Slugs In Garden? How To Get Rid Of Slugs, Snails NATURALLY

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Have you ever asked yourself “How To Get Rid of Slugs in Your Garden“?

When planting a garden, slug menace and snails seem to show up in many gardens.

snails eating hosta leaves, slugs seeking foodPin

Small in size compared to other “garden pests” slugs and snails can cause lots of damage to your plants and garden.

Getting rid of slugs can be a challenge. Most garden owners use commercial slug pellets.

Going that route is not the best idea. For starters, when rains arrive the commercial slug bait becomes less effective.

You cannot take advantage of this product at a time when a garden is bound to have the snails and slugs active and feeding.

The other downside is that these commercial slug control products are toxic. Hence, they can harm the different wildlife and birds typically found in a garden.

A brown snail on a green cabbage leaf with visible bite marks, surrounded by foliage.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @lovethegarden_au

Throw in the desire to grow organically, and you eliminate some of the slug control options right away.

There are many non-toxic natural ways by which you can get rid of slugs in your garden. Our favorite is using diatomaceous earth for controlling snails and slugs in the garden.

Read on, and you’ll find 9+ all-natural ways to battle slugs and slimy snails in the garden. Check them out below.

How To Get Rid Of Slugs In The Garden

Change Your Watering Schedule

The snail and slug are known to be active at night and comfortable in wet conditions.

Close-up of several slugs on a cracked, dry surface, with some white slug eggs visible.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @sandrabouguerch

Making simple adjustments to your watering schedule can effectively reduce slug damage in your garden.

So, if you have slug problems and you water in the evening, switch the water schedule. Water in the morning instead, as plants and the ground will have ample time to dry up before nightfall.

Use Diatomaceous Earth For Slugs

Commonly known as insect dust, one of the many uses of Diatomaceous Earth is for controlling slugs.

DE the remains of skeletal microscopic creatures. It’s sharp and jagged, scratching soft-bodied pests such as slugs, leading to their dehydration.

Close-up of a snail with a brown shell crawling on the ground.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @utsavseries0.0

Apply Diatomaceous Earth as a powder, sprinkled around plants and garden beds. It can also be mixed with water and applied from a spray bottle.

Getting rid of the snail population begins with getting rid of the Snail Eggs, learn how.

Use Seaweed As A Soil Amendment

Get your hands on some seaweed. Besides being an excellent natural slug repellent, it also happens to be a good soil amendment to keep slugs at bay.

Garden slugs don’t like seaweed because it is salty, and slugs hate salty stuff.

You need to mulch it around the perimeter of the bed or base of the plant. Pile the seaweed about 3” to 4” inches thick. When mulching, keep seaweed away from plant stems.

Use of Copper Tape Strips

With the help of a non-toxic Slug Shield (copper-based), you can effectively keep away slugs.

This metallic mesh can be wrapped around the flower pots or placed in the soil on the edge to make a barrier/fence-like construction.

  • Cut 2 inches of copper and attach it around the lower part of the flower pot.
  • Copper strip barriers will be effective around the wood barrels utilized as planters.

Slug shields are not only weather-proof, non-toxic, metallic, and reusable, but they also happen to be quite long-lasting.

But why the mesh is made with copper? Well, a slug will get a mild shock (electric-like shock) when it comes in contact with copper. Hence, the product is made with copper only.

Add Coffee Grounds To Soil

According to a study in June 2002 in the journal Nature stated:

“We have discovered that solutions of caffeine are effective in killing slugs or repelling slugs and snails when applied to foliage or the growing medium of plants.”

They discovered that slugs die when sprayed with a caffeine solution. The study also suggested spraying the caffeine solution on the plants to ensure slugs do not eat them.

Note: The caffeine required to kill off the slugs is at a higher percentage than what it is in a normal cup of coffee. The rate is based on a natural caffeine-based commercial spray. The caffeine percentage required is a solution of 1-2%.

You can protect the plants in your garden to some extent with regular coffee grinds. Sprinkle a very small amount of used coffee grinds on top of the soil to ensure slugs can’t come in contact with the plants.

Install An Electronic Slug Fence

An electronic slug fence is a safe, non-toxic method for slug and snail control. The fence is twenty-four-foot-long, with a 5-inch ribbon-like barrier “powered” by a 9-volt battery.

When slugs or snails touch the fence, they get a mild electronic shock. It will not kill the slugs, it only makes them look for somewhere else to forage.

The “slug fence” will not harm other animals. So, your pet, birds, and different wildlife will be safe from the fence.

Give Them Some Stale Beer

Beer traps are a popular option. Both snails and slugs love beer! Take a wide, shallow jar and put in a little stale beer. Bury the jar in the soil to the neck level.

Prop up the lid using a small stick or stone to avoid rain diluting the beer. Leave enough space for the snails and slugs to enter the trap.

When the slugs crawl inside the jar for beer, they drown, thus ending your slug problem.

A large spotted slug with raised tentacles on a dark surface.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @cropswapaustralia

Setting A Trap With Black Plastic, Grapefruit and Overturned Flowerpot

When it comes to a natural method of slug control, you can get rid of lots of slugs at the same time by capturing them via a trap.

Consider overturning a flowerpot and/or keeping grapefruit halves near the plants the slugs attack the most.

This kind of trap will lure in many slugs, which you can get rid of all at once with the help of an organic slug killer.

Besides these, if you keep black plastic or a wood board near the plant at night, in the morning, you will see slugs taking shelter in their “hiding places” for the day. You can also use this opportunity to kill them.

Slug Repellents Made With Garlic

Several brands, like ECOspray Ltd. and others, are introducing effective natural garlic-based slug repellents.

More and more studies and test results are showing that highly refined garlic products can kill slugs. [source]

snail looking for lunch – viktor2013 | DepositPhotos

Lava rock

Barriers made with lava rock make it difficult for the slug to get to the plants. Like DE, the insect dust, it happens to have an abrasive surface.

How To Get Rid Of Slugs Using Crushed Eggshells Around Plants

Crushing eggshells and sprinkling them around plants works sort of like diatomaceous earth. Eggshells also work as a soil amendment when they decompose.

NOTE: There are also natural predators or beneficial insects, such as most species of ground beetles that prey on slugs, cutworms, and snails.

Pick Them Off By Hand

Overturn a flower pot and prop up the rim with a stone. Leave overnight, slugs will crawl under it and you can easily pick them off and dispose of them.

A person holds a blue cup filled with slimy brown and orange slugs against a grassy background.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @pnw_heirloom_seed

Grapefruit halves, as mentioned above, work in a similar way and have the advantage of the good smell of fruits acting as bait.

Setting a wide board on the ground in affected areas is also a simple method. The slugs will crawl under the board.

Give Slugs A Dash Of Salt!

Visit your garden at night with a flashlight and salt shaker. Look for plant damage by inspecting the leaves, even on the underside.

Sprinkle a little salt on the slugs and watch them die! This is the last resort and not particularly pleasant. Don’t use too much salt, and it can hurt the soil.

Commercial Snail and Slug Baits

Commercial baits are made with two different formulations: Ferric Sodium and Ferric Phosphate.

slug feeding with slug pellets on body Pin
Blue slug bait or pellets to deter slugs – ginasanders | DepositPhotos

Ferric Phosphate happens to be non-toxic in nature and effectively reduces slug problems.

Ferric Sodium is toxic in nature and is effective in getting rid of slugs. However, when using commercial baits for slugs, select products that contain a Ferric Phosphate formulation.

Note: Use this product somewhere near the plants and not directly on it or on the bed.

This product takes time to kill slugs, meaning a slug can damage the plant to some extent before dying.

But, if they come in contact with this product before reaching the plant, then they will die on the way only.

So, there you have it, some of the most effective natural garden slug control materials and methods. Try these methods to effectively remove slugs from your garden.

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