Do Slugs Eat Lettuce?

If you are planning on growing your own lettuce then you obviously need to know what dangers face your young crop. Are slugs a particular problem for lettuce may be one question you ask, do slugs even eat lettuce? Let’s have a look and find out.

Do Slugs Eat Lettuce
Do Slugs Eat Lettuce

So, Do Slugs Eat Lettuce?

Yes, slugs love lettuce. In particular young lettuce although they aren’t too fussy. If you have a lot of slugs then they can decimate your lettuce crop.

Lettuce seems to be a bit of a delicacy for slugs and they will travel around the garden to target them in particular.

If you have a problem with slugs though this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to grow lettuce, there are plenty of things you can try to keep the slugs at bay.

One thing I do on my allotment is to grow a sacrificial crop of lettuce for the slugs. For me, it seems to be that they love iceberg lettuce over all other types.

So I grow some iceberg lettuces scattered along with my other lettuces. I have no intention of eating these, they are purely there for the slugs.

The slugs devour the iceberg lettuces, but with their little bellies full they seem to leave my other lettuce well alone.

Other lettuces I grow include butterheads, baby gem and loose leaf lettuces, so I still have plenty of choices!

If you want to try something a bit more extreme then I have some slug stomping ideas below for you.

How to deal with slugs

01.

Slugs Pellets

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.

02.

Nematodes

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!

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06/26/2022 05:10 am GMT
03.

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!

04.

Slug Traps

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!

Daniel

Daniel

Hey, I'm Daniel. Having worked as a professional gardener for years as well as keeping a private allotment I decided to create this website to help spread my knowledge. I love gardening and hope to show you just how rewarding it can be!

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