Integrated pest management is a technique in which gardeners and farmers use a co-ordinated system of tactics and tools to overcome pest threats. Along with the techniques outlined above there are cultural techniques, what the gardener does with his/her tools and time.
One technique is to lay a tarpaulin or carpet overnight. The slugs will gather under this and in the morning lift it to pick them up. This tactic works best when you can throw them to the ducks or otherwise dispose of them, maybe by chopping them in half. Their bodies can be left on the compost heap or left out for birds.
Prevention is better than cure, and so it is considered good practice to maintain the garden so that debris and detritus is not left lying around, for slugs like to hide underneath it. You cannot eliminate all places in which slugs can hide, but you can minimize them.
When digging if you uncover small white eggs collect them and either drop them in water or place them on the bird table, where they will play their part in the cycle of nature, feeding avian predators.
There is discussion about gritty materials and their ability to deter slugs. I have applied some potash from the woodfire and have had no slugs on the area, though I also have wool pellets as well, so it is hard to say. Some gardeners strew crushed egg shells around the plants to be protected, but this has not always been considered effective and rats like licking the insides of shells that contains egg residue.
Copper strips at the entrances to garden buildings are said to deter slugs, as their slime reacts with the copper to produce a slight electrical current, which gives them a shock. However, I tried this technique in the kitchen of my previous house, but it did not work well.
Pouring salt upon slugs kills them quickly, but in large quantities it does not do your garden any good and it is better used on patios.
Sadly slugs and gardeners are enemies, and if left alone the slugs will strip your food crops bare, and the implication of this is that if we want to have food we have to suppress slugs. Even the most dedicated vegetarian gardeners need to deal with the slug problem. Dealing with pests is not the nicest side of gardening, but it is a necessary process.
Raking leaves in woodlands is counter-productive, as their decay is part of the cycle of nutrients. I would be interested in reading about your experiences of white deer.
I have slugs here in the US. I have the grey ones and the orange ones. Thanks for this article. I didn't know what their eggs look like and no I do and have a plan to rid them now. I go for the natural way. We live in the woods and there are leaves all over the place. This year though, I don't want my husband to rake them up. We have lots of white-tailed deer and they are coming to forage in the grass that is growing beneath the leaves. I shall have to write about my deer soon.
I know not why the two are different.,so your guess is as good as mine. But slugs seem to be the bigger problem of the two.
I don't garden, but have seen slugs on the side of houses early in the morning. It's funny how snails are basically slugs with shells. I wonder why nature made the two species.
Sorry, I did not realize that you read the articles with your morning coffee, but I read the paper online while breakfasting. It was just that British gardeners are having to go on the alert about slugs, so I thought a warning article apt.
Not sure I actually "like" being reminded of slugs and other garden pests with my morning coffee! But a great article on how to deal with them.