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Why does salt turn slugs inside out?

2845 day(s) ago

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Slugs are small snail-like animals in the classification of gastropods. They are actually closely related to clams and mussels. The body of a slug is largely comprised of water, and it must always stay moist. For this reason, they are common in areas with high humidity and lots of rain, such as the northwestern United States. However, slugs can be found in most other areas of the United States, also.

Slugs often stay underground during the day because the sun can quickly dry them out and kill them. If it is cool and overcast, they may come out during the day. Slugs are mostly active at night, coming up from the ground to feed on the leaves of nearby plants. Since their diet consists mostly of leaves, they are considered a pest to gardeners. A large enough group of slugs can destroy an entire garden in the span of a single night.

It is commonly known that salt is deadly to slugs. However, it does not literally turn their body inside out. The body of a slug is very permeable. It allows water and other substances to pass through it very easily. For this reason, slugs create a protective mucous that surrounds their body and holds in their moisture.

Salt is dry and is greatly absorptive. If it is put on water, the water is drawn into the salt. This is what happens when you put salt on a slug. The salt absorbs the moisture out of the slug’s body, killing it.

Most pest control products targeted at slugs work on this same property. They are substances that attract slugs and pull out their moisture. Salt is not generally used, because if salt gets in the soil, it can kill plants, and the soil must be replaced before anything else can grow there.

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