Slug Management in Blueberries
It won’t be 2021 until tomorrow, but many farmers are already thinking about the spring. One pest blueberry growers need to be watching for are slugs. University of Georgia Blueberry Entomologist Ash Sial has some tips for minimizing slug infestations.
Sial… “Trellising the blueberry plants to keep branches from touching the ground can reduce the number of slugs gaining access to the plant. That's one thing. You can do another thing by mowing or complete elimination of other vegetation in the plant rows or in between the rows that can hold mostly for longer. That will help dry up between the row spaces and eliminate habitat that slugs can utilize to build population.”
Sial also recommends not leaving crates or pallets on the ground which often provides good habitat for slugs to persist.
Sial…”And also in organic systems, geese have been used as predators to control slugs that have worked well in some systems so that if an organic blueberry grower is having a consistent problem, that would be another possible solution to do this.”
One of the best things growers can do overall, Sial says, is maintain the best drainage possible in blueberry fields.