If you have just transplanted some young carrot seedlings or are trying to direct sow them then you will want to know how they fare with that all too familiar garden pest, the slug. So, do slugs eat carrots? And if they do, what can you do about it?
Do slugs like carrots?
Yes, slugs love carrots. They will eat them and if your plant is young they can completely demolish a carrot’s leaves overnight.
There are a few options open to you before you turn into a slug killing machine. One really easy thing to do is only water in the morning. Slugs don’t like dry soil, and they come out in numbers at night. So by not watering in the evening you give the soil more chance of being dry at night time, of course, there is nothing you can do if it decides to chuck it down but this is a really easy step, so why not try it?
Another thing you can do before more drastic measures have to be taken is to try and protect your carrots when they are young and vulnerable. This can be done by simply planting them out later although this isn’t always ideal unless you have really large root trainer pots to grow them in.
Aside from planting them out later, you can also use old pop bottles, cut in half as a sort of mini greenhouse over the carrots. This should help keep the slugs out, just remember to remove them if the weather gets really warm.
If these ideas don’t work for you then I have some more drastic slug killing methods for you below.
How to deal with slugs
Here are a few different ways you can deal with slugs, some organic, some not.
The classic way to kill off slugs and it does work, there are however drawbacks.
Firstly the little blue pellets aren’t safe to have around if you have pets or young children who might digest them accidentally.
Next, there is the fact that they may be harmful to slugs’ natural predators like hedgehogs who eat slugs killed by pellets, therefore, ingesting the poison themselves.
And then there is the mess they leave, lots of dead slugs on the surface of your garden with nasty trails everywhere.
This is a natural and organic way to kill slugs. There are all kinds of nematodes, which are tiny little creatures that live in your soil, some of these nematodes kill slugs.
This is completely natural and is what happens in your soil all the time. By adding nematodes you are just increasing the number of the slug killing type.
One of the advantages of this method aside from the fact you don’t have to use poison is that part of the way the nematodes kill the slugs makes them burrow into the ground before dying, so no nasty dead slugs lying around!
Control slugs NATURALLY by applying Nemaslug Slug Killer, which contains natural nematodes, that are effective at controlling slugs, but unlike chemical controls, are safe for children, pets, birds and wildlife.
You can set up traps to capture slugs and then dispose of them how you wish. There are lots of different ways to do this but one of the more popular ones is a beer trap.
With a beer trap, you set a container, usually a plastic tub of some kind, level with the surface of the soil. You want it level with the surface so slugs can easily get into it but you want the bottom to be deep, so they can’t get out.
You then fill the bottom with some beer, which slugs adore, and leave it. The slugs will make their way into the trap and either drown or be waiting there come morning for you to get rid of them.
One downside to this apart from all the slug carcases you will be getting rid of is that the beer is so potent that it can apparently attract slugs up to 200 meters away and therefore bring even more slugs into your garden than were there before!
Torch & Bucket
The manual method, and as is often the case with the manual method, this is very effective but time-consuming. Wait until dark and go out into the garden with a torch, some gloves and a bucket and start collecting slugs.
This is best done on a damp night after heavy rain as then the slugs will be everywhere, happy hunting!