Bug busters

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DIY and how-to

The combination of wet weather and new spring growth in your garden means that there will be plenty of snails and slugs around, just waiting to munch on your new plants.

Here are a few organic ways to stop snails and slugs in their tracks, without causing potential harm to your soil, pets or young children.

  • Surround new spring bedding plants with a barrier of strongly scented herbs, such as mint, garlic, chives and fennel. The strong smell will deter many garden pests from coming any closer.
  • Place shallow pot saucers filled with a little beer at strategic positions in your garden. Snails are unable to resist beer – they drink so much that they inevitably get drunk and then drown.
  • Place a barrier of rough substances, such as crushed egg shells, crushed seashells, pine needles or coffee grounds around new plants. Snails and slugs avoid moving over rough terrain.
  • Cut toilet roll holders into thirds and place the resulting rings around your new spring plants. They will act as a barrier that prevents snails from munching on the new tender leaves.
  • Cut a grapefruit in half. Eat the fruit out of the segments and place the empty half face down on the soil in your garden. When you lift it the next morning chances are good that you’ll have trapped a number of snails inside – they love grapefruit and will congregate under the grapefruit halves.