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Spotted in the Garden

April 12th, 2010

One morning last week, Mr Chiots yelled through the office window, "hey you’ve got to see this HUGE slug". I looked out and saw it and decided I must take a photo, but I needed something for scale, otherwise it would look just like a regular slug. Since I happened to be working at my computer I grabbed the first portable thing I saw, my magic mouse. Mr Chiots said, "The highest life form and the lowest life form side by side."

This guy was the biggest slug I’ve seen in the garden so far. We mostly have small black slugs, I see them often around the gardens. They live under leaves and munch on plants. When I saw this big guy I thought, “Some toad is going to be so lucky to find him!”

Slugs are big garden pests for many people. People go through all kinds of trouble trying to get rid of them. I simply let them be and allow the toads that live in the garden to take care of them. This means I have slugs munching on my plants at times and I lose some foliage and a few seedlings. When we first moved in we had tons of slugs, they were eating everything. Then the toads came and now they keep the population at a decent level. So I’ve made peace with the slugs and let them be just like every other garden pest. Every year I spot big toads and little baby toads at different time of the year. I know that because I don’t kill slugs they will stick around and multiply!

I have a few boards in shady spots around the garden because toads love to live under them. Toads also love it if you leave a few piles of leaves around for them to hide under. place a few plant saucers in the garden filled with water and rocks (make sure to change water regularly to keep mosquitoes from breeding), this is beneficial for toads, salamanders and insects.

What do you do when you spot slugs in the garden?

25 Comments to “Spotted in the Garden”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Spotted in the Garden #pests #gardenpest #slug […]

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  2. Mangochild on April 12, 2010 at 6:31 am

    To be honest, I panic! Maybe its because I’m not sure of the harmful v. harmless types. Also because I don’t have creatures like the toads to manage the population….
    .-= Mangochild´s last blog ..It’s been a long time… and a question =-.

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  3. Dave on April 12, 2010 at 8:14 am

    That is one big slug! I sure wish we had more toads around. I’ve only seen a couple here in 3 years. Lots of lizards though.
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..Shirley it’s Time for Tulips! =-.

    Reply to Dave's comment

  4. kitsapFG on April 12, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I live in the maritime pacific northwest. Slugs that size are everywhere and extremely numerous. I keep some old salad tongs handy in the garden because when I spot them I pick them up with the tongs and then fling them as far as I can throw them. In my area, they will completely wipe out a garden in a just a day’s time if you do not take proactive steps to keep them to manageable numbers.

    Reply to kitsapFG's comment

    • Lynn on April 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      LOL! I love the tongs! I’ll have to try them out.

      Reply to Lynn's comment

      • Susy on April 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm

        Not your typical garden tool, but I love it!

        to Susy's comment

  5. denise on April 12, 2010 at 8:58 am

    okay, that slug is huge! I am in the PNW as well. Slugs are everywhere but thankfully, I have my share of toads too.
    .-= denise´s last blog ..the words i would say =-.

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  6. Kelly on April 12, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I tend to enjoy how bright they get (we get the bright orange ones), then I get annoyed and then I pick it up and toss it, or squish it. Voracious little bastards.
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Weights and Measures =-.

    Reply to Kelly's comment

  7. kristin @ going country on April 12, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I salt those buggers into oblivion. Or, if I’m doing something that uncovers a lot of them–like cutting down the potato foliage–I collect them and deliver them to the chickens for a little snack.

    That slug is really grossly large. Ew.
    .-= kristin @ going country´s last blog ..Fashion Show =-.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

    • Susy on April 12, 2010 at 9:49 am

      I used to love salting slugs when I was little. If I had chickens I’d give them the slugs as well!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Sara on April 12, 2010 at 9:26 am

    We don’t have huge slug problems…(and LOTS of toads, maybe that’s why!)

    However, the chickens like them as a treat if I do stumble across one! If there’s no hens and they’re not eating anything important, I generally just let them be as well :)
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..Lasagna! =-.

    Reply to Sara's comment

  9. Melissa on April 12, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Oh, my! What a slug!!! I have NEVER seen one that size. And I hope I never do. We have mostly small gray slugs here. And I’m happy to report that they are relatively few. I just leave them be, or toss them toward my compost heap. :) Melissa
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Easy Blueberry Muffins =-.

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  10. MAYBELLINE on April 12, 2010 at 10:20 am

    1. Get grossed out.
    2. Find something to scoop it up.
    3. Pitch it in the green waste.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..Tomatoes Gone Wild =-.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  11. warren on April 12, 2010 at 10:21 am

    You see, I am a slug magnet…they are attracted to the underside of my feet when I walk around barefoot…it’s magical and just sort of happens, but I almost invariably step on slugs while in bare feet!
    .-= warren´s last blog ..Confirmed: They are crazy =-.

    Reply to warren's comment

  12. Maureen on April 12, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I love finding slugs and snails now that we have chickens. It’s hysterical watching the ‘girls’ run around their yard chasing whoever scoops up the slugs I throw in there :)
    .-= Maureen´s last blog .. =-.

    Reply to Maureen's comment

  13. Helen on April 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Like you I tend to live and let live with insects etc in the garden apart from around my seedlings. I think if you let nature have a free hand there will be a balance and it doesn’t really matter if you lose a few leaves

    Reply to Helen's comment

  14. Throwback at Trapper Creek on April 12, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    We don’t have too big of problem with them either (even in the PNW) most likely because of toads. The green and black wood or banana slugs don’t bother the garden anyway, and once it gets dry – any slugs who think of venturing into the garden get dried out since we practice dry land gardening.
    .-= Throwback at Trapper Creek´s last blog ..Easing onto grass =-.

    Reply to Throwback at Trapper Creek's comment

  15. Pampered Mom on April 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    We have our fair share of bugs, but to be honest I’m not sure that I’ve ever come across slugs in the garden.
    .-= Pampered Mom´s last blog ..Tax Sunday =-.

    Reply to Pampered Mom's comment

  16. vrtlaricaana on April 13, 2010 at 4:09 am

    We don’t have any slugs in the garden, but I have seen them around garden.
    We have a lot of hedgehogs walking around, so they keep the slug population to a minimal level.
    .-= vrtlaricaana´s last blog ..Harvest Monday =-.

    Reply to vrtlaricaana's comment

  17. the inadvertent farmer on April 14, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I go and grab a big stick and impale them…they are a HUGE problem here. The camel has run off the deer and the elk but the slugs are not afraid of the big guy in the least!

    I used to pay my kids a penny a slug to go out after dark with flashlights and big sticks and see how many they could fit on their sticks…gross!

    But as boys they thought it was great fun!

    We’ve tried ducks but the duck poo was almost as bad as the slugs, we always have beer traps out in the garden and I am careful about mulching too.

    I could go on and on how I don’t like them but well I need to go empty my beer traps! Kim
    .-= the inadvertent farmer´s last blog ..A Vase of Sunshine and the need for Therapy =-.

    Reply to the inadvertent farmer's comment

  18. Allie on April 16, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Wow! That is a HUGE slug! Good call on the slug/toad thing. I love toads. And I love the idea of encouraging them.
    .-= Allie´s last blog ..Spring Cleaning =-.

    Reply to Allie's comment

  19. Michelle on April 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Like you I tend to live and let live with insects etc in the garden apart from around my seedlings. I think if you let nature have a free hand there will be a balance and it doesn’t really matter if you lose a few leaves

    Reply to Michelle's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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