5 Eco-friendly and pet friendly ways to stop slug damage on plants without pesticides

Have you worked hard to grow beautiful fruit, veg and flowers in your garden? Then you’ll agree that seeing them demolished by slugs is heart breaking. Here is a list of animals and insects that choose to eat slugs as part of their natural diet: 

  • Frogs
  • Toads
  • Newts
  • Hedgehogs
  • Ground Beetles
  • Centipedes
  • Shrews 
  • Moles

Encouraging these natural predators into your garden will reduce slug damage, stop your frustration and increase diversity in your green space!  Here are 5 ways that you can do this:

1 - Create a mini pond (Or Larger Pond) without fish

Amphibians feed on the slugs in your gardens, but their spawn is eaten by fish.  Pond’s don’t have to be big and they don’t have to be expensive.  A Large washing up bowl is a great place to start with longer grasses and plants as habitats around it. A good time to do this is in late winter or early spring.  The pond should be filled with rain water, not tap water.  Just ask a friend or neighbour for some of their frogspawn to get you started.

2 - Build A Hedgehog Hotel!

This doesn’t need to be a grand mansion. A pile of sticks, twigs and leaves from the garden is perfect home for hedgehogs. Piles of dry rocks are also a good way to create a hotel.  If you have a hedge you could also let the bottom grow a little.  Logs and piles of leaves left under the hedge also create good habitats for hedgehogs. Bees and beetles will also love the cracks and crevices in the logs.

3 - Minimise garden lighting.

Hedgehogs, moles and other nocturnal creatures come out from dusk ’til dawn.  They feed under the cover of darkness.   Help them to find their way into your garden by limiting the light that you add to your garden. If you need lighting, try to use motion censors so that they are not on all of the time.

4 - Leave old leaves and stems in your garden over winter

It is tempting to clear the beds once your garden has finished producing flowers.  Having a tidy garden over winter may make you feel ready for the next season’s gardening, however this also removes protection and homes for smaller insects in your garden. Did you know that solitary bees rely of the dead plant material over winter? It is actually quicker and easier to remove the dead plant matter in spring once it has softened over winter. So  give your self a break at the end of a long season, allow nature to protect your garden wildlife and soil over winter. You’ll have more slug eaters in the new year as a reward!

5 - Mow the lawn rarely.

Mowing the lawn stops clover, buttercups and mossess from growing.  These provide food and shelter for insects, toads, frogs and newts.  Instead of mowing the lawn, you could cut paths through the lawn and areas that are more clear to play or sit in. This may look less tidy, but it will be more interesting to look at and it will help house natural predators for your slugs.

None of these are quick fixes for your current slug problem, but long term they are healthier for your garden and less labour intensive than picking the slugs off one by one!  We grow our flowers as sustainably as we can.  We don’t use pesticides so that the flowers in your bouquets are safe for you as well as beautiful. You can order your eco-conscious flowers here.

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