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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Fact or Myth? The truth about snails.

Slugs are attracted to beer? FACT Leave out a dish, and snails and slugs drown themselves in pure pleasure. This method gets varied results, though; some gardeners report escapees. For optimal results, don’t change the beer daily (the nasty things are attracted to the bloated bodies of their own kind).

The caffeine in used coffee grinds kills slugs and snails? MYTH High doses of caffeine are fatal to slugs and snails, but there is no caffeine in used grounds; the water leaches it out. Spreading fresh grounds won’t work either. There’s not enough caffeine in the grounds, and it could affect your soil pH. All you’d get is hyped-up slugs.

Copper deters slugs and snails? FACT Their slime reacts with the copper to create an unpleasant sensation. Organic gardeners have used copper wire around plants and it has worked for them.

Diatomaceous earth is the best way to rid a garden of snails and slugs? FACT AND MYTH Diatomaceous earth (think ground-up sea creatures) will kill snails. The diatomaceous earth contains silicone , which works its way under the snail’s shell, seperating the snail from the shell and causing it to dehydrate. While it’s unpleasant for the snail it isn’t fatal. Lime, ashes and sawdust act as a deterrent, but they lose their effectiveness when wet and can damage your soil. If you want to go the irritant route, try eggshell fragments.

All commericial slug baits are dangerous? MYTH That was true for years. The chemicals used in slug baits could kill small animals and children. Now, baits using iron phosphate are becoming more common. Escar-Go and Sluggo are popular brands.

Taken from The Progressive Farmer June/July 2006

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