Do Slugs Live in Pond?
No, they don’t. Slugs cannot survive under water.
Slug can easily crawl into your pond or somehow wash into it, once they are inside, they can get drowned because they can’t really swim or do anything, and may not even be able to crawl out in time even if the sides are slick.
If you have a pond in your backyard, you might have come across slugs and wondering to keep them or not.
Before we go into them, lets get introduce to their background:
Pond slugs are members of the gastropod family, along with mollusks, snails, and about 60,000 other species. Often, they inadvertently enter ponds riding on aquatic plants, or move on their own from any nearby water systems such as rivers or wetlands.
On occasion, they will hitchhiker on the backs of turtles that have been motionless for a period of time (or inadvertently hit your dog or cat when they brush against a plant containing snails or eggs and transfer to your pond.
What do pond slugs eat?
Slugs consume algae, leafy vegetation, dead fish and snails. If you have a heavy pond, there shouldn’t be any major damage to the plants because small amounts of slugs won’t have much effect. And also slugs eating algae is also a way to keep algae in check, they will also eat plants if there is nothing else to eat.
Benefits of keeping slug in the pond:
Pond slugs can play an important role in your pond’s ecosystem by feeding on dead plants, fish material and algae, thus keeping the tank clean. They also aid in nutrient cycling by feeding on the detritus and releasing nitrogen from the sediment.
Conversely, if you find a pollution-tolerant species such as wandering pond slug, it is also an indicator that your pond may be unhealthy and should be tested and monitored.
Disadvantages of having snails in the pond:
Slugs will contribute greatly to the ruin as soon as they begin to die. This can lead to spikes in harmful waste materials such as ammonia and nitrites, which are deadly to fish.
In addition, many slugs are often hosts to various parasites that can be passed on to fish and mammals as they can host a range of pathogens, bacteria and nasty parasites!
How to get rid of slugs
If you encounter slugs in your pond but don’t want to keep them there, there are several steps you can take to reduce their numbers or remove them altogether.
- Perhaps the most obvious solution is to remove them by hand. You can also introduce predators that eat slugs, such as frogs or fish.
- Drown them: Slugs like beer, milk and most sugary liquids, they are attracted to the smell. Just pour some beer in the ground which will attract and drown them – then, dispose afterwards. Resulting in ‘drunk Slug Soup’ needs to be disposed of regularly!
- Birds and frogs: Birds can be a problem when it comes to ripe fruit and may scratch young seedlings when searching for insects but they are great at spotting slugs and snails. If the pond is given a good environment to live in, frogs can also roam the garden and reduce the number of slugs. Problems are areas they can’t reach easily: a closed greenhouse, or brick and rocky areas where slugs can hide.
If these methods are not giving you the desired results, you can use different chemicals as a last resort. Keep in mind that these chemicals can also affect other organisms in your pond if you don’t use them in proper amounts. The most common chemical is copper sulfate, which kills both slugs and snails upon contact. However, it is very toxic to both plants and fish, so we cannot recommend it over other safe control methods.
To make sure you keep slugs under control, you should regularly clean your filter and replace the cartridge to remove any eggs and small juvenile slugs. At least once a year, empty your pond and thoroughly clean the liner, rocks, plants, and any decorations. The easiest way to make major water changes and cleanings is with a dual-flow water vacuum and mud filter, as you can clean and filter water at the same time!