Forums
Search

Slugs, Snails, and Rollie Pollies... Help Please!

I planted my edible garden (full of strawberries, other fruits and a ton of vegetables) a couple of months ago. There were no signs of slugs, snails or rollie pollies.

Then I added a new type of compost (don't think it was the best) and now I have rollie pollies eating my strawberries and lettuce roots. Slugs and Snails on all my lettuce (tons). And I don't know how to get rid of them.

Please help. I want only organic or natural ways to eliminate them as we will be eating them.

Also, I've heard some say rollie pollies eat only compost, not roots. Others swear they destroy roots and your plants.

So again, please help give me ideas to get rid of these pests. Thanks.
 
We use sluggo to get rid of our slugs. Seems to work well. I've read about folks that use beer traps, but our garden is too big for us to mess with that.
 
www.wigarden.blogspot.com
Like (0 likes)
Thanks for responding so quickly.

I read about using beer, but we have a small raised garden bed in our apartment complex's community garden. Kids can get in so I'm thinking this wouldn't be a good idea.

I also read about using copper to fence off my plants. Supposedly the mucus reacts causing them to receive an electrical shock.

Regarding the sluggo, is it safe to eat? Is it natural or chemically based? I have a 16 month old and we eat organically whenever possible. I hate the idea of how much pesticides/fungicides/herbicides are on produce.

Thanks again for your suggestion. I'll look into sluggo and see if there is a natural repellent.

Preferably a fast (and cheap) solution to take care of the slugs, snails and rollie-pollies. My lease is up in 2 months and we are eating everything before we go. So it's not much time, but I'm getting tired of washing dozens of slugs off my lettuce every night. And the strawberries are inedible now with the rollie pollies. Frowner
 
Like (0 likes)
The "Roly-Poly" bugs aren't interested in your strawberries unless they're already down on the ground & rotting. They only ingest decaying vegetation.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

Like (0 likes)
I beg to differ. Rollie pollies CAN and WILL eat live plants especially new seedlings and strawberries. It all depends upon the soil, mulch conditions in your particular garden. I really haven't found a sure fire method to keep them down except to keep things as dry as possible,(really a challenge around here). Also, apparently the type of mulch you use seems to be a factor. A quick google will find you lots of info to draw from.
 
Like (0 likes)
I've been researching the rollie pollie problem and still find conflicting information. Just like here. Frowner

One says only "decaying vegetation" and another "begs to differ".

The strawberries were on the ground. Even brand new ones without rot or even fully ripe are being eaten by them. I just added a tomato cage to hang them over and keep them in the air. I'm hoping this will help.

I'm also finding them eating the roots of my lettuces. I don't think that is rotting or decayed material.

And I found that the new mulch is what started the problem in the first place. With ALL the bugs. So I agree with you there.

I also have a problem with it staying wet. The garden has an automatic timer set. Do you think I should water less often? Would that possibly help?
 
Like (0 likes)
For the most part Roly Polys, Pill Bugs, Sowbugs, those land dwelling crustaceans are digesters of decaying vegetative matter, but they will, since they are the clean up crew, munch on living plants and veggies, even strawberries, after others have damaged them.
All of these wee buggers need cool, moist places to live and breed and an organic garden is a wonderful place to do that with all of the nice mulch to protect them from the hot sun and provide shelter from any predators.
Sharps, such as Diamotaceous Earth, egg shells, can offer some protection. Iron Phosphate baits can also be of some help. Stale beer traps can be used. Cooper strips are reported to be of some use, if the slugs and snails are outside of the area they protect.
The only sure fire way to get rid of these wee beasties is to remove any and all of the materials that provide shelter and food for them, ie. create a sterile garden. Do not use broad spectrum poisons that will also kill off any predators. Encourge toads and snakes to take up residence in your garden.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

Like (0 likes)
Your sluggs started it..then the Rollie polies came to pick up the mess. The moist environment is what they love, try cutting down on the watering..and the dia earth ( food grade, and it needs to be dry to work) egg shells, crushed finely work well around the plants.
 
Like (0 likes)
quote:
I read about using beer, but we have a small raised garden bed in our apartment complex's community garden. Kids can get in so I'm thinking this wouldn't be a good idea.

One of the many benefits of organic gardening is reducing the amount of dangerous chemicals that one could accidentally get poisoned with. However, even a community garden should consider only allowing children who are supervised and/or educated and mature enough to be responsible, as even in an organic garden there are plenty of things you would still want to avoid sticking in your mouth (and if you have pets or kids you quickly realize they explore the world by sticking items of interest in their mouths).

Anyway, all that aside I believe beer makes excellent snail bait. Snails love cheap domestic beer. And it doesn't require a lot of beer, just enough for a snail to drown in. I usually cut the bottom off of plastic bottles to use as a cup for the beer, then I set the cups in the garden. Sometimes I sink the cups into the ground a little to make it easier for the slugs to find their way in. Just be aware that many dogs and other animals also love beer, so keeping the area fenced off wouldn't be a bad idea.
 
________________ No backyard, No problem! Quick and easy composting with the Bokashi Method -- http://greenthumbcity.com/bokashi/
Like (0 likes)
I had the same problem for two years with slugs and cabbabe worm/maggots eating my brussels and broccoli. I googled and found a person who called himself the brussel sprout expert. His suggestions was to surround the plants with a 6" disc,sprinkle the cut out with crushed oyster shells or egg shells and give a hose blast once early morning and around twoish. I did this last year and saved my brussels and applied the technique again this year and have beautiful sprouts in my raised beds and in my earth-tainers. I now have the problem with my cukes,okra,chard and kale. I am going to apply this method with most of these veggies and see what happens. The very mild winter brought the creatures home early from vacation..LOL..no so funny.. so now an infestation. Also the retirement of the new kudzu beetle to the south and SE two years ago adds to the problem when food source gets short

You can use most anything to make your disc, old roofing paper(not ideal), card board,newspaper. I use plastic disc from 2 gal. food bucket lids..can get the bucket and lids from deli or bakery in super markets..here a buck for the combo. So far working great.
 

Zone 7b Northeast Ga.

Like (0 likes)
According to Amazon, organic sluggo is "Effective against a wide variety of Snail & Slugs Non-toxic product - Not Based on Metaldehyde. Remains effective after rainstorms Safe to use around wildlife, pets, children." I believe you're not supposed to harvest for a couple days after you use it, though. It's up to you if you want to use it or not, but it works wonders.
 
www.wigarden.blogspot.com
Like (0 likes)
Sluggo is nontoxic, and works well. It is expensive, however. In your own garden, handpicking at night with a flashlight also works well. I used to go out at night when we first moved here, before Sluggo was invented. I put the snails in a container with a lid, and cut the slugs with a scissors used only for that purpose. Disgusting, but it worked.

Sowbugs love beer. And they also will eat pea and bean seedlings. So I put out cheap beer (they're not particular) when the seeds sprout. Slugs like it too.
 
[hr]Jennifer in zone 10, Los Angeles, Sunset zone 22
Like (0 likes)
Sluggo, and some other slug/snail baits, contain Iron Phosphate and in the quantities in those baits is considered not toxic to humans and other animal species. However, in large enough amounts it could well be although no one has tested it to see so it is regarde as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the powers that be. But then they also recognize other stuff that is not good for us as GRAS, in the quantities usually used. Keep in mine that soap, in the proper dose, can be very hazardous to your health.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

Like (0 likes)
Yeah I'm not to fond of using that kind of stuff. I would have placed disc and oyster shells early but the plants were seedlings and wind shifting around I felt would have shifted the disc thus crushing the seedling...dahh put something on the disc..eh. Thinking about trying an elixir of molasses and other stuff in coffee can cut a hole in the lid and sink at ground level..wouldn't need many/milk jugs. I'm going to get something in place before I replant. Disc and hose work well when the plants are big enough to support the hose blast and not be crushed by the disc. Moved that trick to the okra and now getting some healing done.
 

Zone 7b Northeast Ga.

Like (0 likes)
I did the elixir recipe. I did two and made one using ivory soap,brewers yeast,honey,apple juice and water. The other I used molasses instead of honey(probably no difference). Poured into two pint size juice bottles and planted with the opening at ground level. Going to wait a few days to see what they attract before planting. Could be interesting. If that doesn't work I guess do the natria slug pellets.
 

Zone 7b Northeast Ga.

Like (0 likes)
I make a yeast-based liquid that I put in old yogurt containers that are cut down to 2 inches and sunk in at ground level so everybody crawls in and doesn't make it out. It's cheaper than beer and if you save a little on the side you can keep making it. It's the smell of yeast that attracts all the crawlies.

Kids aren't going to drink liquid full of bugs, and hopefully everyone is telling them never to touch any kind of liquid or traps in a garden Smiler

A day ahead of time, in a gallon milk jug fill half full of water,

1 Tbsp bread yeast (1 package of the bread-making envelopes)

1/2 C sugar

LEAVE THE CAP OFF, and let sit for a day, it will foam up if the yeast is viable, but then it will calm down. Just before using fill completely with water. Save a couple inches in the bottom, add another 1/4 C sugar, (yeast lives on the sugar and will multiply) fill up to half way and let sit until you want to reuse it, cap off. Some of the local yeast in the air will also get in there.

Fill the yogurt containers only 1 inch full, and empty when they get too crowded.
 
============= Love your soil.....feed your worms... (Used to be Sweetpea, contributing here since 2002)
Like (0 likes)
A good keeper Bio. Recipe duly added to my garden recipes.
 

Zone 7b Northeast Ga.

Like (0 likes)
How far apart do you place your cups? Ex.12'X6' raised bed show many cups and how far apart? Think I will incorporate this in all my raised beds along with the crushed oyster and eggshells.
 

Zone 7b Northeast Ga.

Like (0 likes)
I imagine your crawlies are hanging out during the day between the wood and the soil, so maybe one in each corner and one half way between each corner? As the number reduces you might not need as many.

If you have dense lettuce plantings or strawberries I'd say put a cup in the middle of them as well, every 3 feet down the center to start. If you are planting squash vines that aren't so dense and not so vulnerable, maybe just the corners and sides will do.

Where I am I can get a full cup overnight in the spring and summer. Maybe you are seeing three slugs total, and 10 rolly-polies, that to me is not enough to panic about, so my number of cups would be overkill in that case. If it takes 3-5 days to fill it up you won't need as many.
 
============= Love your soil.....feed your worms... (Used to be Sweetpea, contributing here since 2002)
Like (0 likes)
Thanx for the guidance. I'll follow the suggestion and adjust as it goes. Got them at the corners already just have to fill in. See how many little visitors there is out there. Thanx again.
 

Zone 7b Northeast Ga.

Like (0 likes)
If you go out a few hours after dark with a flashlight you'll probably see them out there.

And if you aren't able to use your yeast brew batches and the mixture sits around for a couple weeks it could lose its efficiency, so if it doesn't smell really yeasty, add another package of yeast and some sugar and beef it up again.

I made a huge batch in a garbage can, about 6 inches in the bottom sat in it for several months during a mild winter and it still smelled like fresh yeast. As long as you don't add anything like milk or manure or compost, keep it simple like beer, it won't get disgusting smelling.
 
============= Love your soil.....feed your worms... (Used to be Sweetpea, contributing here since 2002)
Like (0 likes)
These beds should be well protected now,only thing lacking is the row cover,added Biods' recipe to my two concoctions,eggshells and crushed oyster shells. Replanted some stuff but not much... going to watch and add the shells as soon as a few things break ground. See what happens and move forward from observations.
 

Zone 7b Northeast Ga.

Like (0 likes)
Another poster suggested using used coffee grounds as well as eggshells, so I was thinking of trying that.
 
Like (0 likes)
Keep in mind that as organic gardeners/farmers we need to try and understand how nature works and not take the mindset of those that use the synthetic materials approach and assume that if it is an insect it is bad and must be destroyed. Everything, including "weeds", has a place in this world.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

Like (0 likes)
Sounds interesting..try it and keep us posted. If it does just something else to help control. The two concoctions I made using yeast,honey,apple juice worked as did the molasses etc. Also did Biods recipe and it worked also. Like to see if the coffee recipe works.
 

Zone 7b Northeast Ga.

Like (0 likes)
SPOT ON Kimm!
 

Zone 7b Northeast Ga.

Like (0 likes)
Kimm, Who's suggesting a synthetic materials approach?
 
============= Love your soil.....feed your worms... (Used to be Sweetpea, contributing here since 2002)
Like (0 likes)
BiodiversityGal, where did yuou see anything about anyone suggesting using a synthetic materials approach?
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

Like (0 likes)
Went throught the raised beeds and few ground plants and emptied all the cups and refilled early this am. Had plenty of slugs and rollies. Checked a few minutes ago and nothing in the cups but plenty of rollies wandering around and none on the plants...as yet. Going to check later in the early evening and again in the am to see if the rollies are still active munchers/drinkers of the brew or have they decided to stick to the decaying materials. Hope they stick to the decaying matter...don't want to decimate them just get them back under control to continue working the compost pile and other things.

Claude I'm very interested in coffee recipe and how that turns out for you.
 

Zone 7b Northeast Ga.

Like (0 likes)
quote:
Posted May 17, 2012 05:07 AM Hide Post
Keep in mind that as organic gardeners/farmers we need to try and understand how nature works and not take the mindset of those that use the synthetic materials approach



Kimm, you said it. I don't know what it means with regard to using beer and beer substitutes for catching slugs and rollies Smiler
 
============= Love your soil.....feed your worms... (Used to be Sweetpea, contributing here since 2002)
Like (0 likes)
Looks like the monkey needs to spell check or get used to the keyboard...anyway I went through the beds after dark last night and again at 6:00 AM and had light raid by the slugs and a few rollies but nothing like before. Had plenty of rollies crawling about but few in the cups and even less on the plants. Rollies seemed to be going about chomping on the dead stuff and what the slugs are getting is minimal. So far so good and under control...knock on wood.
 

Zone 7b Northeast Ga.

Like (0 likes)
John, great news! It's nice when we can overcome chemicals. I know with my clay soil I've found rollies down in the cracks as deep as the shovel can go, so they have plenty of places to hide, even if I don't pile something up they could get under. It's okay to leave out a cup or two, and just keep adding water to it as the sun evaporates it, or cover it with a bit of cloth that won't blow away. It helps to keep them from building up again.

Now, if we could just get the flea beetles to jump into this mixture!! Smiler
 
============= Love your soil.....feed your worms... (Used to be Sweetpea, contributing here since 2002)
Like (0 likes)
Yep so far so good but it is still early. A minor problem last year that turned major this year. Probably because I have more raised beds and plants in the ground..my earth-tainer plants have not suffered. I have not yet seen to many flea beetles but as you know that can rapidly change. I'm doing a lot to attract the beneficials with edible flowers and herbs among all the plants but have not seen the mass of ladybugs and mantids I had last year...probably a bit early..as I recall in full force after the first of June. Maybe the flea beetles will take up the habit of jumping into the tea from the other two..ya think...LOL.
 

Zone 7b Northeast Ga.

Like (0 likes)
Well, I broke down and got some Sluggo Plus...I haven't used any sort of bait/killer, natural or not in years, but the earwigs are just terrible this year and have mutilated countless plants. I sprinkled a teensy bit tonight. We'll see.

On the good side...my cabbages seem to be doing well (no cabbage moths), whereas last year they were awful. Maybe it's too early in the season still.
 

______

canadiyank, Zone 6B, central WA

Like (0 likes)
Rolly pollys eat plants. Destroy them. Even some older plants. I see them on the leaves and stems munching...the holes are right where their mouths are. Those are facts. I've seen plants covered with them, and in the course of a night young plants destroyed. I would like to be all "green" about it, but I won't allow my plants destroyed. What's the point of having a garden? I am trying everything. It seems a pyrethrin and piperonyle butoxide (Schultz 'expert') spray is working...maybe....will also do diatomaceous earth. Also corn meal.
 
Like (0 likes)
The Sluggo Plus works pretty well for the earwigs. I use it sparingly and a few granules go a long way.
 

______

canadiyank, Zone 6B, central WA

Like (0 likes)
An organic grower should have a much better understanding of nature then a "conventional" grower would. Perhaps this link might be of some help.
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG...T/PESTS/sowbugs.html
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

Like (0 likes)
I had problems with rolly pollies eating the bottoms of my canatloupes, and it was a pretty easy solution, I just lifted each fruit on to a paper plate to keep it off the ground. I later saw in a garden catalogue a product that is specifically for that, has a little spike underneath and a saucer to hold the fruit. If I were to grow cantaloupe again I'd think about buying those.
 

______

canadiyank, Zone 6B, central WA

Like (0 likes)
Thanks for the advice! It really helped a newbie out!
 
Like (0 likes)
Last year slugs were a problem. This year the eggshells have worked. Another thing that worked when I was flashlight trolling after dark was, believe it or not..old leftover caffeinated coffee. I got such satisfaction spraying a water diluted spray on the slugs...they dissolve! Eh heh he hen..vicious laugh.
 
Like (0 likes)
 
Post Reply
 
 
 


OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image