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Introducing garter snakes to eat slugs?

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  • maartendeprez
    Hello. Because of a slug plague, i m tempted to introduce garter snakes into the garden to control the slug population. Some species can survive in temperate
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 31 12:18 PM
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      Hello.

      Because of a slug plague, i'm tempted to introduce garter snakes into
      the garden to control the slug population. Some species can survive in
      temperate climate and they are harmless to humans. But i'm unsure
      about their effects on the ecosystem, so i need advice. There are no
      native snakes here (Belgium).


      Greetings,
      Maarten
    • Poppy Miller
      I usually do the beer in a lid program first.  I m usually leary about introducing species that do not have a natural predator.  Blessings, Poppy The one
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 31 2:16 PM
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        I usually do the beer in a lid program first.  I'm usually leary about introducing species that do not have a natural predator. 

        Blessings, Poppy



        The one small garden of a free gardener was all his need and due, not a garden swollen to a realm; his own hands to use, not the hands of others to command. Sam Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings, J.R. Tolkin

        -






















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • maartendeprez
        ... Oh, i tried this trick. Caught a few slugs. Picked and pickled (lol) many slugs every morning. But they still ate hundreds of my herb seedlings, all
        Message 3 of 13 , Sep 1, 2008
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          > I usually do the beer in a lid program first.

          Oh, i tried this trick. Caught a few slugs. Picked and pickled (lol)
          many slugs every morning. But they still ate hundreds of my herb
          seedlings, all freshly sown cabbages and lettuces, and even a chilli
          plant!


          > I'm usually leary about introducing species that do not have a
          natural predator. 

          Yes, thats why i asked for advice. (BTW, what's the meaning of
          "leary"?) But another, probably safer option is to keep a duck and to
          make a pond with frogs. A drawback of ducks is they like young plants
          also, but they can be kept away with a small fence. (This works also
          for slugs: my beans, squashes, sunflowers and thyme finally germinated
          under protection of fine chicken wire.) A snake wouldn't eat herbs,
          but it is incompatible with frogs.


          Greetings,
          Maarten
        • Griselda Mussett
          On a v small scale, I planted rocket seed round the lettuces, in a thick wall , in ring shapes. It was quite an effective barrier to slugs. The taste is
          Message 4 of 13 , Sep 1, 2008
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            On a v small scale, I planted rocket seed round the lettuces, in a
            thick 'wall', in ring shapes. It was quite an effective barrier to
            slugs.
            The taste is quite fiery even when the shoots are v small, and it
            worked till the rocket grew spindly, but by then the lettuce were
            bigger and better established.
            I'm not sure how practical this would be on a larger scale - maybe
            mustard would make an alternative, and could be dug in later as green
            manure.
            Griselda


            On 1 Sep 2008, at 10:09, maartendeprez wrote:

            > > I usually do the beer in a lid program first.
            >
            > Oh, i tried this trick. Caught a few slugs. Picked and pickled (lol)
            > many slugs every morning. But they still ate hundreds of my herb
            > seedlings, all freshly sown cabbages and lettuces, and even a chilli
            > plant!
            >
            > > I'm usually leary about introducing species that do not have a
            > natural predator. 
            >
            > Yes, thats why i asked for advice. (BTW, what's the meaning of
            > "leary"?) But another, probably safer option is to keep a duck and to
            > make a pond with frogs. A drawback of ducks is they like young plants
            > also, but they can be kept away with a small fence. (This works also
            > for slugs: my beans, squashes, sunflowers and thyme finally germinated
            > under protection of fine chicken wire.) A snake wouldn't eat herbs,
            > but it is incompatible with frogs.
            >
            > Greetings,
            > Maarten
            >
            >
            >

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Poppy Miller
            ... natural predator.  Yes, thats why i asked for advice. (BTW, what s the meaning of leary ?) But another, probably safer option is to keep a duck and to
            Message 5 of 13 , Sep 1, 2008
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              :-)  Leary is a variant of Leery, meaning suspicious or wary of something.  Since my grandmother used this word a lot it might be a bit dated.  You gave my memory a chuckle when you mentioned your use of ducks.  Being a lazy sort, when I clean my garden up in the spring I open the gate and let in the chickens.  They're delighted and I have little left to do after they have been there.





              > I'm usually leary about introducing species that do not have a

              natural predator. 



              Yes, thats why i asked for advice. (BTW, what's the meaning of

              "leary"?) But another, probably safer option is to keep a duck and to

              make a pond with frogs.





















              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • maartendeprez
              ... Really?! I picked a lot of slugs from a patch of hot mustard in the greenhouse. Maybe it depends on the type of slug... Greetings, Maarten
              Message 6 of 13 , Sep 1, 2008
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                > On a v small scale, I planted rocket seed round the lettuces, in a
                > thick 'wall', in ring shapes. It was quite an effective barrier to
                > slugs.

                Really?! I picked a lot of slugs from a patch of hot mustard in the
                greenhouse. Maybe it depends on the type of slug...

                Greetings,
                Maarten
              • Griselda Mussett
                My lettuce inside their rocket hedge were planted outside in the ground in the early summer. It really did keep the slugs n snails off - some others not so
                Message 7 of 13 , Sep 1, 2008
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                  My lettuce inside their rocket hedge were planted outside in the ground
                  in the early summer.

                  It really did keep the slugs'n'snails off - some others not so
                  protected just disappeared.

                  I was proud to have discovered a barrier method.

                  :-)

                  Griselda

                  On 1 Sep 2008, at 21:34, maartendeprez wrote:

                  > > On a v small scale, I planted rocket seed round the lettuces, in a
                  > > thick 'wall', in ring shapes. It was quite an effective barrier to
                  > > slugs.
                  >
                  > Really?! I picked a lot of slugs from a patch of hot mustard in the
                  > greenhouse. Maybe it depends on the type of slug...
                  >
                  > Greetings,
                  > Maarten
                  >
                  >
                  >

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Sara Elbrai
                  I have many snakes but also many slugs and many snails. I also have many frogs and toads.
                  Message 8 of 13 , Sep 1, 2008
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                    I have many snakes but also many slugs and many snails. I also have many frogs and toads.


                    --- On Sun, 8/31/08, maartendeprez <maarten.deprez@...> wrote:

                    > From: maartendeprez <maarten.deprez@...>
                    > Subject: [pfaf] Introducing garter snakes to eat slugs?
                    > To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
                    > Date: Sunday, August 31, 2008, 3:18 PM
                    > Hello.
                    >
                    > Because of a slug plague, i'm tempted to introduce
                    > garter snakes into
                    > the garden to control the slug population. Some species can
                    > survive in
                    > temperate climate and they are harmless to humans. But
                    > i'm unsure
                    > about their effects on the ecosystem, so i need advice.
                    > There are no
                    > native snakes here (Belgium).
                    >
                    >
                    > Greetings,
                    > Maarten
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Spidra Webster
                    No native snakes? Yay! Another country to put on my love list . As for slugs, you might want to try nematodes. Wiggly Wigglers sell them. I haven t gotten
                    Message 9 of 13 , Sep 1, 2008
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                      No native snakes? Yay! Another country to put on my "love list".

                      As for slugs, you might want to try nematodes. Wiggly Wigglers sell
                      them. I haven't gotten any myself because I haven't been able to
                      tell whether the nematodes used are also native in the US and I don't
                      want to introduce anything.

                      http://wigglywigglers.co.uk/shop/product.html?product_id=218


                      On Aug 31, 2008, at 12:18 PM, maartendeprez wrote:

                      > Hello.
                      >
                      > Because of a slug plague, i'm tempted to introduce garter snakes into
                      > the garden to control the slug population. Some species can survive in
                      > temperate climate and they are harmless to humans. But i'm unsure
                      > about their effects on the ecosystem, so i need advice. There are no
                      > native snakes here (Belgium).


                      Megan Lynch

                      Berkeley, CA

                      CRFG, NAFEX: I'm in USDA Zone 9b

                      Garden with me on Folia: http://myfolia.com/gardener/spidra/invite
                      Golden Gate Chapter Blog: http://crfggoldengate.blogspot.com/

                      CRFG Flickr Pool: http://www.flickr.com/groups/crfg/

                      Chapter Events on Upcoming.org: http://upcoming.yahoo.com/group/3429/



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • vic_doyle
                      The life cycle of a slug is that the parent of slug eggs coats the said slug eggs with slime everyday, the hormone in the slime stops the eggs hatching, if the
                      Message 10 of 13 , Sep 2, 2008
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                        The life cycle of a slug is that the parent of slug eggs coats the
                        said slug eggs with slime everyday, the hormone in the slime stops
                        the eggs hatching, if the parent is killed by nematodes or anything
                        else, the eggs hatch and the parent slug is replaced by lots of
                        little baby slugs, cunning eh?
                        Nematodes only last a short while, handy to time them as your
                        seedlings pop up out of the ground if you time it JUST right eh?
                        Khaki Campbell ducks are the best sustainable cure for slug problems,
                        they eat them all year round.


                        --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, Spidra Webster <spidra@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > No native snakes? Yay! Another country to put on my "love list".
                        >
                        > As for slugs, you might want to try nematodes. Wiggly Wigglers
                        sell
                        > them. I haven't gotten any myself because I haven't been able to
                        > tell whether the nematodes used are also native in the US and I
                        don't
                        > want to introduce anything.
                        >
                        > http://wigglywigglers.co.uk/shop/product.html?product_id=218
                        >
                        >
                        > On Aug 31, 2008, at 12:18 PM, maartendeprez wrote:
                        >
                        > > Hello.
                        > >
                        > > Because of a slug plague, i'm tempted to introduce garter snakes
                        into
                        > > the garden to control the slug population. Some species can
                        survive in
                        > > temperate climate and they are harmless to humans. But i'm unsure
                        > > about their effects on the ecosystem, so i need advice. There are
                        no
                        > > native snakes here (Belgium).
                        >
                        >
                        > Megan Lynch
                        >
                        > Berkeley, CA
                        >
                        > CRFG, NAFEX: I'm in USDA Zone 9b
                        >
                        > Garden with me on Folia: http://myfolia.com/gardener/spidra/invite
                        > Golden Gate Chapter Blog: http://crfggoldengate.blogspot.com/
                        >
                        > CRFG Flickr Pool: http://www.flickr.com/groups/crfg/
                        >
                        > Chapter Events on Upcoming.org:
                        http://upcoming.yahoo.com/group/3429/
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                      • n_udoh
                        It is unlikely that they would survive in the long term. It is true that they can survive low temperatures, but they require a longer summer period (due to the
                        Message 11 of 13 , Sep 2, 2008
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                          It is unlikely that they would survive in the long term. It is true
                          that they can survive low temperatures, but they require a longer
                          summer period (due to the snake's UV, feeding and metabolic
                          requirements) than you have in Belgium. Put simply; they need a longer
                          warm period to get enough sun and food to survive the winter. You don't
                          have a long enough or hot enough summer in Belgium
                          --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, "maartendeprez" <maarten.deprez@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Hello.
                          >
                          > Because of a slug plague, i'm tempted to introduce garter snakes into
                          > the garden to control the slug population. Some species can survive in
                          > temperate climate and they are harmless to humans. But i'm unsure
                          > about their effects on the ecosystem, so i need advice. There are no
                          > native snakes here (Belgium).
                          >
                          >
                          > Greetings,
                          > Maarten
                          >
                        • n_udoh
                          Native toads would do the job much better. Create toad-friendly areas and shelters and introduce one or more toads.
                          Message 12 of 13 , Sep 2, 2008
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                            Native toads would do the job much better. Create toad-friendly areas
                            and shelters and introduce one or more toads.

                            --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, "maartendeprez" <maarten.deprez@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Hello.
                            >
                            > Because of a slug plague, i'm tempted to introduce garter snakes into
                            > the garden to control the slug population. Some species can survive in
                            > temperate climate and they are harmless to humans. But i'm unsure
                            > about their effects on the ecosystem, so i need advice. There are no
                            > native snakes here (Belgium).
                            >
                            >
                            > Greetings,
                            > Maarten
                            >
                          • Pat Meadows
                            ... They d have an awful time trying to find slugs through a couple of feet snow, which we re apt to have for most of the winter. I think the slugs themselves
                            Message 13 of 13 , Sep 7, 2008
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                              On Tue, 02 Sep 2008 09:44:54 -0000, you wrote:

                              >The life cycle of a slug is that the parent of slug eggs coats the
                              >said slug eggs with slime everyday, the hormone in the slime stops
                              >the eggs hatching, if the parent is killed by nematodes or anything
                              >else, the eggs hatch and the parent slug is replaced by lots of
                              >little baby slugs, cunning eh?
                              >Nematodes only last a short while, handy to time them as your
                              >seedlings pop up out of the ground if you time it JUST right eh?
                              >Khaki Campbell ducks are the best sustainable cure for slug problems,
                              >they eat them all year round.

                              They'd have an awful time trying to find slugs through a couple of feet
                              snow, which we're apt to have for most of the winter.

                              I think the slugs themselves must hibernate or die, to be replaced by eggs
                              in spring or something along those lines. We have six months of
                              below-freezing temperatures. (Northeastern USA).

                              So I think maybe ducks eat slugs all year round in some places, but not in
                              others.

                              Pat
                              -- northern Pennsylvania
                              Website: www.meadows.pair.com/articleindex.html

                              "Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of
                              supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
                              live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry
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