For Growers

Vector Control

It is vitally important to regularly control rats and slugs even if you do not grow food in your yard. The vectors of the disease travel from one property to another. If you’re growing lettuce, leafy greens like kale or cabbage, and produce that is eaten raw, adopt these precautions and routines to prevent rat lungworm disease.

Infected rats pass larvae of the parasite in their feces. Snails and slugs get infected by ingesting the larvae.

Humans can then become infected by ingesting snails and slugs.

(You cannot contract this disease by coming in contact with rats or rat feces.)

Generally slugs are active by night and hide in cool, damp, dark places by day. The semi-slug is often found inside the leaves of plants like taro, bananas and heliconias just above where the water collects. The cuban slug is usually found on the ground in dark, moist places, under rocks, planter pots or black plastic.

Remove likely slug habitat near growing areas, and keep a buffer zone clear around gardens.

Routinely hunt slugs at night or in the early morning, especially during damp weather, using gloves or tongs. This can greatly decrease slug populations around your home and garden.

Vector Control Kits

We recommend placing slugs and snails into a ‘slug jug’ with salt water in a widemouth plastic bottle with secure lid, kept on hand in the garden. This kills the slugs and parasites, and it can be put in the trash when full. Apply safe, nontoxic slug and snail bait products (iron phosphate) around food-growing areas. Slug traps can be made with beer. Always exercise caution and wear appropriate safety gear when mowing and weed-whacking your property.

The East Maui RLW Task Force through the HFUU provides kits with supplies and tools, methods and instructions to East Maui residents, so that every ‘ohana can participate! Kits include: 

  • Rat Traps (different types)
  • Organic Slug Bait
  • Salt
  • Tongs
  • Gloves
  • Slug Disposal Bottle
  • Survey Checklist
  • Our Support and Follow-up 

Contact us to get a Vector Control Kit: