Slugs in Gerber Daisies

Overview

Slugs are a common pest found on gerber daisies. They multiply rapidly, making it harder to control them. Slugs should always be eliminated at the first sign of their presence to prevent damage, disease or plant failure. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and eliminate slugs from gerber daisies.

Cause

Slugs are attracted to gerber daisies for multiple reasons. One reason slugs are drawn to gerber daisies is because they eat the foliage. In addition to a plentiful food supply, decomposition of old foliage and blooms make the perfect breeding and nesting grounds for slugs. Keep all spent blooms and dead foliage tidy to prevent attracting slugs.

Identification

Slugs can be identified on gerber daisies by visually inspecting the plant. Slugs resemble snails without a shell and have a long, slender body that is usually slimy. Slugs may grow up to 1 inch long and be brown, black, green or multicolored.

Commercial Remedies

There are several products available to control slugs. Commercial products to eliminate slugs include powders, pellets, liquids or bait traps. Commercial slug baits include Slug Out and Slug Clear. All pesticides are not capable of killing or preventing slugs, so buy a product that states that it can kill slugs. As with any chemical pesticide, slug killers may poison people and pets. Always use caution when using any type of pesticide. Slug bait traps are safer then pesticides and can include sticky pads, traps and other containment methods to trap slugs in a central location to be removed later on. Bait traps are not effective for preventing eggs or further infestations. They are more of a controllable resource then a preventative.

Organic Remedies

Certain plants work as a natural repellent for slugs. Garlic, chives, ginger, foxglove, sage and sunflowers are all common plants used for repelling slugs from gerber daisies and other plants. Plant them along the outer border of flower beds, gardens, containers and boxes to prevent slugs. Organic slug baits are also available. Organic baits such as Safer's Slug & Snail Bait and Sluggo use iron phosphate to rid plants of slugs. These products claim to be safe for animals, humans and the environment. Hand picking is another method for removing slugs on gerber daisies. However, most gardeners prefer not to spend hours picking slugs and then having to kill them. Hand picking is not a popular method because is it only removes the present slugs and does not remove the eggs or prevent future infestations.

Effects

Slugs eat the foliage of gerber daisies causing severe damage to the plant. Reduced leaves can cause nutritional defects, bloom deficiencies and unsightly plants. Slugs can also cause damage to the stems, roots, and other parts of gerber daisies, increasing the risk for diseases and further injury.

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About this Author

Stephanie Manning started her writing career in 2007. She writes for a number of online publishers, including eHow and GardenGuides. She obtained certifications in horticulture, business and nursing from the Walton Career Development Center.