Slugs can be a real problem for many garden plants, and hostas are no exception. Slugs will often feed on your fruits and vegetables before you even have a chance to pick them. They will also go after the foliage of your plants, including hostas, and have been known to consume the root base and kill a hosta from beneath the ground. If you have seen a couple of slugs slipping around your hostas and want to be rid of the pests the all-natural way, here are a few remedies to consider.
Slugs do not enjoy crossing copper wire. The wire need not contain an electrical charge to ward off the slippery pests, so no electrical skills are needed. Simply purchase some wire from your home improvement store and strip it of its rubber and plastic coating. Place this wire around the base of your plants so that slugs will have to cross it in order to gain access to your hostas. This should keep the slugs on the ground and off your plants, without having to poison your garden, though it does not work in all cases.
Slugs are attracted to beer. Setting out a small amount of beer in a shallow container will attract all of the slugs in the area, and ultimately be their undoing. Once they reach the alcohol they will fall in and drown. A shallow water dish works well as a container for the beer. Replenish the beer after each rainfall, or when it becomes full of dead slugs, as the beer will lose its attractiveness over time. Do not place beer out where your pets may be tempted to drink.
Slugs do not enjoy crossing extremely rough surfaces. As such, rough stones such as pumice, often sold for propane barbecues, make great garden edging to ward off the pesky critters. Line your garden in organic pumice stone that has not been treated with any chemicals, and encircle your hostas to keep slugs on the ground. After you place your pumice, check your hostas for any slugs that have already made it to the leaves and remove them.
Ammonia is a natural chemical given off by fish and various other living things through their waste. A small amount of household ammonia, mixed with water and put in a spray bottle, will kill slugs immediately. Ammonia is not harmful to your plants, but make sure you dilute the chemical in a solution of 25 per cent ammonia and 75 per cent water. Keep pets away from the area until you are done and have had a chance to wash the plants down with clean water.