Friday, October 5, 2012

How do I control Slaters?

Butter Head Lettuce
Last week I let my Mum show off her Lettuce growing skill.  This week she rang asking how to control the Slaters that were devastating her beautiful Lettuce plants!  Truth is I had no idea beyond releasing our chooks but you could say good bye to the Lettuce along with the Slaters using that method, so we settled on making up a garlic spray.  To be honest I was a little sceptical but guess what? It worked and worked quickly. I have since done a little research and found a very good AgNote from the WA DPI which recommends snail baits, but since garlic spray works I'll stck with Garlic.

Slater seems to be an Australian name, they are also known as Woodlice, Sow Bugs, Pill bugs and Ben called them Kutchie Boys when he was little??? Slaters are scavengers of decaying organic matter but when their populations get out of control they find juicy Lettuce seedlings very tasty. How do populations of critters explode? I don't know but the generous layer of mulch shown in the picture may have provided a perfect habitat for baby slaters.  There is certainly an argument for good house keeping, clear up timber and other stuff that left lying around creates that safe, warm, dark and moist environment.

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