Copper Slug Tape at the Ready as Damp Weather Continues

Wet weather is a bad thing, warm wet weather is a very bad thing. That is of course if your struggling to control slugs in your garden. With rain and damp soils the slugs really thrive and the warmer it gets the more they multiply. This brings with a certain amount of crop destruction with requires continuous maintenance and management to control and stay on top of.

Copper slug tape is a material that slugs don’t like. Copper slug tape is a simple intention that acts as a barrier to slugs from your vegetable crops and herbaceous plants. You can run strips of the copper tape along the boundary of vegetable plots, or put rings around precious plants such as young tomato plants or big juicy cabbages. The copper will repel the slugs and they will head off in other directions in pursuit of their lunch, dinner and tea.

The copper tapes repels the slug as it causes the slugs to release an electrical charge due to the shinny surface of the copper. As the copper tape dulls, ages or wrinkles it becomes less effective and need to be replaced.

In warm polytunnels slugs can be a big issue. Growing seedlings in pots raised off the ground is a good line of defence. Any crops grown directly in the soil are still susceptible to slug attached as many slugs live in the soil and therefore no physical barriers would be effective against them.

For slugs that live in the ground the only real solution is to use the parasitic nematode known as Phasmarhabditis. This microscopic worm can be added to soils where it will live, grow and multiply. The worms will enter slugs and only slugs and infect them with a bacteria. This bacteria will first stop the slug from eating and after a week or so will eventually kill the slug. Phasmarhabditis then feeds off the dead slug and supports a whole new generation of Phasmarhabditis worms to start the cycle of slug death and destruction all over again.

If all that sounds to gruesome and you don’t like killing any of even the slimiest of creatures then the copper slug tape is close second to Phasmarhabditis. Of course while Phasmarhabditis bores into slums and kills them from the inside out, the copper slug tape merely repels the slug who lives to fight another day.

I would reserve the use of slug tape for pots, planters and precious seedlings. I then use a range of other slug control methods to protect my brassica crops. Methods range from garlic sprays, to corrugated galvanized sheeting and more but nothing beat picking them off and leaving on the bird table.