If you are planning on growing some rhubarb then you will want to know what can damage them. Take slugs for example, do slugs eat rhubarb? Let’s have a look and find out.
Do Slugs Like Rhubarb?
If your Rhubarb plant is well established then slugs and snails shouldn’t cause it too many problems, most rhubarb can easily survive a slug attack.
there seems to be some people advocating online for making a slug deterrent out of rhubarb leaves. Apparently, you leave some rhubarb leaves in some water for a few weeks and then make a concentrate which you can water down and spray.
This is meant to deter slugs when used. I have never done this myself so I can’t say whether it works or not. I am fairly sceptical though as apparently it works because rhubarb leaves are poisonous to slugs.
I have seen slugs munching away on my rhubarb leaves many times so I can’t see them being poisonous to them!
What the big older leaves on a rhubarb plant do work well as though is a slug trap. You can take one of the large leaves off the plant and place it on the floor on a path or on bare soil.
The slugs will shelter under the leaf as they love a shady moist spot. You then come along and lift the leaf up and get rid of the slugs underneath, job done!
How to deal with slugs
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.
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!
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!