Slug traps - safely

It's Bastille Day today so thoughts turn naturally (?) to snails...well, maybe not, as least not to eat them! But if your winter greens or tender seedlings are getting chomped by snails and their shell-less cousins, slugs, it's time to do something about them.

One of my FB followers, Christen, is currently in the UK visiting friends and sent me a message asking for the recipe I use to trap slugs and snails. Now, I'm sure that in England you can also pick up snail poison pellets as you can in Australia, but I'm glad Christen and her friends have chosen to go the safer route.

You see, those pellets have varying degrees of poison for the molluscs in them. They are based on any of these toxins: metaldehyde, methiocarb or chelated iron. All three will kill the slugs and snails if ingested but it's the issue of what happens to the residues or to any other wildlife that might eat the victims that is of concern. They can poison the little skinks, larger lizards or birds who would naturally eat slugs and snails if they find them. If your dog or cat eats them, it's a trip to the vet for them! (If you must use them, go for the ones with chelated iron, or iron EDTA. These are usually the reddish-brown pellets, not blue or green). 

Instead, use this simple option. It's completely natural, completely safe (for anything but the victims) and costs very little to make quite a few traps.

You will need:

½ teaspoon dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon flour
Add all to 1 cup of water and mix well.

Place this in a container in the garden amongst the plants getting eaten, making sure the mouth of the container is at soil level.

To avoid rain watering down the mixture, cut some slots in a plastic bottle, as shown. Make sure the slots are at soil level and put the lure into the bottle. Yes, it looks odd seeing bottles 'planted' around the garden but...

Christen sent me a photo of what happened overnight when they put their mix out. Hurray! Just goes to show that English slugs have the same tastes as our Aussie ones!

 PS What to do with the dead slugs? Chooks would have a feast on these marinated molluscs, otherwise they would decompose in your compost bin too.

Bottle with snail lure My Green Garden
Slugs caught in yeast trap