Slugs will eat almost anything in your garden, from flowers to vegetables. But what about lettuce? Do slugs eat lettuce or not? And is there a way you can protect it from extensive damage?
Yes, slugs love eating lettuce. Lettuce is one of the most vulnerable vegetable plants to slug damage you can grow.
As a vegetable gardener, lettuce is a great option as it’s easy to grow, and homegrown lettuce tastes wonderful. There’s nothing quite as rewarding as going out your backdoor, pulling up lettuce and knocking together a summer salad.
However, any leafy crop has one major common issue: Pests!
Many pests love munching on leafy greens, but slugs specifically target plants like lettuce and will eat them while ignoring other plants. A slug will make a special effort to travel across your garden to get to lettuce, ignoring everything else in its path.
Noticing the damage is very easy as the leaves of the lettuce plant eaten by slugs will have several oddly shaped holes.
If there is also a slime trail on the leaves of the lettuce with several holes, then you have a confirmed slug infestation on your lettuce plant, as slugs and snails leave slime trails wherever they go.
Fed Up With Slugs Ruining Your Garden?
We’ve Put Together a Complete and Free Guide on How to GET RID of Slugs Finally! – Including Deterrents and Preventative Measures to Take:
How Do You Keep Slugs Away From Lettuce?
There are several ways you can get rid of all the slugs from your precious lettuce plants.
These methods can be chemical or organic. These methods can stop slugs and snails from harming the leafy greens you spent time and effort growing and taking care of.
Here are a few options you have for deterring slugs from your veg garden:
Remove Slug Shelter From the Garden
The first step to slug-proof your garden is getting rid of anything that the slimy creatures can take shelter in.
Stop using cardboard or concrete blocks anywhere near your plants. Slugs will avoid entering your garden if they can’t find shady places to hide from bright sunlight.
Dark, damp, cool corners of the garden (often behind rocks, pots, sleepers, wood piles and fences) are where slugs will hang out when the weather is too hot. You need to avoid having these attractive areas in your garden.
Hand Pick Slugs
Slugs are slimy creatures, which may seem gross, but hand-picking slugs and removing them from your lettuce plants is easy, effortless, and often a very effective way of securing your lettuces from slugs.
Of course, this isn’t a preventative measure but a reactive measure. If you can stop the infestation in the first place, then this would be much better.
Barriers made with copper are a commonly used deterrent for slugs in gardens. Using copper tape as a barrier around and within the garden will be a good way to shield the plants from the slugs.
The copper barrier creates an electric current whenever the mucus of the slugs comes in contact with it. This way, slugs won’t go over the tape and will avoid coming near your garden.
You can also purchase copper collars that go around the base of individual plants that are attacked by slugs.
Apply Coffee Beans, Ash, Crushed Eggs or Grit
Slugs cannot move over rough surfaces or any items that have sharp edges. Scattering these items around your garden’s boundaries will stop any slug that wants to enter your garden from munching the lettuces.
For egg shells, you can make them even sharper by baking them at low heat.
Once you’ve picked the rough item, you want to use, sprinkle it around a handful of lettuces in your garden, leaving 1 or 2 as a trap plant. You’ll often notice that slugs will leave those lettuces with a barrier well alone.
Install Beer Traps
Setting up beer traps in your garden is another way to get a slug-free garden.
Sink a bowl into the soil that is half filled with beer. You could even use a fizzy drink bottle with the top cut off. The rim should be 1cm above the surface of the soil.
The scent will attract and lure in all the nearby slugs from the garden. When the slugs come nearer, they will fall into the beer bowl.
Upon falling, the slugs will drown. You must replace the beer daily to ensure the scent is strong enough to attract snails.
If you still have questions about slugs and their ability to eat lettuce, these FAQs might help you out:
Can You Eat Lettuce with Slug Damage?
No, you shouldn’t eat lettuce that has been eaten by slugs as it can be harmful. According to research, slugs are the carriers of various dangerous parasites. Slugs also are known to come in contact with rat faeces.
Do Slugs Eat All Lettuces?
Lettuce is a delicacy for slugs, and it is one of their favourite meals they will eat until it’s all gone, making slugs the number one pest for lettuces. Slugs love lettuce and will eat all varieties of lettuce.
Caring for plants can be tough and tiring, but garden pests can make it even more difficult by munching on your precious leafy greens. Slugs especially are one of the worst pests in a garden, and they will happily demolish lettuces. You can, however, do a few things to protect lettuces.
Below are some of the sources of information we used to put this article together:
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden