¿Hablas español? Una traducción de este artículo se puede encontrar aquí.
Slugs are a common field crop and horticultural pest. Managing them is challenging because their damage is often confused with other pest damage, and pesticide options are few and expensive. Luckily, knowing what to look for and the growing practices that reduce slug damage helps reduce the problems with this pest.
What exactly are slugs?
Unlike most other plant-feeding pests found in fields or your garden, slugs are not insects. Instead, they are soft-bodied, legless mollusks that are covered in slimy mucus that they secrete and leave behind as a trail. Slugs dry out easily, so they prefer environments with lots of shade and moisture. Slugs feed on a wide variety of food sources, but when they eat plants they can cause a significant amount of damage making them the bane of many farmers and gardeners.
In our area, the most common slugs found in crop fields and gardens are:
- Gray garden slugs – about 2 inches long when fully grown. Ranging from cream-colored with irregular gray spots to dark brown with dark spots.
- Marsh slugs – Smaller, about 1 inch long. Tend to be dark.
Eggs of both species are small, clear, round, and gelatinous. They are usually laid in clusters under plant residues.Continue reading