Mint is known for its ability to repel bugs due to the oil it creates where the scent keeps many bugs away from the plant. But sometimes gardeners notice holes appearing in the leaves of their mint and wonder what might be creating them. Slugs are a common pest in the garden and flowerbed, but do slugs eat mint plants?
Slugs can be one of the most annoying pests in the garden. They love to eat everything they come across.
There are however a few things they don’t like to eat. Strong smelling herbs are one of those things that can deter slugs. And mint is known to be a strong-smelling herb. But that doesn’t mean that slugs aren’t the culprit all of the time.
Normally the oil that a mint plant produces creates a strong odor that repels many bugs. But there are some things that can cause the oil production in a mint plant to suffer. For example, if you are using companion planting and planted chamomile next to mint this can cause the mint plant not to make its oil. This will leave it susceptible to getting eaten by slugs and a host of other bugs.
Do Slugs Eat Mint Plant Seedlings?
When a mint plant is young or in a seedling stage it is a target for slugs and other pests. During this time it is not producing oil at the level that a mature plant would and therefore will not have as much of a pest repelling ability.
Do Slugs Like Mint?
Slugs are not a normal threat to grown healthy mint. Once the mint plant has grown and is healthy the scent that the oil from the plant puts off will help with repelling slugs and other insects.
How to Protect a Mint Plant from Slugs
Grow Mint By Itself
One great way to protect a mint plant is to grow mint plants in a container.
This can provide protection from pests that would normally find the plant as they travel along the ground. And by growing it alone in its own container you can prevent any possible interference of the mint producing its fragrant oil from other plants.
Another benefit of growing mint this way is that it will help contain the plant. Mint can be very invasive when growing in the ground.
Many recommend using Diatomaceous Earth to kill slugs. But it does not actually kill them. Their bodies are protected by mucus, so the diatomaceous earth will not have the same fatal effect on a slug or snail as it does on other insects.
However, even though it is not fatal, they still don’t like crawling over it. So it can be used as a deterrent.
The main point in a mint plant’s life where slugs are a threat is before the plant matures. If you choose to use diatomaceous earth, put it in a circle around your mint plants like a boundary. I use this along with bait to help protect many plants in the garden against slugs.
Slug collars can be an effective way to keep slugs from getting to your vulnerable plants. The main downside to this is that you can only protect one plant per slug collar.
My favorite way to control the slugs in my garden and flower bed is to use Slug and Snail Bait. I use this in addition to a boundary of diatomaceous earth around plants that slugs like.
The best way I have found is to put my ring of diatomaceous earth around the plants and then put the bait outside of the diatomaceous earth boundary. Within a few days, I see less damage from slugs when using this combo.
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