We have had an invasion of snails and slugs this year
Hand-picking and disposing of slugs and snails (including stomping on, throwing in the street, dropping in a bucket of saltwater, etc.) does work, because if you gather up all the adults before they reproduce, things will get dramatically better, because the tiny ones you miss, don’t do the most damage.
You can do this by day, or go out at night with a flashlight and gather slugs by hand and drop in soapy water in a container they can’t climb out of.
Beer or Yeast & Honey Mixture
Snails and slugs are attracted to the scent of stale beer or a mixture of yeast and honey.
- Put out a saucer filled with stale beer, or the yeast and honey mixture (listed below)
Sink it into the ground so the top of the saucer is at ground level
- Slugs and snails will get into the mixture and drown.
Keep in mind this will only reliably kill slugs if the trap is deep enough so that slugs can’t reach over the top to get out. So in the case of slugs, use a deeper trap like a deep yogurt container, or a deep plastic cup. Something that is too deep for a slug to climb out of, so it drowns in the beer.
Check the container daily to make sure a frog or something else hasn’t accidentally fallen in, and also to empty and refill every couple of days.
Yeast & Honey Mixture:
Now, if you normally don’t have beer around, a very effective alternative is boiling some yeast and honey in water. The proportions aren’t very critical, just mix some up.
Once that is made, continue as above. Bury a dish up to the rim in your garden and fill it with this mixture. You’d be amazed at how well this works. The snails and slugs will glide right in and drown themselves. We’ve also heard old grape juice works well, but we have never tried that.