Spit That Out!

The Overly Informed Parent's Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt by Paige Wolf

Blogging about green guilt, eco-anxiety, and finding practical, reasonable ways to keep our families safe and healthy.
June 22nd, 2012

Non-Toxic Pesticides: How to Kill Slugs Naturally

how to kill slugs naturally

Help! My beautiful garden is infested with slimy slugs!

When we first saw them we thought they were just goofy, harmless little creatures. But then I realized they were eating all my basil – and I was not letting them get to my tomatoes!

What’s an organic urban gardener to do?

My aunt recommended beer traps – apparently slugs are attracted to beer and if you put a cup of it at soil height they will come in droves and drown. And they did. (Warning: creepy image ahead)

But then something weird happened. Every time we put out a fresh beer trap the beer would disappear after a few hours. Who was drinking it? Alcoholic squirrels? Tipsy pigeons?

Time for plan B. I came across a product called Sluggo that claimed to be for organic gardening. But there were too many questionable reviews for me to put my faith in something that might not be entirely safe for my plants – or my dog.

Then  read about Diatomaceous Earth, a non-toxic, safe substance made up from fossils of freshwater organisms and crushed to a fine powder. Deadly to any insect or larvae, D.E. scratches the insect’s waxy outer shell causing death by dehydration. Sounds a bit cruel, but I suppose death my consumption isn’t much better. The best part is that D.E. is so harmless to animals and people it can even be used as an oral nutritional supplement. Reassuring – but probably not what I will be doing!

If that doesn’t work, there is always this twisted little game someone posted on Facebook:

This post is part of a round-up by Healthy Child Healthy World, a nonprofit organization that empowers parents to protect children from harmful chemicals.

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