Pickling vinegar is any type of vinegar used in the pickling process. This includes budget-friendly distilled white vinegar, which you probably already have in your kitchen cupboards. Distilled white vinegar is a safe way to deal with slugs that feed on your plants and make their way indoors, leaving behind a slimy trail that ranks high on the gross-out scale. This non-toxic liquid doesn’t pose a health risk to your kiddos or pets, and won’t pollute the environment with harsh fumes and toxic residue.
1. Vinegar Slug Spray
Vinegar sprayed directly on slugs will kill them without the use of toxic chemicals that pollute the environment, according to the University of Maryland Extension website. However, the vinegar solution should never come in contact with plants since vinegar is also a natural herbicide and can damage plants.
2. Slime Remover
Slugs leave behind a slimy trail that sticks to just about anything including your skin. Distilled white vinegar can remove this slime safely. Simply add a few drops of vinegar to a wash cloth and wipe the slime off the area. If the slime is on skin, wash the vinegar off the area with warm soapy water after you remove the mucus.
3. Rust Remover from Copper Barriers
Copper bands wrapped around trunks, planter boxes and other areas will repel snails without chemicals. Copper disrupts the snails' nervous system when they come in contact with it, causing a reaction similar to an electric shock. Unfortunately, these bands can begin to tarnish overtime, which interferes with the copper's ability to repel the slugs. Regularly wiping the bands with white vinegar will get rid of the tarnish and allow the copper bands to function properly.
One of the best methods for dealing with slugs is to correct any cultural situations that create the ideal habitat for these slimy creatures. This includes eliminating any hiding places where the slugs can seek shelter during the day. Boards, weeds, leafy branches, stones, pots and other debris are a few examples of places where slugs hide. Since high levels of humidity and excessive moisture creates a favorable environment for slugs, consider switching from sprinkler irrigation to drip irrigation.
Even though white vinegar is relatively safe and used in various culinary recipes and organic pest control, higher percentages – such as 20 percent – may cause burning or irritation on skin and eyes. To help prevent potential problems, keep children and pets away from vinegar.
- University of Minnesota Extension: Vinegar for Pickling
- UC IPM Online: Snails and Slugs
- Garden's Alive: "There Must be Thirteen Ways To Stop Your Sluggies”
- Oregon State University Extension Service: Using Home Remedies to Control Garden Pests
- University of Maryland Extension: Slugs
- Columbus School District: Vinegar Material Safety Data Sheet
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