July 2, 2015

Chewing pests

Slugs are wormlike, legless organisms that are often referred to as snails without shells. They vary in length from 1 to 15 cm when full grown, depending on the species. Slugs prefer to reside in moist areas and are active at night. They leave a silvery slime trail, which is most noticeable on sunny days. Slugs vary in color from black, brown, lavender, purple and white to yellow. Several have brown specks or mottled areas.

Slugs have chewing mouthparts and create large irregular, ragged holes on leaves with tattered edges.


Remove any hiding places including plant debris, weeds, rocks and wood lying on the soil surface. Avoid overwatering herbaceous perennials to minimize creating moist habitats ideal for slug breeding. Commercial molluscicides can be applied in the evening. It is important to irrigate the area before application.

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Back to IPM scouting in herbaceous perennials.

Related Topic Areas

Integrated Pest Management

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