I'll just bet you think slugs are yucky.......right?? Well they are!
There are 40 different types of Slugs but in Florida we have only 3 native species. They were all brought into the United States accidentally from other countries.
They are active at night and totally inconspicuous during the day as they hide in dark, damp places. When it?s cold they hibernate. When they are active....slow is the word. They use the sole of their foot to crawl around, sliding on mucous that is produced from the glands in their foot just like a snail. Slugs are just snails without a shell. They have 2 pairs of tentacles on their head which helps them to navigate. One set is for smelling and the other set is for feeling. They breathe through a hole in the right side of their bodies.
Slugs are herbivores, feeding on leaves, roots, flowers, fruits and fungus. Do you know what their favorite meal is?......dead or rotting vegetables. Their strong jaws are covered with thousands of tiny teeth.
When mature, slugs perform elaborate courtship dances......later eggs are laid in clusters of 20 to 30 in shady moist locations. Eggs are round or oval and colorless. When the young hatch they begin feeding almost immediately and are able to move from plant to plant by producing mucous threads that may be several feet long.
They do have natural enemies toads and frogs, mice, some birds, especially ducks. There are predator snails that will attack them and a few beetles. Bad weather can take it's toll ........they don't care for hot, dry conditions or very rainy weather. You can help reduce damage by keeping your yard free of old boards, brush piles or other debris.
Actually very little damage is caused by slugs here in Florida, they are just more of a nuisance.
If you think you have more of your share of slugs and they are working over your new seedlings, you can use the baits that are available at your local garden center. Also, you can put beer in clean tuna fish cans and sink them strategically in your garden.
Finally........We must place a warning on the beer situation......Use only, if you're over 21 and you are able to part with a little beer.