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Slug removal

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by CoveLady, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. CoveLady

    CoveLady Active Member

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    Does anyone have any recent successes with getting rid of slugs? Your input is greatly appreciated.

    I have most of my orchids outside in the summer, apparently I did not examine my Masdevallias carefully enough when I brought them in or some slug laid eggs in one and I did not see them. A big fat slug ate all the buds on the first blooming of my M. carousel, I found some eggs [ don't know if they were it's eggs but got rid of them] back in late September. Today, on the first of Dec. I found a quite small slug, I need to do something to get rid of any others there may be. I have looked carefully but don't see any, Ha! Ha! they are sneaky buggers.

    I can do a tray of beer or has anyone used diatomaceous earth to keep them out of the pots, it does a fair job in the garden under hostas.

    I have viewed all the old posts on slugs and snails and have considered using one of the suggestions on there. Mesurol, Eascar-Go, Slugfest, Durham, Kocide 3000, Seven, ammonia. Is one of these really good?
     
  2. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    I don't have slug problem, but I have to deal with more peskier pest, bush snails. So I read a little bit about this topic. Mesurol (methiocarb) is probably the best, but you need to have a pesticide applicator's license in most states. Sevin is Carbaryl, so I think it is somewhat similar to Mesurol? and it can be easily obtained (e.g. from Lowes). It seems to work well. Slugfest and Durham are metaldehyde, which are effective, too. There are also metaldehyde baits (Deadline M-Ps, Ortho Bug-Geta Plus etc). Bush snails are not attracted to the bait, but they probably work for slugs. I've been recently using Bug-Geta against bush snails. It seems to leak out, and suppress the population even though they don't eat them. I haven't seen any adverse effect even though I'm overdosing it (theoretically, it shouldn't be phytotoxic). I have been using a pinch (about 10 pellets) per 2.25" rose pot (this is way beyond their application rate). Some people said that metaldehyde isn't too effective if the environment isn't dry. But I saw a book mentioned that this isn't true. When I was using metaldehyde and keeping the plants dry, some orchids weren't happy. But now I don't cut out watering, I don't see any bad effects with the overdosed pellets.

    Metaldehyde isn't too toxic to human, but be careful with pets. Carbaryl (Sevin) is a bit more scary (but not as bad as Mesurol). Also, metaldehyde bio-degrade fairly quickly (I hope I'm not wrong about this), so it isn't too scary.

    There are many metaldehyde products (you can find them in Lowe's etc). If you can get Deadline M-Ps, it might be worth it. It has a higher concentration of active ingredient (4% metaldehyde instead of 2%), and doesn't become moldy quickly. Bug-Geta becomes moldy, but it doesn't affect plants, so I just let them decompose and add more after a couple weeks. Bug-Geta Plus has both Carbaryl and metaldehyde in it (I'm going to try it after I use my current stock up).
     
  3. Selmo

    Selmo Member

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    I have had good results with metaldehyde (Bug-Geta) but Ortho the markers of Bug-Geta have changed the active ingredient from metaldehyde to sulfur. So I don’t know how effective the ‘new’ Bug-Geta is. Look for metalhyde on the list of ingredients. Very simple to use, just sprinkle it over your plants, it attracts them and the slugs disappear. Lasts for about 6 weeks may be a little less if you water more. Much quicker than the beer method and you don’t have to share you beer. Just be careful around animals, cats and dogs because it is toxic to them, a medium sized dog would need about 2 teaspoons of granules to make it sick. Not super toxic but, toxic enough.
     
  4. spiro K.

    spiro K. Active Member

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    I would not use any synthetic chemicals, as I grow indoors.
    I have had good success with "escar-go", or other similar products that use
    iron phosphate (or some other iron compound).
    It is non toxic, and when it degrades it adds iron to the media.
     
  5. CoveLady

    CoveLady Active Member

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    WOW! Thanks for all the detailed information, I had read all the stuff but had not really fully digested it enough to make a choice.
     
  6. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Iron phosphate is just as much a "synthetic chemical" as anything else, and it is actually far from being non-toxic, especially to pets, who can suffer from iron toxicity if ingested.
     
    Chuck-NH likes this.
  7. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    Adding to what Ray said, original studies did show low toxicity to the Iron phosphate itself, but the bait also has EDTA (reportedly often unlisted on the container label). This additive is reportedly the mechanism which allows the bait to be effective (toxic) to the slugs as well as pets. Some of our colleagues in the Genus Hosta (non orchids) have more experience with this as the slug bait would traditionally be broadcast into the gardens and thus more exposure to pets.
     
  8. spiro K.

    spiro K. Active Member

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    Well, my container of "sluggo" is registered as "appropriate for organic gardening", claims that iron phosphate is found in soil naturally, claims it can be used around edibles up to the day of harvest, and says its safe around pets and wildlife.
    Other than picking the suckers out with tweezers by flash light, it seems the only reasonable method to me so far.
     
  9. Selmo

    Selmo Member

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    D0747968-243D-4C20-9FBF-2BFDCEF1DF91.jpeg Metaldehyde is an organic compound ((CH3CHO)4) and is labeled safe in greenhouses, so probably safe for use in your home or other confined spaces. It does have Bitrex, a additive that tastes bitter, to keep children and pets from eating it. I have used Sluggo before with hosta. I would say from my experience, that Bug-Geta (metaldehyde) worked much better than Sluggo (iron phosphate) in controlling the slug population in those hosta. Had to use double the Sluggo rate and apply more frequently. Went back to using metaldehyde. If iron phosphate is found in the soil naturally, wouldn’t it keep slugs away anyway. Many fertilizers contain iron, plus phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium, so by useing regular NPK fertilizers with iron, are you not also applying slug control.

    Here is a photo of original Bug-Geta (metaldehyde) on the left and the new sulfur Bug-Geta on the right. The metaldehyde is 3.25% and the sulfur is 1%. I did not have any slug control with the sulfur in hosta and would not recommend it for the control of slugs. I don’t know what Ortho is thinking but sulfur does not work at controlling slugs. Will not buy anymore sulfur Bug-Geta.
     
  10. glen_On_Gulf_Coast

    glen_On_Gulf_Coast Glen_On_Gulf_Coast

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    That's funny...................but true. Good thinking.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    It does occur naturally...vivianite (Fe2+3(PO4)2 · 8H2O) and a plethora of minerals containing other cations with them.

    That does not mean they occur everywhere....
     
  12. Gerrit

    Gerrit Active Member

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    A friend of mine used nematodes withe great success. No more slugs and snails in his greenhouse for more than a year now!
     
  13. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That is interesting! Any chance it had any control of bushsnails?
     
  14. glen_On_Gulf_Coast

    glen_On_Gulf_Coast Glen_On_Gulf_Coast

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    After doing a little research, I have found that the Nemaslug product is banned from shipping to the USA. Apparently, it cannot be used here because we have no native nematodes that prey on slugs, so introducing them into our ecosystem might cause an imbalance. I thought I had finally found a control that wouldn't be toxic to my dogs, but foiled again.

    Glen
     
  15. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    I'm also curious if someone in Europe has tried it against Bush snails. The parasitic nematode, Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, can control several species of snails and slugs, but they don't have any effects on others. A couple researchers are trying to develop a similar system from the US, but we haven't found a good one yet, e.g. http://slosson.ucdavis.edu/newsletters/Kaya_200129028.pdf, (well at least 2 years ago when I was learning about the nematodes). If anyone sees a nematode infested slugs/snails, you should collect it.

    Thanks for the info about the change in Bug-getta, Selmo! Amazon still have the old formula (Plus version with metaldehyde+carbaryl), so I ordered extra.