Pest: Slug (Deroceras reticulatum, Lehmannia poirieri, L.v alentiana, Limacus flavus, Milax gagates)

Pest Type: Mollusk phylum

Major Identifying Features: Lack of spiral shell, secretes mucus, hermaphrodites (all have the potential to lay eggs), adults lay an average of 3-40 batches of clear, oval to round eggs beneath leaves, in soil cracks, and in other protected areas

Life Cycle: It takes about 3-6 months for slugs to mature, hibernate in the topsoil during cold weather, in hot weather snails seal themselves off with a parchmentlike membrane and often attach themselves to tree trunks, fences, or walls

Pest Rating: Moderate

Management Rating: Easy to Moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Most active at night and on cloudy or foggy days, on sunny days they seek hiding places out of the heat and bright light, are found on foliage plants, and fruit close to the ground (strawberries, artichokes, tomatoes, and citrus)

Damage Information: Feed on living plants and on decaying plant matter, chew irregular holes with smooth edges in leaves and flowers and can clip succulent plant parts, they can also chew fruit and young plant bark, primary pest of seedlings and herbaceous plants

Management Options: Combination of methods:

  1. Eliminate, as much as possible, all places where they can hide during the day (boards, stones, debris, weedy areas around tree trunks, leafy branches, dense groundcovers
  2. Locate vegetable gardens and plants as far away as possible from hiding places
  3. Switch from sprinkler to drip irrigation
  4. Choose plants that are less susceptible (begonias, California poppy, fuchsia, geraniums, impatiens, lantana, nasturtiums, lavender, rosemary, sage, ornamental grasses

Mechanical control and prevention by handpicking, trapping, copper barriers, natural enemies, chemical control with baits (sluggo is the safest)



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