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Photos by Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent.

July 2009

Description and Biology of Slugs

Slugs are stealth pests that feed at night so farmers usually do not see the culprit damaging their transplants. In the field, farmers can provide habitat for toads which help control slugs but since this is not an option in the greenhouse, other strategies must be considered. The kaolin clay product Surround® has been shown to be very effective against slugs. Surround® is OMRI-certified and approved for organic production. (See Pesticide Use Guidelines).

Transplants in greenhouse

Transplants in greenhouse.

slug damage on basil

Damage on basil transplant.

slug damage on basil

More basil damage.

damage on tomatillo

Damage on tomatillo transplant.

damage on tomatillo

slug trail

Slime trail left by a slug on a leaf.

* These recommendations apply only to North Carolina. They may not be appropriate for conditions in other states and may not comply with laws and regulations outside of North Carolina. Certified organic growers should consult their certifier before using a new pesticide. Unless otherwise noted, these recommendations were current as of July 2009. Individuals who use pesticides are responsible for ensuring that the intended use complies with current regulations and conforms to the product label. Be sure to obtain current information about usage regulations and examine a current product label before applying any pesticide. For assistance, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service agent. The use of brand names and any mention or listing of commercial products or services in the publication does not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned.

This page last updated February 23, 2011.

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