You should not eat lettuce that has had slugs on it.
There have been many scientific reports spreading over the years and across the world. These studies have concluded that slugs may be carrying hundreds of parasites from a myriad of sources.
Another concern is any contact a slug may have with rodent feces. Rodents such as mice drop feces continually during their activity.
Parasite larvae exist in the feces and therefore when a slug ingests or merely comes across the feces, the parasite larvae may pass into the slug and be passed on to whatever the slug touches.
This being said, eating lettuce with trace amounts of parasites, germs, and bacteria could lead to:
- Angiostrongyliasis—a condition caused by parasites. It may affect the function of the brain and can cause the body to shut down.
- Eosinphlilic meningitis—Inflammation of the brain lining, potentially leading to loss of limb functions and swelling of parts of the brain.
Are slugs harmful to humans?
Slugs are harmful to human health when consumed. Nevertheless, slugs are friendly and are not aggressive, except maybe to your garden.
Slugs are known to be nocturnal. This being the case, it is hard to find them during the day.
However, on damp, cold days, they tend to be above ground and visible to all because they enjoy soaking up the moisture and drinking the water off plants.
When attempting to look for slugs, there are some common places they can be found, whether you are looking for them as pets, for kids, or in an attempt to get rid of them, here are the most common settings:
- Marshes; around and in ponds.
- Under outdoor flooring such as wood.
- Hidden underground in the dirt.
- Common garden supplies such as a watering can or under a hose.
- And the most common place, in gardens near the fruits and vegetables!
Do slugs eat lettuce?
In short, slugs eat lettuce.
Slugs are part of the gastropod family which means they are classified along with snails and whelk. Their tongues are similar to humans but have rows and rows of minuscule teeth.
Although these creatures are tiny, they are able to use their mouths to chomp through most types of vegetables, including lettuce!
This can be difficult to deal with as they are tough to spot and have the ability to hide deep underground in damp, moist spaces.
Slugs are herbivores, they are always scrounging for those fresh veggies. You can detect their presence by small and irregular holes showing up in your lettuce!
How to clean slugs off lettuce
When growing a garden or even buying lettuce at the supermarket, it is crucial to eat and cook with only the freshest ingredients.
Cleaning your fruits and vegetables is vital and necessary for proper health and reducing the chances of illness and disease.
Cleaning lettuce from the garden
Lettuce requires proper upkeep, maintenance, and care. When growing lettuce in your garden, slugs may derail the idea of using them to cook with and eat.
This may make you reluctant in wanting to start the process but here is a good way to clean them off for fresh-tasting lettuce!
Start by filling a large bowl with all the lettuce desired. Letting it sit for around 30 minutes to an hour, Stir it at the beginning and end of the time interval to help let loose dirt off and any residue from a slug.
Once the lettuce is cleaned, make sure it is dry and enjoy!
Tips to prevent slugs on your lettuce
The techniques above are natural, however, there are several different products that may have similar results but have the potential to contain harmful chemicals.
Some chemicals can lead to a decrease in growth, and may lead to illness when consuming lettuce with the residue of that product.
Nevertheless, it all depends on preference. Below are some tips to prevent and keep slugs from your garden. Enjoy!
Setting traps with anything from store-bought products to sprinkling salt.
Growing produce in a well-insulated area such as indoors of a house or even a greenhouse.
Spreading crushed up eggshells around the area. Eggshells are a natural repellent to slugs and will make them leave your product alone.
The sharp-edged points of these shells are also known to have an effect of cutting and therefore scaring the slug(s) into leaving.
Given this information, it is important to know that rain will decrease the effectiveness of this method because it will dampen the shells, making them less sharp and effective against the slugs.