IDENTIFICATION — These creatures can be ¼ to 7 in. long, and may be gray, orange, yellow, brown or black, with stripes or other markings.?(The one in the photo at left is a banana slug.) Slugs are found almost everywhere, but prefer cool, moist areas like shade gardens or greenhouses.
DAMAGE — Slugs’ rasping mouthparts chew long, ragged holes in leaves. They can also damage or kill small seedlings and leave holes in fruits and vegetables.
CONTROL — Rake debris from beds in spring to remove slug eggs. Diatomaceous earth sprinkled on soil repels slugs because the sharp edges poke their soft bodies. Copper strips around plants repel them, too, as the strips generate tiny electrical charges that slugs don’t like. (You can buy both products at garden centers.)
For a bad infestation, you may need to use slug bait. Be careful to keep them away from children and pets.