Gardening: How to stop slugs damaging flower beds and crops – ‘use natural remedies’

Gardening expert gives tips on deterring pets and pests

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Pests can cause a problem all year round, although they become more of a nuisance in the warmer months, when they are more attracted to homes. Outside of the garden, slugs and snails can be extremely beneficial for the environment, which is why gardeners are being urged to remove them using natural remedies. 

Experts at GardeningExpress.co.uk have shared natural ways in which you can remove certain pests, including slugs, from your home and garden.

A spokesperson said: “Pests make their way into our homes for a range of reasons, it could be because they smell food, have found a crack or fancy a bit of warmth.

“Having food easily accessible will attract pests in bucket loads, so it is important to remove any crumbs from around the house, store open foods in containers and tightly shut jars.

“Whilst very few pests are particularly harmful, they can be very irritating. 

“To avoid them causing an annoyance when you are relaxing, or ruining dinner times, Britons are being urged to use natural remedies to remove them.”

Slugs can cause a problem all year round, although particularly in the summertime when crops and flowers bloom.

In order to remove them, the experts recommend trying various different methods.

They said: “These slimy pests are not only a nuisance, but they also leave nasty shiny track marks on the surfaces where they have been.”

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According to the experts, throwing sea salt on slugs or laying it around where they have been will get rid of them instantly. 

They added: “Sticky backed copper can also be purchased and laid around flower pot bases to protect flowers and plants.

“They carry a small electrical charge naturally, if a slug touches it, they won’t want to venture over it.”

Slugs in the home are also a huge problem and can result in eaten food.

The experts said: “If slugs in the home are an ongoing issue, put bark or gravel next to their entrance to make the ground unappealing to them.

“It might also be worth considering getting a bird table to go in the garden.

“Slugs will be attracted to the dampness and the birds will enjoy their tasty treat.”

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) also recommends using traps to remove slugs from the garden.

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The website reads: “Traps, such as cooped out half orange, grapefruit or melon skins, can be laid cut down side, or jars part-filled with beer and sunk into the soil near vulnerable plants.

“Check and empty these regularly, preferably early morning. Proprietary traps are also available from garden centres and mail order suppliers.”

Another natural way to prevent plant damage is to set up barriers.

The RHS said: “Barriers, thought to repel slugs, include rough or sharp textured mulches and substances thought to be distasteful or strong smelling.

“Copper-base barriers have been shown to repel slugs in some studies.”

Torchlight searches and manually removing slugs from plants and crops is another way to help preserve the garden.

The RHS added: “Torchlight searches on mild evenings, especially when the weather is damp; hand-picking slugs into a container.

“They can then be taken to a field, hedgerow or patch of waste ground well away from gardens.”

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