Print

Land of the toads! Slugs beware.

Written by Doug Oster on .

toad

In the 12 years I've lived at my current house, I might have seen three toads. But this warm wet weather, or maybe two years of wet summers has caused an explosion of tiny toads in the garden, on the patio and in the lawn. They are everywhere and amazingly nimble; these little guys can be hard to catch.

My daughter was the first one to notice them and then we all started seeing them around.

I think its Mother Nature's way of creating a balance, because this weather is also perfect for slugs; the toad's favorite food.

If you don't have an army of toads to eat your slugs, don't resort to chemical baits, they also attract mammals and other wildlife who will feast on the poison. Use an organic bait with iron phosphate as the active ingredient. Only the slugs are attracted. It can be found at any good nursery.

The damage from slugs is easy to indentify. Since they feed at night, just look for a silvery trail on the plants, that's the give-a-way.

Slugs can be trapped in containers of stale beer sunk at soil level, but it's disgusting to clean out the traps and a waste of good beer.

I favor diatomaceous earth, it's a powder that's sharp at the microscopic level, when the slugs crawl across they are punctured and die.

The slimy pests won't cross copper either, some gardeners line their hosta beds with copper wire as a barrier for slugs.

I'm enjoying seeing the tiny toad hopping everywhere; I'm hoping they will get their fill of slugs this summer.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.