Let’s Meet the Slugs in Your Backyard

You are likely to find slugs in your backyard. They are often ignored, but there is plenty more to learn about them! Did you know why slugs climb up walls when it rains? Or if slugs are bad for cats? How do hedgehogs eat slugs? What do slugs symbolize? We will tackle these inquiries and many more. Let’s meet the slugs in your backyard!

 What are slugs?

Slugs are snails and molluscs with partial shells. Most slugs have a mucous covering on their skins to keep them wet and oozy! Squids, scallops, octopuses, oysters, and clams are some of the more unique slimy critters in nature and tasty on a backyard barbeque. They all originate from a Mollusca Phylum group, including our favourite snails and slugs!

Slugs are regarded as a severe agricultural nuisance, and some sources claim that a single acre of cropland may feed roughly a quarter-million slugs!

That means even a tiny garden might have hundreds of them, and although smaller slugs are more likely to be discovered in your backyard, there are still giant land slugs that inflict mayhem in Africa.

Slug Categorization

The most destructive slug in the Pacific Northwest is the grey field slug (or grey garden slug).

Europe’s most ubiquitous slug is Arion Rufus. Slugs, such as the sizeable spotted garden slug, brown-banded Arion, black glasshouse slug, and marsh slug, have also risen recently.

There are several variances amongst slug subspecies regarding behaviour, weather, and feeding preferences. Numerous Arion species prefer hotter conditions and graze on compost, decomposing leaf, and plants, unlike Deroceras Reticulatum, which feeds on the earth.

Malacology studies icky Mollusks and slugs. Slugs that utilize their body parts incredibly effectively and slug categorization has traditionally been based on their oozy gooey mucus and internal appearance.

Gastropods are sometimes known as garden slugs, number approximately 40,000 varieties.

Do slugs have eyes?

Slugs aren’t simply adorable spherical critters with antennae. They also have stalk-like eyes! These odd-looking appendages can detect light, dark, movement, and even smell odours to warn them of danger approaching!

Slugs are Slimy, Muddy Earth Dwellers, that have mouth “radula” with configuration teeth for grinding up food is on each side of a mantle cavity to protect their solitary lung. The mantle hides all those hidden personal bits. The Gonopore contains eggs (and sperm) to create new life inside its body!

Why do slugs climb up walls when it rains? 

When the ground gets moist and the slugs become saturated in rains, they climb to higher ground to prevent drenching. They also feed on sludge or mildew, which may be found on a garden wall or near where you water plants frequently throughout the summer months, for instance!

Your garden wall, like plants, offers a suitable surface for the slug to move upward through rainwater!

This is where the slug’s adventure begins. 

  • It may have been hiding in your pet bowl or near your home wall at dark when it began to rain, so they opted to mount a damp structure, such as a wall, to find shelter or, as previously said, to prevent drowning!
  • Slug companion may hide in a wonderful hole or crevice, particularly in the nooks and crannies of gutters or spouts around your home, which are also close to the wall!
  • The slug is like a creature from another planet who travels around at night. A slug’s nocturnal lifestyle means that most of the time, you’ll only see it in places where its mucous trails can be seen- namely on garden walls.

The slug usually has already departed by daylight, but sometimes he curls up in the slow lane like his snail colleague.

Additionally,  when snails are exposed to a hazardous substance or virus in the area, their tissues necrosis emit a distinct odour in response to the threat. When snails are about to die, they will try to go as high as possible also pertain to the slug tribe.

Are slugs Bad for Cats?

Whilst slugs and snails are not lethal to cats, the mucus they create may cause your cat to dribble or regurgitate, and both slugs and snails may transmit lungworm parasites that can cause significant health concerns if carried on to your furry friend. 

If your cat decided to consume slugs continuously, which is quite unusual, the cat might indeed get lungworm. Your cat is intelligent and picky, and bugs etc., are a natural component of kitty cuisine.

How do Hedgehogs Eat Slugs (and why) 

Slugs are highly nutritious and constitute a hedgehog’s cuisine. Hedgehogs snag and twirl the slugs with their front paws before they shed most of their slime and chomp on the juicy slug. 

They favour the lesser ones, which are reported to do a great deal of devastation to vegetation. Unfortunately, slugs aren’t a significant component of their late-night banquets.

The majority of what I’ve observed them devour is insects. Secondly, observational data demonstrates that hedgehogs frequently struggle to tolerate the mucous emitted by slugs and snails, incredibly enormous specimens.

Mollusks, as previously said, are a vector for the lungworm infection, which may be poisonous to your thorny companion as well as the cat and dog.

Yet there is no indication that hedgehogs significantly influence slug counts in the backyard; numerous horticulturalists regard them as “insect control” comrades.

What do slugs symbolize spiritually? 

Slug symbolism is likely an underappreciated issue tied to science and our somewhat categorized or restricted viewpoints. Many civilizations speak about this slimy damp creature, and although I’ve done some study on the spiritual world, it can’t always be seen with human sight; spiritual methods may often help us understand what is ahead for us in life!

Slugs, according to Hinduism, are spiritual guardians that may assist us in our spiritual progress and give insight via their inherent knowledge.

Slugs' metaphysical significance
Slugs’ metaphysical significance: https://unsplash.com/@wolfgang_hasselmann

A hermaphrodite is a slug. It has both male and feminine characteristics, making it a one-of-a-kind and rare animal on the planet. Because of this, the slug is a spiritual and supernatural creature.

Spiritual energy, warmth, and life-giving rain are all associated with this spiritual symbolism! When spiritual paths are wet, they may be easier to travel on, as slugs need moist soil to crawl through the earth.

As a result, slug symbolism represents a simple spiritual journey that someone who has just gone away into the spiritual world after a long sickness or old age may have travelled. Slugs in our backyard might be sending us a message of caution, encouragement, and instruction/guidance. Slugs, according to some, are a sign of good fortune.

Slugs are spiritual symbols of spiritual development and change in Christianity, and the slug also represents cleansing and transformation in African spiritual rituals!

As a bonus, it might offer a gentle massage to keep cheerful even when nothing appears to go right. Many nations celebrate the slug as a sign of something greater, from native America performing a spiritual cleansing function to Vietnamese culture where there may be a baby on the way.

Slug Slime – Why You Should not Touch it or Get it on Your Skin?

Keep a cool head when you collect a little slime on your hands or during this scenario, even if you are anxious or terrified, although slug slime may contain parasites that are infectious to mammals.

Intake of a few parasites potentially leads to illness, even though it would most certainly be moderate. Furthermore, surprisingly, if you wash your hands with soap and warm water after encountering the goo, you will most undoubtedly survive to see more slugs. It is encouraged that you use gloves while observing your slimy buddy or pest in the backyard.

What does slug slime do?

The slug’s capacity to interact with its fellow slugs is also dependent on the molecules in the slime emitted by pores in the slug’s foot.

If push is given to the wet and slippery body of slop, the slide forwards and the adhesion to the ground is flawless. This unique mix of qualities makes slug and snail slime an excellent lubricant and glue.

Slug slime may include some unsavoury ingredients for cats, dogs, and ourselves. Still, the slime is vital to the slug’s vitality because it contains carbohydrates and protein mucus that collects moisture from the air. 

Are there any benefits to having slugs around your backyard?

Slugs are ubiquitous garden pests that munch holes in leaves, stems, blossoms, roots, and the cherished cabbage and lettuce crops. Despite the devastation, having slugs and snails around indicates a functioning natural ecosystem and is critical.

They offer food for various animals, birds, hedgehogs, and invertebrates and contribute to the ecological equilibrium. They may assist in cleaning up garden debris since almost all common garden snails and slugs prefer dead garden waste over live plants. Slugs, like worm composting, break down agricultural detritus and recycle it into nitrogen-rich compost that benefits soil biology.

Final Sluggish Words

About 1,400 native slug and snail species exist in New Zealand, including the Limax Maximus. When you cross the border and go to Australia, you’ll find one of the most unusual kinds of land slug, called the Giant pink slug (Triboniophorus) from Mount Kaputar, a remarkable enormous air-breathing ground slurry.

Check out this footage below of Multimedia Artist Anna Glynn and Scientist Peter Dalmazzo confronting the humongous pink slug on Mt Kaputar, NSW, as part of a vulnerable species initiative. Furthermore, check out and endorse the website from this Award-winning Australian artist Anna who incorporates nature and our biodiversity for some alluring artwork.

Glynn, A. (2018, December 7). Mt Kaputar Glimpses – Giant Pink Slug Descending. Artist Anna Glynn & biologist Peter Dalmazzo [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOjPtfy0qVE

Among the most remarkable aspects about our squishy buddy with a residential dilemma is that their mucus tracks are like road maps. They have over 25000 teeth and can elongate to over 20 times their typical span.

If you’re experiencing difficulties with your vegetables, you may minimise their proliferation by plucking the oozing slugs from the stalks at night in the springtime. You can use the ash from the fire pit to serve as detergent, which will dry the slug out.

Conclusion

Pay careful attention to the garden wall the next time it rains. Keep a sharp eye out for slugs. It might be a hallmark of good prosperity or even with the slugs’ capacity to eat your beans. In any case, enormous congrats for learning so much about slugs.

Below, you can find a list of all of the references I used to get my research on slugs, including this fascinating slug PDF from Lakeside Nature Center in Kansas.

Sources of Information

Wildlife Online. (n.d.-a). Do hedgehogs eat slugs and snails? | Wildlife Online. Retrieved February 24, 2022, from https://www.wildlifeonline.me.uk/questions/answer/do-hedgehogs-eat-slugs-and-snails

Alois, R. (2021, November 20). Understanding The Spiritual Meaning of Slugs. Richardalois.Com. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://www.richardalois.com/symbolism/slug-spiritual-meaning

The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy. (n.d.). Rat Lungworm Frequently Asked Questions | The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://pharmacy.uhh.hawaii.edu/rat-lungworm-frequently-asked-questions

Global Health, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria. (2019, July 20). Angiostrongyliasis (Rat Lungworm) | Disease Outbreak Control Division. Global Health. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease_listing/rat-lungworm-angiostrongyliasis/

Aptive Environmental. (n.d.). Why Do Snails and Slugs Come Out After it Rains. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://lead.goaptive.com/blog/pest-facts/get-rid-of-snails

The Wildlife Hospital Trust. (n.d.). Hedgehog Fact Sheet | Tiggywinkles. Https://Www.Sttiggywinkles.Org.Uk. Retrieved February 24, 2022, from https://www.sttiggywinkles.org.uk/hedgehog-fact-sheet/

D. (2014a, August 15). Can Eating Slugs Hurt My Cat? Pet Bucket. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://www.petbucket.com/blog/63202/can-eating-slugs-hurt-my-cat.html

Crampton, L. (2022, January 4). Slugs: Interesting Facts, Mucus Slime, and Pest Control. Owlcation. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://owlcation.com/stem/Slugs-and-Slug-Slime

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. (n.d.). Slug Facts | All About Slugs. The RSPB. Retrieved February 25, 2022, from https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/other-garden-wildlife/insects-and-other-invertebrates/worms-slugs-spiders/slug/

4 thoughts on “Let’s Meet the Slugs in Your Backyard”

  1. Wow! I knew almost nothing about slugs. They are fascinating creatures. I’m most surprised by the amount of teeth they have. And I’m pretty sure I’ve seen one before, but I’m positive I didn’t touch it, lol. Our backyard is around four acres so I wonder how many slugs I could find. But it sounds like I would have to look at night and on the walls. 

    I did look up slugs in the Bible, and the closest I could find was in Psalm 55:8. David wishes for his enemies to be like snails that dissolve into slime.

    Thanks for teaching me all about these wet, oozy bugs. The pink one in the video was huge.

    Lynn

    Reply
    • Interesting that King David wanted his foes to become slime. I’m delighted to have received your thoughts. If you have a garden or a gap in the wall, I’m sure you’ll locate a slug. They like to hide behind old debris or near a compost heap. Make sure you’ve got a decent pair of gloves for the nighttime slug-hunting with the kids since it might be a vast experience.

      Reply
  2. I enjoyed reading about this topic since I do a lot of gardening. I have dealt with this in multiple locations. There is a lot of verbiages which is great, but need a few pictures to complement the topic. 

    I would put it in there, can lungworm be transmitted to humans? Especially since people have pets that might ingest the slug and potentially get lung work. Since you were talking about cats and hedgehogs.

    Since you have been mentioning slug slime, what is the make-up of the slime scientifically? Some may ask like I am.

    Otherwise, I thought it was well-formed.

    Reply
    • Thats such a fantastic idea for another post I’m not sure it fits right with backyard fun but I’ll figure out something . will endeavor to get more photos on my posts soon often effects loading time.

      Thank you heaps for helpful feedback

      many blessings  

      Reply

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