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Under ideal conditions, chemical baits, containing metaldehyde, can be somewhat effective because this aldehyde paralyzes slugs and they eventually die from dehydration. However, under cool and wet conditions when slugs are most active and troublesome, they can often recover. And these chemicals are poisonous to cats, dogs, birds and curious children.
Biological control provides an attractive alternative to traditional control practices. Nematodes possess exceptional potential as biocontrol agents for pest slugs.
In Europe, a product as been successfully developed from Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, that is effective against a wide variety of pest slug and snail species and it targets only slugs and snails.
It would be a perfect solution for introduction into US but there are no published records of P. hermaphrodita occurrence in US. Thus, regulatory issues prohibit it's introduction and marketing in US.
Slugs do play a positive role in environment. Because slugs are also scavengers eating decaying vegetation, animal feces, and carrion they help in breaking down decomposing materials thus helping to release nutrients back into soil.
Slugs are night feeders so night traps and beer traps are best ways to catch and trap them. But there are many other methods proven successful. One includes a very common, but not well known, ingredient.
For more information: http://www.apluswriting.net/garden/slugs.htm
Author: Marilyn Pokorney Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment. Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading. Website: http://www.apluswriting.net