Slugs usually eat plants and flowers, and a lot of people are worried as they destroy their plants. If you are living in an area where you face many rainy days you surely are plagued with slugs. Even in summer, when there is a heavy or average rainfall, you can be prone to a huge population of slugs. Actually, slugs adore the moisture and dislike the sunlight. These slugs may find places in your plantpots to breed, if your potting methods are not very good, and they can ruin the garden overnight.
A banana slug eating bear scat. © NPS/Crowley 2010.
What food do slugs love the most?
Slugs love to eat fruits, plants, vegetables, and flowers. They usually spend their days and nights feeding on plant leaves. They love to stay in moisture; that’s why pots are the best place to breed. A single slug can produce millions of offspring at a time. Their eggs seem like small pearls, and they are usually visible on the little pieces of wood that you have placed in your garden. The life span of a slug is almost two years, and they take at least one year to mature.
Gardeners hate slugs
Slug eating mouse. © Joysaphine.
Slugs are known to be the most disliked pests of the garden. If you have seen chewed or holed leavesthen they’ve been eaten by the slugs. These pests destroy entire crops. They love to live in the mild winters, moist summers, wet springs, and especially irrigated land. Slugs actually need some place to hide from the sun during the day. These places include flat stones, boards, wood pieces, pots or piles of damp plants. Slugs hate to stay on the rough places and more than 90 percent of the slugs population is present in the soil, and 10 percent comes out at night to feed on plants.
Closeup of a slug eating a leaf. © Hehaden.
Slugs need moisture
Slugs need a humid or moist environment to grow, survive and reproduce. Most slugs are hermaphroditic that means they are male and female at the same time. Normally, they lay their eggs in groups ranging from 15 to 50 in number in the soil or under plant waste. These eggs hatch eventually if the conditions are entirely favorable but in case of unfavorable conditions, these laid eggs may survive for a longer period of time until circumstances improve. There are different species of slugs, and their length varies from species to species. Adult slugs are usually 30 to 150mm long and normally slugs have two generations every year.
Some are predators
Some slugs are predators, like the ghost slug, and this means they eat other slugs, earthworms, and snails as well. Many slugs are very important for a balanced ecosystem as they eat dead leaves, fungus, and decaying vegetable material. Other species of slugs eat living parts of the plants. There are some carnivore slugs that use to eat carrion, including the dead from their own kind.
Hopefully, this valuable information regarding the slugs, like what they eat, how they live and how they feed themselves can be of some use to you.
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