Using Copper for Slug and Snail Control

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.



  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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February 26, 20141 found this helpful

Thank you for this info, snail destroy my garden last summer. The only thing they did not eat was the rosemary and mints, but after they ate everything else look like they was starting on the mints.

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May 29, 20160 found this helpful

Thank you.

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May 29, 20160 found this helpful

Thank you.

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February 15, 20180 found this helpful

What a great post! Living in the PNW I am sure I will use this.

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February 18, 20180 found this helpful

I have lots of Hostas and lots of slugs that eat them, and I have lots of jars of pennies. I'm going to try a layer of pennies around the Hostas, thick enough, so the slugs can't get to the Hostas without crossing over pennies. I hope it works for me.


Now, pray tell, does anyone have a picture of a slug that has been dissolved by copper?

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