Is a combination of different natural substances suitable for slug (Arion spp.) control?

Žiga Laznik, Stanislav Trdan


In a laboratory study we investigated the contact and barrier efficacy of different natural substances (wood ash, sawdust, hydrated lime, and diatomaceous earth) against slugs of the genus Arion, an important agricultural pest. Natural substances were tested individually and in combination with each other. The experiment was carried out in plastic petri dishes and in glass insectaria. Moistened tampons and fresh leaves of lettuce were placed into both experimental arenas. The slugs were starved for 48 hours prior to the experiment. Six categories of behaviour were identified for slugs in the presence of the natural substances: (1) slug survived the experiment, (2) slug died during the experiment, (3) slug crossed the barrier, (4) slug did not cross the barrier, (5) slug fed on the lettuce, and (6) slug did not feed on the lettuce. The effect of different treatments (natural substances) was significant. The results of our study have shown that hydrated lime had the best contact efficacy on slugs (the mortality of slugs was 100%), both individually and in combination with other substances. The treatments with hydrated lime also proved to be the most efficient barrier preventing slugs from feeding on lettuce. Hydrated lime shows great potential in Arion control in our investigation; however, further research is needed to investigate the practical value (how to avoid the problem when the substance becomes wet), safety and economics of hydrated lime used in this way.


slugs; Lactuca sativa; barrier; contact efficacy; diatomaceous earth; hydrated lime; sawdust; wood ash

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2016143-9053