Introduction: Teaching Birds to Eat Invasive Slugs/ a Poison Free Slug Killer

This project is not an act of cruelty, but helping/ forcing invasive slugs into the food chain!

In Denmark, where I live, the slugs have invaded the gardens. Not more than 5 years ago, there were hardly any slugs in our garden, but they have come from other countries and keep on laying eggs. They have no natural enemies here and therefore there are now thousands of them in our garden! They are gross, and they eat our vegetables and flowers. When we collected them for this project, ALL of the slugs you see in this picture, were literally found in about 2 m^2 of our garden in about 5 minutes. Gross!

However: Birds, hedgehogs and other animals can eat them! They just don't know, because it is so recently that the slugs have come here. So this is the plan: To teach the birds and hedgehogs to eat them.

What you need:

  • A brick
  • A birdbath
  • Water
  • Too many slugs

How it works: Slugs can't swim, and birds and hedgehogs need water. So every time you find a slug, place it on the brick island, and it won't be able to escape! Then when the birds and hedgehogs come to get a drink, they will notice the slugs. And eventually, they will eat them! Once they find out that they can eat them, they will automatically start looking for them other places in your garden!
So basically, this is not a cruel way to get rid of your slugs, but a way to help/ force them into the food chain. A lot of people use poison or salt to kill their slugs, but using this method, you are feeding birds and hedgehogs instead, with the same results!

Step 1: ​Do Not Make the Slugs Suffer - Find a Place in the Shade

Even though this is a slug killer, we don't want them to suffer. Therefore you must place the birdbath in a shady place, so they don't dry out in the sun.

Also, as you place the slugs on the brick, make sure that you don't accidentally push them into the water - again, we don't want to make them suffer by drowning.

Step 2: Brick Island and Water

Place the brick in the middle of the birdbath. Make sure that the brick doesn't touch the birdbaths edges, so the slugs can't escape. Now fill it up with water! Put just about 3 - 5 cm (1,1 - 2 inches) water in the birdbath, no more. This is because we don't want hedgehogs to drown. The poor bastards aren't that smart ;)

Step 3: Don't Use Snails - Only Slugs

Snails are harmless, so please don't put them on your island. These small fellas are just chilling out in your garden, and you don't want to hurt them. It is only the invasive slugs we want to keep down!

Step 4: Slugs

As I said before, there are A LOT of slugs in our garden!

ALL of the slugs on these pictures, were found approximately inside the red line I drew on the picture, in about 5 minutes! It is completely out of hand...

Step 5: Collecting the Slugs

Just use a trowel to pick up the slugs and place them onto the brick island, but be careful not to harm them.

Like I said before: This project is not an act of cruelty, but helping/ forcing invasive slugs into the food chain!

Step 6: Done!

Now all you have to do, is to wait. It probably wont work the first day, but in about a week, it should be starting to work!

Now all you have to do, is to look out for slugs to place on the island, so that there are always a bunch on the brick. If you do this once daily, it should be enough!

Good luck with your invasive slugs, I hope this will work for you, as it is for me and my mother! :)

Comments

author
SophiesFoodieFiles (author)2016-10-23

In my country, in Belgium, the snails can swim! But a great idea! Frogs also eat snails.

author
deluges (author)2016-07-29

Wait slugs from other countries that come to yours and reproduce ? BUILD A WALL AND NUKE THEIR COUNTRY

Sorry, I see too much of trump these days.

author
elbotho (author)2016-06-20

Very interesting Idea!
Could you give us an update how well this works?
Do the birds/hedgehogs eat the slugs from the brick and do they find them in the rest of the garden? Does it actually reduce the slug population?
Thank you!

author
Lineakat (author)elbotho2016-06-21

I will! Let me get back to you in a week or two:)

author
Izngood (author)Lineakat2016-06-23

I am looking forward to hear the results, great project, fixing nature :-)

author
Lineakat (author)Izngood2016-07-02

okay, so far they do eat the slugs on the brick island :) but since I work a lot, I'm not able to keep putting new slugs on the brick all the time. So so far it hasn't reduced the slug problem, but when I get some vacation, I will make sure that there are always slugs on the brick - and then I will get back to you again! :)
my theory is, that they just need to get used to the slugs, so if they are always on the brick, they will eventually become natural food for them :)

author
deluges (author)Lineakat2016-07-29

I am not sure that this is how conditioning works... Looking forward to the results as well !

author
somewhiteguy (author)2016-06-20

This is a good idea, as long as the local critters understand what's happening.

My grandfather used a small shallow saucer of beer to get rid of slugs. They drink, get drunk, and drown. Other animals tended not to go near it because of the smell. No salt, poison, or harm to other animals. Slugs die a very happy inebriated death.

author
lime3D (author)somewhiteguy2016-06-27

Tried and true method.

author
Lineakat (author)somewhiteguy2016-06-21

Yes, we have those arround the garden aswell:) and it works, but its not enough...

author
Smelter_uk (author)2016-06-21

Letting hedgehogs eat slugs is not a good idea. They can contract lung worm from them.

author
lime3D (author)Smelter_uk2016-06-27

Smelter_uk... lighten up! A hedgehog is going to eat whatever a hedgehog is going to eat. The author is not feeding slugs to captive hedgehogs.

author
Lineakat (author)Smelter_uk2016-06-22

I didnt know this. Are you sure? I know for a fact that hedgehogs eat snails and slugs in the wild:)

author
Jean-MarcD3 (author)2016-06-21

I thought slugs had always been present in Denmark. Surprised they just landed there. In the south of France they are plentiful which is a terrible problem. But a question, are there not puddles in your place where birds and hedgehogs can have a free drink?

author
Lineakat (author)Jean-MarcD32016-06-22

There are different kinds of slugs. The ones called skovsnegle have always been here, but mostly live in the forrest, but these new ones are called dræbersnegle and they spread a lot and live and lay eggs everywhere! :)

author
Jean-MarcD3 (author)Lineakat2016-06-22

I learnt something new total. A good thing and since you seem to have a deep knowledge of the slug's world maybe you have an idea about where those dræbersnegle come from. Hope they are not invading you from France, not that they have escaped from a biotech lab. Hope also you are not a robot yourself working in this strange cybernetspace.

author
Izngood (author)Jean-MarcD32016-06-23

The snail is called the Iberian Slug, Spanish slug, disgusting slug, Yugh etc... :-)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_slug

author
hugheswho (author)2016-06-21

Clever idea

author
Lineakat (author)hugheswho2016-06-22

Thank you:)

author
Jewswami (author)2016-06-20

This is genius!

author
Lineakat (author)Jewswami2016-06-21

Thank you:)