Results from Ohio Survey of Slug/Vole injury to Field Crops 2017-2018

We have heard varying reports of crop injury including replanting, treatment with control products or tillage from slugs and vole in corn and soybeans across the state. To get a better feel for where and under what conditions these two pests have been active in 2017 and 2018, a short six questions survey was made available in August of 2018 on the Crop Observation and Recommendation Network website. Responses were received from 39 farmers and 8 professionals who represented 32 counties. 

Slug injury was reported affecting 12,367 acres in 2017 and 1,606 acres in 2018. Voles were reported affecting 4,142 acres in 2017 and 3,315 in 2018. One professional reported 10,000 acres for 2017 and 20,000 in 2018 for both slugs and voles. The type of management approach was more aggressive for slugs than voles. Table one highlights management response differences.

Table 1. Responses to question: “What management approach did you take for voles and slugs in 2017 and 2018?”

Choices (participants could select multiple responses)



Identified the problem, no further steps were taken



Plant populations were reduced and I replanted the area



A product was applied for control



Tillage followed by replanting






An open ended question to describe the field’s situation where the issue was most prevalent was answered by most respondents. For slugs, common words were heavy residue, saturated conditions, and cover crops, with the most injury occurring on soybeans. For voles, injury generally occurred in early planted soybeans with cover crops (with cereal rye mentioned most often) and no-till.

We will do follow-up on monitoring and other recommendations for these pests in future articles.


Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.