How to help a gardener stop craving for spring and summer? Remind him (her) about something disgusting that winter doesn't have. Several Blotanists mentioned snails and slugs in their recent posts. But it was Hermes' post http://goldenagegardens.blogspot.com/2009/02/snails.html that actually made me think about slugs. The creature on his picture was so cute in comparison with my slugs that I got jealous and offered him to trade my slugs for his snails, two for one. Just look at these pictures and you'll understand me. I cought the slugs in the action! It is one thing when you see them innocently sleeping under a rock or a leaf. But when they are eating your tomato in a daylight!!!
There are as many as 40 different kinds of slugs in the U. S. and over 750 varieties of snails. These three types of the slugs we will most likely to see:
Common garden slug: about an inch long, dark with a yellow stripe on its sides.
Black slug: really big - to about six inches longs.
Gray field slug: about 1 and ½ inches long, gray or tan in color.
Slugs are invertebrates belonging to the scientific classification "Phylum Mollusca". This is the fact that I like the most: they are closer to the octopus than the insect family! Yes, they are relatives to those huge creatures found deep in the ocean!
Octopuses and slugs as well as all the creatures classified in the mollusk family have several things in common:
-their bodies are soft and not divided into segments;
-they have an internal or external shell (the slug's relative, the snail, carries his shell outside);
-they have a muscular foot or tentacles.
Here are a few other slug facts:
* birds, ducks, moles and some types of beetles eat slugs;
* slugs are very sensitive to the wind and can dehydrate and die if caught in a wind;
* slugs live underground and absorb moisture through the dirt;
* older slugs are usually females;
* slugs are very sensitive to changes in temperature even such little as two degrees F.
We all know that slugs lay eggs and they are vegetarians and eat plants. Different types of slugs like different types of plants and slugs in different parts of the country eat different things.
Bon Appetite, but not in my garden!
Some of the information I got here: