Using Copper for Slug and Snail Control

February 15, 2014

Using Copper for Slug and Snail ControlThere 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)


  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. container gardens

  4. 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.
  5. copper tape on pot
  6. 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.
  7. copper tape on container gardens

  8. 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.
  9. copper scrubber
    stretched scrubber
  10. 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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March 20, 2008

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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