May has been a rainy month for most of New York which has led to an unexpected consequence – an invasion of slugs.

While some people get squeamish at the sight of slugs, it's important to understand that seeing them actually serves as an indicator of a healthy ecosystem.

The Sluggish Invasion

The influx of slugs in New York can be attributed to the increased moisture levels resulting from the recent rain. Slugs, like many other creatures, require a moist environment to survive and thrive. The wet conditions provide favorable breeding grounds, leading to a higher population of these slimy creatures.

The Benefits of Slugs

While slugs are often considered pests, they play an essential role in the ecosystem. They act as nature's recyclers, feeding on decaying plant matter and breaking it down into organic material that enriches the soil. Slugs also serve as an important part of the food chain, offering nourishment to a variety of predators, including birds, frogs, and beetles.

Managing the Slug Population

Although there are positives to having slugs, it's understandable that their sudden abundance might concern some New Yorkers. Here are some practical tips to manage the slug population.

Natural Barriers
Create physical barriers to protect susceptible plants by using materials slugs find challenging to pass over. Crushed eggshells, diatomaceous earth, or copper tape can discourage slugs from reaching your prized vegetation.

Beer Traps
Place shallow containers filled with beer in your garden. Slugs are attracted to the beer and will crawl into the containers, where they will eventually drown. Empty and refill the traps regularly to maximize effectiveness.

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Hand-Picking
Regularly inspect your garden, especially during nighttime or early morning when slugs are most active. Removing slugs manually and relocating them away from your plants can help control their population.

Encourage Natural Predators
Attract slug predators to your garden by creating inviting habitats. Birds, toads, and frogs are natural enemies of slugs. Providing shelter and water sources can entice these helpful creatures to make your garden their home.

Organic Deterrents
Consider using organic slug control methods, such as iron phosphate-based slug pellets or spray-on solutions made with natural ingredients like neem oil or garlic.

New York State's Invasive Plants To Be On The Lookout For

These seven invasive plants have become a nuisance to the wildlife and people living in New York State. Learn more about them and how to remove them at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation here.

9 Upstate New York Oddities

Upstate New York; a place filled with nature, culture, community, and of course, a few oddities and roadside attractions thrown in as well.

What's fun about a completely normal, cookie-cutter place? Nothing.

Bringing the odd, confusing, and fun, here are 9 Upstate New York Oddities!

Gallery Credit: Olivia Sturgell

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