part hilarious.

Anyway, you can eat said snails, but make sure you prepare them beforehand. You can probably look up exact instructions online, but the gist is that they have to be put in a container full of cornmeal for 2–3 days before cooking, as this cleans them out somehow. Cooked in a nice garlic wine sauce or pesto, yum. :)

AstroChuck's avatar

Have you tried just asking them nicely?

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