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Salvia Small Talk: Slugs & Snails

Salvia Small Talk: Slugs & Snails

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Synopsis: Cleaning up leaf litter, weeds and mulch around Salvias can greatly reduce snail and slug attacks.

Salvia Small Talk: Snails & Slugs

Here’s the daytime scenario: You find holes or worn spots chewed in the leaves of your Salvias, but see no pests on the foliage. The likely culprits are snails and slugs, which feed at night. Snails are the ones with shells, while slugs go without. Both have file-like tongues that scrape the leaves and saw holes.

Both of these legless terrestrial mollusks glide on mucous that they exude, so you may see glistening slime trails on soil and leaves. Early in spring, clean up any mulch, leaf litter or nearby weeds and tall grass near your Salvias, because these are snail and slug hiding places. If cleaning up their hideouts doesn’t do the trick, try organic removal methods that are safe for people and pets. These include sprinkling rough diatomaceous earth (a rock product) around the base of plants or using an iron-phosphate bait that is only deadly to snails.


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