Slugs and snails are parasites that can destroy your cannabis crop if you aren’t vigilant. Although they may not appear to be dangerous, slugs and snails may quickly damage your plants if left unchecked. Continue reading to learn how to identify these pests, prevent them from causing harm, and permanently get rid of them!
Although slugs and snails might seem unappetizing, they don’t usually pose a threat. However, in a cannabis garden, they can do some serious damage to your plants if left unchecked. Slugs and snails will eat away at your plants, causing physical stress that leads to stunted growth and reduced yields.
If you don’t want slimy critters destroying your cannabis crop, read this article for our best tips on keeping them at bay.
Are Slugs and Snails the Same?
Snails and slugs are two distinct animals even though they appear to be the same. They’re both mollusks (soft-bodied creatures) with a worldwide distribution.
The most noticeable distinction between slugs and snails is that the latter have a shell. Snails depend on their shells to protect themselves from both high temperatures and predators; moreover, they can grow additional size to their shells as they age.
Snails have shells, while slugs don’t; and snails’ bodies are coiled underneath their shell, whereas slugs’ bodies are straight. Also, both types of creatures are considered pests by gardeners globally because they eat healthy plants.
How To Spot Slugs and Snails on Cannabis Plants
If you find that your cannabis leaves or stems have been partially eaten, it’s likelythat snails or slugs are to blame. Try conducting a little surveillance at night with a flashlight to see if you can spot them in the act.
It’s also wise to do this as a preventative measure while your plants are still in the seedling stage, since they’re more vulnerable at this time; and if you detect the damage after it’s too late.
You can tell slugs and snails have been trajectory based off of the slimy secretion they leave in their wake. This is easiest to spot in the morning, but there are other ways to tell as well:
- Leaves and buds with large holes and scalloped edges, sometimes appearing shredded.
- If you see snails or slugs on your plants, in the soil, or elsewhere in your garden, that’s a sure sign that they’re present.
- If you found small, white, round eggs in moist soil or compost, it’s likely that they are snail/slug eggs. They often resemble balls of silica gel.
- Set a trap. Make some tiny holes (about 15 centimetres deep and 10 centimetres wide) and cover with a board, plastic, or cardboard. Check the holes in 2–3 days to see if any snails or slugs are inside (they like to hide in dark, damp corners of the garden).
How To Get Rid of Slugs or Snails on Cannabis
If you’ve found a few snails or slugs in your garden, you’ll be relieved to learn that there are numerous ways to get rid of them.
Remove Slugs and Snails Manually
This is by far the simplest and most obvious approach to get rid of vermin in your cannabis plantation. We prefer this technique since it doesn’t harm the little animals in any way as long as you handle them with care.
It’s difficult to keep slugs and snails out of your garden, but one way to make things easier is by leaving some logs or curved roof tiles around your plants. This would shelter them from the sun during the day, and you would only need to check these spots periodically for removal.
There is, however, one significant disadvantage to utilizing this approach; it isn’t a long-term solution. Not only will more snails and slugs migrate to your garden once you’ve killed them off, but the slugs you remove are likely to have already deposited eggs in the soil around your plants, which will hatch in a few weeks.
Simply removing snails and slugs when they appear may be enough to preserve your garden if you’re patient and have the time to devote to it on a regular basis. If you don’t have the time or are dealing with a bigger snail/slug problem, however, we recommend employing one of the more permanent strategies below.
If you notice a huge number of slugs or snails on your plants, control them with nematodes. Slugs and snails are two types of rasping creatures that can wreak havoc in your garden. When it comes to controlling snails or slugs in your yard, there’s no need to worry about being bored. They’re tiny roundworms that thrive in water, soil, and many parts of the environment by nature. In fact, they’re thought to account for over 80% of all multicellular animals on Earth.
Gardeners seeking for a simple, organic, and safe approach to fight both snails and slugs should consider buying Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodite, a particular kind of parasitic nematode that kills snails and slugs in just a few days.
Nematodes are tiny parasites that attack snails and slugs. They live in the soil and enter a snail/slug by way of its respiratory system. The nematodes produce a bacteria that slowly kills the pest from the inside after they have entered. It takes approximately 7 to 10 days for everything to play out.
Nematodes are an excellent, natural way to protect your cannabis plants without using any harsh chemical pesticides. Not only does this method leave your plants unharmed, but it’s also safe for humans and the environment since it is non-toxic.
Encourage Natural Predators
Did you know that there are many animals that eat snails and slugs? This makes them great predators to have in your cannabis garden! Allowing them to roam around is one of the most effective, natural ways to help protect your plants.
Some common predators of snails and slugs include:
- Small mammals like mice, shrews, hedgehogs, and squirrels
- Birds, especially ground-foraging species
- Firefly larvae
Snails and slugs are less active indoors, so if you’re growing your plants outdoors, chances are they’re already present. Another way to introduce natural predators into your garden is by buying beetles from a local garden centre. This will help protect your plants better.
How To Prevent Slugs and Snails on Cannabis
We’re big supporters of preventing pests rather than attacking them at Zamnesia. While it may appear difficult, it’s not; with a few easy steps, you can help prevent the spread of slugs and snails, as well as other pests, in your cannabis garden.
Try Companion Planting
When it comes to fighting cannabis pests, companion planting is one of our favorite techniques. It’s not only natural, but it also helps to establish a healthy ecosystem that’s beneficial to your local environment.
There are a few reasons why companion planting is effective. First, it creates a more diverse ecosystem that makes it harder for pests to thrive. Most pests do best in gardens or farms with only one type of plant. In fact, companion plants can increase the number and variety of healthy microorganisms in your soil and garden, naturally repelling pests and fighting pathogens like moulds and fungi.
Second, companion planting employs natural terpenes to aid in pest prevention. Plants such as lavender, basil, lemon balm, chamomile, coriander, and dill all produce significant quantities of terpenes that are naturally repel numerous cannabis pests.
Using physical barriers to keep slugs and snails out of your cannabis garden is a straightforward yet effective technique. The method you use is entirely up to you, as well as the size and form of your garden. Below are some materials that repel slugs and snails effectively.
- Coffee: Slugs dislike coffee, so sprinkling rings of it around your plants or their pots may repel them.
- Copper bands: Copper is said to react violently with the slime produced by snails and slugs, causing their nervous systems to be shocked. A vertical copper screen erected around the base of your plants is the ideal approach to utilize copper for this purpose. Alternatively, you may wrap copper foil around the trunks of your plants or pots’ rims instead.
- Sand, crushed eggshells, or wood ash. Dry, gritty materials can be used to keep snails and slugs out of your cannabis garden since they are repelled by the dryness. Perlite, sawdust, and diatomaceous earth are some other options. Keep in mind that all of these barriers only function if they’re dry. Rain or wind will render them ineffective quickly.
Avoid Watering at Night
Since slugs and snails love wet environments, watering your plants early in the morning can help prevent them. This gives the soil time to dry out during the day, making your garden less appealing to these slimy creatures.
Make DIY Beer Traps
If you’re tired of finding slugs and snails in your garden, give this old gardening trick a try. Slugs and snails are attracted to the yeast in beer, so pour a few cans of inexpensive beer into plastic containers. The slugs and snails will be drawn to the beer, crawl into the container, and eventually die.
Commercial Slug and Snail Repellents
There are many excellent commercial slug/snail repellents available. Talk to someone at your local gardening centre, or do some research online, to find the one that will work best for you.
We love organic cannabis cultivation at Zamnesia, and we always advocate utilizing organic materials in your grow to produce a superior product. Organic slug pellets based on iron phosphate are an effective, safe, and environmentally friendly approach to keep slugs and snails away.
All in all, slugs and snails may not be harmful to humans, but they can become a pain in the neck for those with outdoor cannabis gardens. If you’re having trouble with these creatures in your own garden, make sure to follow the tips we’ve gone over here. Feel free to share this article
with any other cannabis growers who might be experiencing similar issues!