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Gareth Austin on combatting slugs organically

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Gareth Austin Gareth Austin | 09:15 UK time, Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Gareth Austin, gardening expert with BBC Radio Foyle, answers your questions about growing veg. Send Gareth a question.

Debby Parlett asks: I am trying to grow organically and have tried many methods to combat slugs, I'm losing the battle! From egg shells, copper tape, course sand, sandpaper, gel, beer traps and organic pellets. But these pellets also kill the worms and these are ultimately eaten by the ducks. What else can I do?

Answer: Hey Debby, wow you're keen I'll give you that! Okay, in my experience beer traps are very effective however it's all about your choice of tipple. A trial on BBC Radio 4 with lots of beers, ales and stouts found that Guinness was the most effective so try this and see how you get on. Copper tape is completely effective too. However, it must be installed as a continual band and there must be no overhang of foliage which slugs can climb up on. Another good tip is to regularly feed your garden birds. Birds such as thrushes and blue tits will devour as many slugs as they can find. Also, you mention that you have ducks. If the wings are clipped let these out around your garden in the evening and they will devour as many slugs as they can find. Hope this all helps!

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