Slug Control Methods Are Full Of Myth. But The Latest Research Indicates Methods That May Yet Save Us From Slugs Plagues! Here’s What The Research Has Discovered.
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It seems that garlic might be one way to combat slugs. Various research projects, testing the efficacy of garlic in controlled conditions indicate that some control is possible.
Caution is necessary though. Some of the research is on slug species not found in the UK. Some of it is against slugs in crops not grown here. And some of it gives contradictory results.
Garlic & Slugs: The Future of Slug Control Methods
The research could however open the way for commercial companies to produce garlic based molluscicides. One of the problems with research such as that in the links below is that there is no set strength of garlic based product to test. In some cases two strengths have been tested but there is no evidence to say if stronger or weaker products would be better or if adding other products to the mix would improve efficacy.
There is a strong suggestion that the garlic based products used had no phytotoxic effect on plants in the trials but thats not to say that this will be the same with a commercial product.
What Is the Active Ingredient As A Slug Control Method?
There is no indication as to which part of the garlic was used in some experiments and which part is most effective. Should we use the garlic cloves, the leaves, a mix of the two or something else? What is the active ingredient and how should we extract it .. soak in cold water, boil or something else?
How Do Garlic Slug Treatments Work?
Do they kill or deter slugs and snail? Or do they kill them? Or maybe the stop them reproducing. All are possible routes to success.
Certainly some research talks about lethal doses (LD) in their reports so it sounds like this is the way it works. But there might be others.
How Long Will Garlic Mixes Last?
If I make a garlic molluscicides for my garden how long will it last? By this I mean how long will it persist on the plant AND how long will the mix last in storage before it is useless?
Maybe in both cases it will last weeks, maybe not. I can find no evidence of research on this as yet. It’s quite likely that the mix will need to be renewed after rain or irrigation as it will be washed away. And maybe it goes “off” in storage. I don’t know.
Ideal Treatment Stage In the Slug Lifecycle
Another issue is when in the slug lifecycle it is best to use garlic. Is it more effective against eggs, juveniles or adult slugs. And what about snails? Is it the same?
Spray, Dust Or Other Concoctions?
The other consideration is how rot apply the garlic. In most research I’ve read it has been as an aqueous spray. But might a dust be better or even a crystalline extract applied in some other way?
There’s a lot of work to decide on all of the above. and it isnt going to happen overnight. But the research is promising and I suspect more garlic based products will appear in the next few years. I doubt they will all work, but some may well be very effective. Time will tell.