Questions From Pauline in Santa Barbara

Dear Peter and Hap,
One of my Cereus (?) like cacti is being devoured (see attached photo). We’re not sure by what – I suspect slugs but their slime trails aren’t everywhere. Neither Steve nor I have seen the perps. I did find lots of pellet-y critter poo in the tray under the pot. They are attacking mostly new growth and have taken out a lot of the apical meristems. What should I do??


Art imitating life is so last century. It’s all about life imitating art now.


It really looks like snail and slug damage. We use Sluggo with good results and without having to worry about killing pets and wildlife like most of the other Snail and Slug killers on the market. Of course you do have to reapply on schedule or they munch it again. Check the pot for hiding gastropods, they will often get down at the base and hide out during the day. You can trim out the worse damage and fertilize and it should resprout with new growth fairly quickly.

Good luck and take care,


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