How to Get Rid of Slugs from Your House

Keep Slugs and Snails Out of the House

Slugs are slimy creatures that eat plants, and they love dampness and darkness. They can ruin a garden, especially a vegetable garden, in only a few nights if left to their own devices. They seem particularly fond of bedding plants, which are low to the soil. Not only can you find them in the garden, but you can also find them inside your house—which is a really horrible thought.

It is nonetheless true, and when it happens, it can be quite a serious problem. There are many home remedies to get rid of slugs in your house; some of these work and some don't, and we shall cover that as well. I'll share some good tips for getting rid of slugs in your home and keeping them out of your yard and walls.


6. Put Used Coffee Grounds to Work

Unlike some of us, slugs really do not like the smell of ground coffee. Can you imagine? Scatter it around plants they flock to; use it alone or mixed with the eggshells. Coffee grounds will also decompose and make your plants happy.


What do slugs do and why getting rid of slugs, anyway?

Garden snails and slugs, just like other pests, come to the garden primarily in search for food. Finding shelter on hot sunny days is their additional motivation.

But do you really have to wonder how to get rid of snails as soon as you spot them? As for snails without shell, that is – slugs, it is recommended to act immediately. They are quite unique pests and their presence in the garden doesn’t bode well at all. Nonetheless, if you notice garden snails, you can hold for a while and observe their behaviour. Sometimes snails don’t prey on healthy plants and eat just scraps or naturally dying elements.

Interestingly enough, some snails can positively affect garden crops. They might eat weeds and their seeds. In this case, finding a way to kill snails is unnecessary.

Getting rid of slugs in the garden – use baking soda!

You probably use baking soda in your kitchen regularly – but it has many more uses. You can clean a washing machine, descale a kettle or brighten curtains with it. It can also help you in the garden as a slug repellent.

Are you wondering whether using baking soda to get rid of snails is difficult? Some claim it’s the most effective method of getting rid of slugs. All you have to do is pour it in whatever spots you want to protect against the pests. Soda creates a barrier that repels slugs and snails – they are not able to cross it, so they give up and leave your garden.

Why Do They Come In?

Slugs invade homes for a number of reasons, but usually because there’s something good that they want inside.

  • Slug love dark places, and they enter homes at night because they’re dark and very inviting. 
  • They also come in because houses have moisture problems – slugs love moist environments! Moisture in the home is usually caused by a damp problem and can be sorted out. 
  • In the night houses can be quite cool, which is a really welcoming environment for slugs.  
  • One of the biggest reasons they come in is because food has been left out – this includes pet food and human food in some cases. 

It’s worth noting that slugs usually target older homes because they have more holes and dampness in them. But this doesn’t mean that they won’t enter new builds.    

1. Allow Natural Predators to Thrive

Since invasive species are not fun, we should all be wary of introducing new kinds of creatures to an ecosystem unless they are native and would be there anyway. That said, you can encourage native slug-hungry predators to inhabit your garden. For example, birds love slugs, so you could install a bird bath. Who else likes slugs? Ducks, chickens, nematodes, frogs, salamanders, newts, toads, snakes, turtles, hedgehogs, shrews, praying mantises, ground beetles, rove beetles, and fireflies, for starters.

4. Construct a Fruity Trap

Next time you snack on a citrus fruit like grapefruit or orange, unpeel the rind carefully so you can keep one bowl-shaped half in tact. Poke a hole that’s large enough for a slug to fit through, and then sit the fruit upside down like a dome in your garden. The sweet scent will lure slugs in, distracting them from their usual meal: your plants. If a predator doesn’t get to them first, collect the fruit scraps the next morning and kill any live slugs by dumping them into a container of soapy water.

How to Use Copper Tape

If you found a slug in your house, the best first step is to prevent them from getting inside in the future. A great way to do this is to use copper tape.

There are a number of them on the market, and as an avid gardener, I have tried a number of them. I like using the tape because I found it worked best.

  • The tape is just slightly wider than an inch, flexible enough to bend and adjust to shapes and corners, and is easy to attach. It works great for wrapping around flower pots and tubs.
  • It uses an organic solution that doesn't actually kill the slugs. It simply stops them in their tracks and sends them off in a different direction.
  • It is also harmless to wildlife, family pets, and children. That makes it different from slug killers such as pellets.

I've used this tape a lot around the back and front doors as well as certain areas of my garden. It works really well, is easy to fix, and lasts for around three years before it needs replacing. Always wear gloves when putting this on, as the metal edging is very sharp and will cut you.

The tape is a cheap and easy method to end your problem. The main drawback of using this is that you do need something to attach it to, and in certain circumstances, it can be very difficult to keep it on.


A slug, or a family of slugs, in your home is horrendous! But, as bad as it may seem, if you deal with the problem quickly and appropriately you can eradicate the slugs from your home. 

It’s likely that the solutions above will take time to work, and not every solution will work for everyone, but it is possible to rid your home of slugs! 

Got your own story to share? Let us know in the comments below! 

Bethan Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!

Are slugs useful for anything?

It might seem tempting to napalm the slug population after they’ve eaten your strawberries, but slugs aren’t all bad! In fact, a healthy (but well managed!) slug population is good for the garden. Slugs break down garden debris and turn it into nitrogen-rich fertilizer that enhances soil nutrition (similar to worm composting). They also are a natural food source for many beneficial insects, birds, frogs, snakes, and toads.

2. Crack Open a Cold One

Slugs like beer as much as they like the leafy greens of your garden plants. Crack open a beer and pour it into a few margarine tubs, then distribute the containers in various places around the yard, burying them so that about an inch remains above ground. The slugs will be attracted to the scent, crawl into the tubs, and drown overnight. Dispose of the containers the next morning in your trash or compost bin.

What about organic pesticide methods to get rid of slugs (like Sluggo)?

If these methods don’t work for you, the next line of defense would be to look into natural and organic pesticides for tackling slugs. Sluggo by Monterey is a common organic pesticide for slugs and snails made from iron phosphate. It works by disturbing the gut of the slugs after they ingest it, and then they stop eating and eventually die a few days later.

While iron phosphate is definitely an option if you are dealing with a very heavy, very destructive slug infestation, we recommend you try other options first if you are dealing with a minor or moderate infestation. While iron phosphate is generally accepted as safe, it is attractive to pets and birds and has been known to be toxic to some dogs. Use it with caution around pets and children.

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