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Beer: Solution for snails invading your garden

Kaci Koviak

POSTED: Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 5:51pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 6:02pm

Walking into your garden, the last thing you want to find are these small and slimy creatures...snails or slugs. They are small creatures, but they have big appetites for your plants. "Snails and slugs are a problem, especially with the recent rains we've had,"said Mark Biggerstaff, retail manager with Breedlove Nursery and Landscape in Tyler.

Biggerstaff said they're such a nuisance because "they can chew big holes in the foliage which can look unsightly and weaken the plant also." He also said snails and slugs are usually found at night in or around plants lower to the ground like hostas, petunias, or herbs.

"It would be common here in East Texas, than in more dryer, arid regions, but wherever you have a garden there is a possibility of snails," said Ashley Pellerin, extension agent with Prairie View A&M University. Even though our climate is a snail's paradise, Pellerin say there are plenty of ways to get rid of them. "We recommend you try to keep your garden pruned, better pruned and groomed it is, they least likely they are to want to go to those healthier plants," said Pellerin. She also said gardeners can put a copper tape around the top of your pots, the electric current will kill them, or buy iron phosphate with a low toxicity to sprinkle around plants.

However, the best solution could be in your fridge. "The slugs are attracted to the fermented smell of the beer," said Pellerin. She said leaving beer cans sideways in your garden, or buying traps can get rid of these pests. "We always recommend chemical control be the last thing that you use, there are some safer chemicals on the market, but be careful, read the labels," added Pellerin.

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