How do I stop slugs and snails eating my plants? (Hint

Eliminate slugs (and snails) with out the usage of pesticides that hurt helpful creatures and pollute our waterways

By Melissa Breyer Melissa Breyer Twitter Editorial Director Hunter Faculty F.I.T., State College of New York Cornell College Melissa Breyer is Treehugger’s editorial director. She is a sustainability professional and writer whose work has been revealed by the New York Instances and Nationwide Geographic, amongst others. Study our editorial course of Up to date April 1, 2022


2. Cease utilizing pesticides in your garden

Firefly larvae are one of the vital prevalent predators of newly hatched slugs, and placing artificial pesticides in your garden doesn’t simply kill the “unhealthy” bugs, it additionally kills helpful bugs, similar to fireflies, that reside within the garden and aid you management pests like slugs. As a substitute, swap to organic lawn care techniques and let these good bugs aid you management slugs naturally.

4. Make use of Grapefruit Halves

After consuming grapefruit halves, place the empty peels, open aspect down, close to crops that the slugs are drawn to. Slugs and different pest associates will take cowl within the fruity domes and within the morning, voila. If you wish to feed the birds, you’ll be able to provide them a slug breakfast in a citrus bowl.

13. Bait snails and slugs with beer

That is one other deadly possibility and may solely be used in case your aim is to kill the snails. Place a shallow dish or pan of beer in your backyard. The snails and slugs will probably be attracted by the yeast and can crawl into the beer the place they are going to drown and die. Once more, this kills the snails as a substitute of simply warding them off, so that you would possibly wish to attempt among the different choices first.

3. Water your backyard within the morning

We all know that snails do most of their backyard destruction at night time. We additionally know that snails have extra problem getting round on dry soil than they do on moist soil. So, if we put these two items of information collectively, we’ve got one other approach to preserve snails and slugs out of your backyard: watering early within the morning. This provides the highest layer of soil extra time to dry out earlier than dusk, which makes it harder for snails and slugs to get to your crops.

6. Arrange a slug fence

Imagine it or not, you may make an electrical fence for slugs. Yep, that’s proper. Here are plans to make a tiny electric slug fence to position round raised beds and shield the crops from slugs. It runs on a 9 volt battery and zaps the slugs after they are available contact with the fence. It gained’t harm people or pets and is a good way to guard a raised mattress or different small backyard.

2. Crack Open a Chilly One

Slugs like beer as a lot as they just like the leafy greens of your backyard crops. Crack open a beer and pour it into a couple of margarine tubs, then distribute the containers in numerous locations across the yard, burying them in order that about an inch stays above floor. The slugs will probably be drawn to the scent, crawl into the tubs, and drown in a single day. Get rid of the containers the following morning in your trash or compost bin.

How To Forestall Slugs In Your Backyard

As soon as you determine the strategies that work the very best to do away with slugs in your backyard, you’ll wish to preserve them from coming again. Listed below are a couple of fast slug prevention ideas…

  • Clearing your backyard of lifeless plant supplies and particles within the fall may also help to stop slugs from overwintering there.
  • If in case you have a compost bin, be sure you flip it typically to stop slugs from feeding, hiding, and mating in there.
  • Strive utilizing a natural slug repellent made out of wool. Slugs don’t like the sensation of it, so it would preserve slugs off crops.
  • Slugs desire areas coated with heavy mulches. So attempt utilizing a light-weight mulch within the slug-infested areas of your backyard as a substitute.
  • Tilling or turning the soil within the fall will assist to show or kill slugs and their eggs.
Slugs eating green bean leaves

Slugs consuming inexperienced bean leaves

Disrupt and Displace

A superb place to begin in your slug and snail administration program is to disrupt and take away their daytime hidey-holes, to the best extent that you simply’re in a position to.

Most popular hangouts could be a tall stand of weeds or the underside of absolutely anything on or near the bottom – significantly in moist, shady areas.

Beneath boards, backyard decor, planters, ledges, decks, low-growing branches, pot rims, particles, and protecting floor covers are all prime actual property for gastropods.

To disrupt their setting, undercut low branches, burn weeds with a weed torch or trim weeds near the bottom, and take away any pointless materials they will disguise beneath.

Clearly, some areas like rock partitions, decks, meter packing containers, everlasting bird feeders, and so forth can’t be eliminated – however these spots make good areas to bait and entice.


Gastropods have delicate tummy tissue, and any sharp supplies will irritate and doubtlessly minimize their tender undersides.

For an additional layer of protection, construct a small berm a minimum of three inches extensive with wonderful stone chips, crushed egg shells, diatomaceous earth (DE), or crushed oyster and clam shells.

Diatomaceous earth is derived from silicon dioxide and has sharp, abrasive edges. However it should stay dry to discourage gliding gastropods.

Use meals grade DE, not the fabric utilized in aquariums (which has smoother edges), and comply with directions when making use of.

What Does Slug Harm Look Like?

Slug harm to crops seems to be like irregular formed holes, or ragged edges on the leaves. At their worst, slugs can devour mature crops all the best way right down to nubs.

They’ll additionally eat vegatables and fruits which can be nonetheless on the crops. That harm seems to be like completely rounded holes, nearly like somebody used a mini-melon baller on them.

As for small crops and seedlings… effectively, these will be eaten right down to only a stem, or disappear fully in a single day. Grr!

Slug damage on leaves of my hostas

Slug harm on leaves of my hostas

Are slugs helpful for something?

It might sound tempting to napalm the slug inhabitants after they’ve eaten your strawberries, however slugs aren’t all unhealthy! The truth is, a wholesome (however effectively managed!) slug inhabitants is sweet for the backyard. Slugs break down backyard particles and switch it into nitrogen-rich fertilizer that enhances soil vitamin (much like worm composting). In addition they are a pure meals supply for a lot of helpful bugs, birds, frogs, snakes, and toads.

4 Low-cost Methods to Naturally Get Rid of Slugs

Okay, you tried preventative strategies, and now you’re able to do away with slugs in your backyard with out the usage of artificial pesticides. Excellent news! There are a ton of how to make use of traps and baits to scale back the slug inhabitants in your backyard.

Manually Eradicating Slugs

As we’ve already talked about, slugs aren’t all unhealthy! If in case you have a small infestation, simply head out after nightfall with a headlamp and choose these suckers off your crops. Drop them right into a bucket of soapy water to kill them instantly, or transfer them to an space the place birds and snakes can eat them—and the circle of life continues!

Plant Entice Crops

Planting entice crops is definitely our favourite approach to do away with slugs and plenty of different frequent backyard pests. The gist is that this: plant a crop that the slugs REALLY like to get pleasure from, they select that plant from the backyard buffet, after which you’ll be able to sacrifice these crops and focus your slug removing strategies there.

Generally, slugs wish to eat the tender leaves and shoots of recent seedlings, however some crops are irresistible to slugs at any stage of development. Slugs completely like to eat marigolds and basil. A sturdy border of both (or each) round your backyard can go a great distance to attract out slugs out of your tender seedlings.

Beer Traps to Bait Slugs

Beer Traps to Bait Slugs

The commonest piece of recommendation you’ll get when coping with slugs is to place out beer traps. Beer traps are simple and low cost to make, and the traps work effectively as a result of slugs are drawn to the scent of the yeast within the beer. Nevertheless, we don’t suggest them as a primary line of protection. These traps do drown and kill slugs, however they ceaselessly additionally kill helpful bugs, so we suggest solely going this route in case you are coping with an awesome infestation.

To make a beer entice, merely take a clear, shallow container (a cleaned-out tuna can, small yogurt container, or butter tub all work very well), and bury it within the floor with about an inch sticking up out of the soil. Fill the can with beer—any beer works, however slugs have a tendency to actually just like the yeasty scent of darker beers—after which await the slugs to crawl in and meet their demise.

Growfully Protip

Empty and refill your beer traps usually. Slugs aren’t as drawn to stale beer as they’re freshly-poured.

For beer traps to achieve success, it’s essential place them about each 3 ft—which may grow to be fairly pricey and labor-intensive for bigger rising areas.

Grapefruit Traps to Get Rid of Slugs

Grapefruit (and different citrus fruit) traps are reside traps which can be much less lethal to helpful bugs than beer traps. Get pleasure from your self a half of a grapefruit—scooping out the flesh inside. Then place the empty grapefruit half the other way up in your backyard. In a single day, slugs will probably be drawn to the candy scent and take cowl in these citrus domes, and within the morning, you’ll be able to take away the grapefruit half, take it distant from the backyard, and feed the birds!

Growfully Protip

Half a hollowed-out cantaloupe and an orange rind additionally work effectively for the grapefruit entice technique. Some people additionally use upside-down flowerpots or bowls to realize an identical entice.

5. Gather a Search Party

5. Collect a Search Get together

In the event you’re feeling significantly vengeful, collect your salt shaker and a flashlight, and enterprise out at night time for some actual slug searching. Sprinkle a little salt on each slug you see; it would draw the water out of it’s watery physique, inflicting the creature to dry up. It appears grotesque, however this answer is very efficient. Simply be cautious when shelling out salt, as an abundance of the seasoning can hurt your crops and soil.

For probably the most half, slugs thrive in extremely moist environments. Top-of-the-line preventative measures you’ll be able to take is to verify your backyard doesn’t keep overly moist. Hold crops spaced aside in order that air can flow into between them, and water early within the day so additional moisture has time to evaporate earlier than dusk when the slugs come out to feast.

For one more inventive approach to do away with slugs, attempt utilizing Coca-Cola! Watch our video under to be taught extra.



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