Slugs are a garden pest that feed on young green growth, vegetables and fruits. They are also avid scavengers, nibbling on biodegradable waste like paper, compost and bark and munching dead plant material, animals and other creatures they come across as they move around their habitat.
Unlike snails, slugs are not protected by their shell and therefore are very sensitive to heat, dryness, light and cold. Slugs hide during the day and emerge at night to search for food, shelter and water. They are very attracted to shady places that stay cool and moist, like under rocks, leaf debris, wood piles or beneath fallen trees or bushes.
Stones are an especially attractive slug haven because the space under the stone keeps cool during the day and holds moisture after it rains. Other favorite spots include berms, mulch and rock gardens, tree stumps, retaining wall soil and foundations.
Like snails, slugs leave a trail of slime to help them navigate over rough textures and surfaces. They also secrete a thick mucus which helps protect them from drying out and can act as a lubricant to help them slide over rough surfaces.
Slugs lay hundreds of eggs throughout their lifetime. Eggs are laid in the fall, overwinter underground, and hatch during the spring. Some species of slug can even "hibernate" or bury themselves during the winter but they will still need to come out and eat during the spring in order to reproduce. They are able to do this because they have been found to have the ability to remember the scent of their environment, which allows them to find their way back to their homes even after spending long periods of time away from them.