Keeping Slugs Out of Your Garden

If you live where slugs are prevalent you know the destruction they can cause. They can quickly consume plants and ruin your garden. This is a guide about keeping slugs out of your garden.


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July 18, 2008 Flag

Get an easy to clean manual grinder (one used for grinding onions, etc.) (Look for at yard sales, second hand stores). Collect slugs (4-5 will do). Put in grinder top with water. Grind up. Put into bowl covered with cheesecloth. Put juice in a 2 litre pop bottle, top with water.

Use dollar store sprayer to spray the ground or poke holes in the cap and sprinkle the complete perimeter of your garden. (Wear rubber gloves to do this, you will not want this smelly solution on your hands). Repeat process after rain. Slugs (and lots of other annoying insects and animals such as flies, mosquitoes, cats and dogs hate the smell and will go elsewhere. It's inexpensive, vey effective (most importantly), and less time-consuming than going to the store for slug bait or emptying the slug traps.


I am a bit ashamed to admit I did enjoy grinding the slugs after what they did to my plants, you may experience this feeling too!

Source: I must have read this somewhere but it was so long ago that I do not know where it was. Probably a Readers Digest Problem Solver Book.

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November 11, 20160 found this helpful
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This works on any pest animals. We have squirrels around here like you would not believe because we are heavily treed and everyone has annuals and perennials in their yards all over the place. It's a playground. Not to mention slugs, and bugs. yuck. On a video called Back to Eden, the guy mentioned crows killing his chickens so he shot one and hung it on a pole, they flew away and never came back. This will work. They know death is coming, and they don't like it. If they do come, I figure they wanna go home so I happily help them home. But I'm not grinding on slugs. I just whack them up with a straight hoe into pieces, or use salt when on a brick pathway. Also they do not seem to care for wood chips. Especially ones with pine needles like Blue Spruce. Too crunchy, too prickly.

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February 15, 2014 Flag

There are a thousand different products out there that really just don't work when you live in Pacific Northwest. The best way I have found that really works to keep out slugs and snails is copper! It actually dissolves a slug like salt does, only the copper is the best way to keep the slugs and snails out of your pots and container gardens for good. No messy chemicals and no having to reapply every time it rains. Copper is completely safe around your veggies and herbs, pets, kids, and environment.

There are several very inexpensive varieties of copper tape that can be found at almost every store that carries garden supplies. Also next to this you may see tiny pieces of copper mesh. Don't bother with that since you can go to the dollar store and pick up copper pot scrubbing mesh for much less money.


  • scissors
  • a pack of copper garden tape
  • a couple packages of copper pot scrubbers (usually four to a pack from the dollar store)
  • a broom to sweep off dirt from container garden
  • paper towels/rags (to make sure the pots are dry and clean where you want to apply tape)
Related Content(article continues below)


  1. Be sure to sweep off any dirt or debris on the edge of the container. If you are slug proofing a pot, wipe it very clean with dish soap and water, then dry it completely with a rag or paper towels.
  2. If you are slug proofing a new pot or container garden just be sure there isn't any dirt where you want to stick your tape. If your garden or pot is older, be sure to really search for any slugs or snails inside the pot before planting and remove them otherwise you have just corralled the slugs right in!
  3. The tape needs to stick so it has to be a clean surface. You can attach the tape along the rim of the pot or around the lower side to make the pot look pretty. It can make even a simple plastic pot look nice while its keeping those slugs out of your plants.
  4. The tape doesn't "reposition" very well so take your time and go slowly to avoid any tangles or messes. Once you have positioned your tape you can start taking the backing off and sticking it. I only take a little off at time. If you have a big area using more than one person is best. You can also do it in smaller pieces. It doesn't have to look perfect.
  5. Think of the copper tape and copper mesh as a fence. You don't want gaps or anywhere for the slugs to cross over. I used tape on my pots and tape along the top edge of my raised garden. Each post as a copper pot scrubber just stretched out to fit the posts. The copper mesh can also be placed at the base of any plant or even a limb you don't want slugs on. It is great for keeping slugs off of tomato plants and lettuces! They will not cross copper or copper mesh.
  6. With plants, pots, and raised flowerbeds you want to be sure that no grass gets higher than the mesh. The slugs will use it as a bridge and cross over into your garden. The same goes for any plants inside of your garden that try to hang over the side towards the grass or ground. If you have a plant that needs to grow over, simply put some copper mesh over the branch. Bend the wires so it's snug but not cutting into the plant or tree. The mesh is able to stretch as your plants grow.
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June 9, 2010 Flag

To help prevent grubs and slugs from ruining your planting beds, place a few slices of cucumber in a small pie tin and place in the garden. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent.

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August 29, 2011 Flag

I found out by accident one day that slugs hate coffee. I had spilled some from my cup while working in the garden and a slug nearby reversed course and "ran" away from the coffee. So I began saving used coffee grounds and sprinkling them around my plants.

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July 12, 2011 Flag

Every year, time and energy are required to pick slugs off the broccoli and lettuces, and every year we try different things to keep those slugs away - with very limited success.

Congainers of lettuce placed on small garden table.

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June 12, 2015 Flag

Slugs in the garden may be a problem for you. If they are just fill a plastic cup with beer and put it in the ground so that the top of the cup is ground level. The slugs will be attracted and in the morning you will have a cup'o slugs.

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March 20, 2008 Flag

Having tried everything possible known to man to rid my garden of slugs, I came across an item on ebay that I thought may just work, a roll of sticky back copper tape.

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April 28, 2005 Flag

Place a piece of sandpaper around young plants to prevent snails and slugs from eating the tender leaves. The sandpaper cuts their underside if they attempt to cross.

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April 10, 2005 Flag

Here's a sunny bunch of yellow primulas to brighten your day! They are just so nice right now, while the mauve ones are getting done. For the slugs, I put crushed eggshells around.

Lovely Yellow Primula (Preventing Slugs and Sow Bugs)

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

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March 29, 2007 Flag

Slugs thrive west of the Cascades Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. Damaged plants are marked by slime trails and irregular-shaped holes with smooth edges. You can follow this link for more information on slugs.

Here are some more tips from the ThriftyFun community on slug control.

Recycle Window Screens As Slug Deterrent

Cut old metal window screens into 1x1 foot squares. Then cut a hole in the center of the square and put it on the ground around the plant. Slugs don't like to slither across window screens.

Sharp Edges Deter Slugs

You can crush up some seashells and spread them around your plants. The broken edges are very sharp and the slugs cannot crawl over them.

By Sue L.

Copper And Nasturtiums

I have had some luck with edging planters with copper strips or wrapping with copper wire. Slugs will avoid it. Also, a border planted with a natural slug deterrent, such as nasturtiums, can be beautiful and beneficial.

By Jess

Salt Around Plants, Not On Plants

Try putting crushed egg shells around your plants, and you can spinkle a little salt around the area. Don't put the salt on the plants, because it will kill them.

By elva

Prevention And Lure Techniques

Non Organic: Get pellets from any garden supply store, some may be poisonous to pets/children.

Organic: Barrier methods - sprinkle eggshells or diatomaceous earth around individual plants. The sharp edges deter/kill the slugs.

Lure And Kill Methods: Bury a small margarine container so the rim is level with the soil surface, put an inch of beer in the bottom. Slugs will be attracted by the beer and fall in and drown. Lay thick slabs, (10 - 20 pages), of wet newspaper out in the garden beds at night. In the morning when they've finished munching, they will withdraw to the dark dampness under the paper. Collect by hand or stamp on them in heavy boots, the added satisfaction of revenge! Put a bounty on their heads and send the neighbourhood kids out just after nightfall to collect them for cash.

By Jo

Ammonia Slug Control

This is for slug control. I mix Sudsy Ammonia with water, half and half (they really won't crawl away from this mixture!), or a little more water and put it in a spray bottle. You can spray this solution right onto the flowers and plants and it doesn't hurt them. That way you get all the baby slugs that the mother has lovingly placed to feed on the tender parts! It works great! Happy slugging! By Betty

Feel free to post your ideas for slug control below.

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March 30, 20070 found this helpful

WE have a sweetgum ball tree and I keep some of the sweetgum balls and put them gently under my hosta plants and other plants the slugs seem to love. They will not crawl across the spiney sweetgum balls as it will cut up their bodys.Over a perid of timethe sweetgum balls dry out and make good mulch in the garden. Works well for me. Hope it works well for you. Connie in Ballwin, Mo

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April 2, 20070 found this helpful

I have tried the beer trick and it really works! But don't forget to empty the bowl daily or it really stinks of dead slugs!

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July 18, 20100 found this helpful

Where do i find the sweet gum balls? Sounds like people have them that want to get rid of them and I am not sure what they look like. Just need some for my hostas.

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July 27, 2013 Flag

I love the idea of getting rid of slugs with cucumbers in a pie "tin". My question is can you use the disposable foil tins or do they need to be the real thing?

By G G from Philadelphia, PA

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Home and Garden Pest Control Slugs and SnailsJuly 12, 2011
Keeping Slugs Off Hostas
Keeping Slugs Off Hostas
Slug on a Leaf
Getting Rid of Slugs
Raccoon sitting in the garden near a flower pot.
Keeping Raccoons Out of Your Garden
Beer in the Garden
Using Beer in the Garden
St. Patrick's Ideas!
Valentine's Ideas!
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