The Schundler Company

150 Whitman Avenue
Edison, New Jersey 08817


a report on a study by
Lex Buford
Portland, Oregon

Garden slugs have damaged many gardens for years and years. Lex Buford did some test in Portland, Oregon to see if perlite would work to deter slugs safely and effectively. It did! And so here's his report:

Slug Deterrence Tests
Conducted by Lex Buford
Summer 2001

Mr. Buford owns property that abuts City of Portlandís Forest Park, the largest wilderness park within the city limits of a US city.

Mr. Buford is a former US Forest Service biologist and is knowledgeable about flora and fauna surrounding his property. Due to the amount of forest cover and vegetation, there is a heavy slug presence in and around Mr. Bufordís property. Mr. Buford gardens extensively, growing many of his familyís vegetables and ornamental flowers. He composts, uses organic growing methods and controls all products used on his property. especially commercial fertilizers and pesticides.

Goal: To determine if perlite is a slug deterrent to plant material.

Experiment: Two distinct garden areas were set up to observe slug damage that occurs routinely during the gardening season.

  1. Vegetable Garden: Tilled in composted wood chips and perlite into large planting area so that soil approximated 1/3:1/3:1/3. perlite:woodchips:soil. Area planted with spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, squash and corn.

    Garden was raked and "washed" to insure that perlite particles were present on the soilís surface.

  2. Flower Garden: Area was top dressed with perlite after planting with hostas, dahlias, spiderwort, cannas. red-hot pokers, tulips and gladiolas.

    Plants emerged through the perlite. which remained on the gardenís surface. during growth.

Observation: With perlite used either as a top dressing or soil amendment, little slug damage occurred to either garden. Under normal circumstances, the plantings suffer seasonal slug damage without some sort of control. The vegetables and ornamental flowers are favorite slug foods. No chemical controls were used to protect plantings.

Slugs were present in areas around the gardens but did little damage to plantings in either garden. The slugs stopped before entering the gardens and did not slime over the perlite to access plants. It appears that slugs were adversely affected by perlite. which proved to be an effective slug deterrent in the garden.

If you want more information about this article or the use of perlite to prevent slug damage, contact Supreme Perlite Company in Portland, Oregon

If you need any more information or think we can help in any way, please call us or contact us at:

The Schundler Company

150 Whitman Avenue
Edison, New Jersey 08817
732-287-2244 or

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