Do Slugs Eat Potatoes?

If you are growing a nice clump of potatoes and are wondering what pests you need to be worried about then slugs may well have crossed your mind. but do you actually need to be worried about slugs? Do slugs eat potatoes? let’s have a look and find out.

Do Slugs Eat Potatoes
Do Slugs Eat Potatoes

So, Will Slugs Eat Potatoes?

Yes, slugs are probably the main pest you will have to deal with when growing potatoes. There are even certain slugs which will burrow holes into your spuds and eat them from the inside out.

Keel slugs are the ones that will burrow into your potatoes and make a real mess. These slugs are a real problem for all kinds of root vegetables but potatoes are a particular favourite.

They like heavy, damp soils so one easy way to start countering keel slugs is to improve your soil by adding compost and even a little sand to really heavy soils.

Keel slugs are not your only slug related problem though. Normal slugs can also cause damage to potato tubers. They get into the potato through the holes created by keel slugs and wireworms.

If you think slugs may be a problem for your slugs then it is best to act early in the season before they become a real problem. As damage is caused by burrowing slugs underground then slug pellets aren’t as effective as usual.

For potatoes, I recommend a generous application of nematodes in spring just as the keel slugs are starting to hatch. If you really want to reduce slug numbers in your garden then another application in autumn around mating time is also a good idea.

How to deal with slugs

01.

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!

They are also completely safe to use around both children and pets.

Organic Slug Killer
Slug Nematodes 12million (Treats 40sq.m)
£13.45

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.


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06/25/2022 06:35 pm GMT
02.

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.

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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