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These reptiles do great damage in fields and gardens, especially to crops of lettuces, cabbages, or turnips. Their track is perceived by the shining and slimy substance which they leave behind them. There are several kinds of these little animals. The white and brown leathery kind often even destroy the strong stems of young cabbage, and other similar plants. The destruction of them has been suggested to be effected by the use of tar-water, sprinkled over the ground; and also by having recourse to lime, in the preparation of the land for such crops.

They conceal themselves in the holes and crevices, only making their appearance early in mornings and late in the evenings. The white slug or snail is likewise very destructive to young turnip crops, by rising out of the holes of the soils, on wet and dewy mornings and evenings. Rolling the ground with a heavy implement, before the sun rises, has been advised as a means of destroying them in these cases. Slugs of this sort are likewise very destructive, in some districts, to the roots of corn crops, during the day-time, in the early spring months, while they lie concealed in the ground, by eating and devouring them; and by coming out in the evenings, and during the night-time, to commit ravages on the blades, and other parts above the ground. Numbers of them are sometimes met with upon the same plant, and they may easily be extirpated and removed from the land by the above practice, while they are at work, especially in moon-light seasons, and any further injury to the crops be guarded against. Warm moist weather is always a great encouragement to their coming out of their hiding-places; and advantage should constantly be taken of it for their extermination, as they suddenly retire under ground during the time of cold. The strong lands of other places are occasionally much infested with them in the pea, bean, and rye crops and stubbles, as well as clover roots, when a wheat crop is put in upon them. The slugs, in some cases, are of about half an inch in length, having their backs of a blueish cast in the skin part, and their under parts wholly of a white appearance. A mixture of sulphur and lime, made so as to be conveniently applied, has been found to be highly destructive of them in general.

The use of lime-water has lately been advised as an excellent and cheap mode of destroying slugs in gardens, as well as fields, in the second volume of the Transactions of the Horticultural Society of London. It is found to be far preferable, in this intention, to quicklime, which is liable to become too soon saturated with moisture, and rendered ineffectual. The manner of employing the water is after it has been newly made from stone lime, by means of hot water poured upon it, to pour it through the fine rose of a watering-pot over the slugs, which have been collected by means of pea-haulm, or some other similar substance, laid down on the ground in portions, at the distance of about a pole from each other. In proper weather, the slugs soon collect in this way, in great numbers, for shelter as well as to get food. When a boy takes up the substance, and by a gentle shake leaves the whole of the slugs on the ground, another person then pours a small quantity of lime-water on them, and the boy removes the haulmy material to some intermediate place, in order that the same practice may be repeated. By persevering in this method for a little while, the whole of the slugs may be destroyed, as the least drop of the water speedily kills them. This practice, it is supposed, will be found highly beneficial in the flower-garden, as by watering the edgings of box, thrift, or other kinds, the slugs will be killed with certainty, even when the weather is moist. The application is considered simple, the effect certain, and the expence trifling, whether in the garden or the field; a few pots only being required, in the latter case, to the acre, which can be made with a very small quantity of lime. And the labour is not of any material consequence, so that the whole charge will not, it is imagined, exceed five shillings the acre.

To prevent slugs from getting into fruit trees. If the trees are standards, tie a coarse horse-hair rope about them, two or three feet from the ground. If they are against the wall, nail a narrow slip of coarse horse-hair cloth against the wall, about half a foot from the ground, and they will never get over it, for if they attempt it, it will kill them, as their bellies are soft, and the horse-hair will wound them.