Dealing With Garden Slugs
Without The Chemicals

It's only early May, and already the garden slugs and snails are starting to become problematic.

We've always been prone to slugs, mainly due to the warm(ish) damp climate we get here in the south west England.

garden slug

In the past I've used pellets to seal with slugs and snails, but this year I am trying to grow things organically without the use of any kind of pesticides or chemicals so that king of slug control is out this year.

Instead I am turning to whatever nature can provide for me to address the problem.

In the video below, I explain how I am attempting to tackle my slug problem using salt.

Obviously this salt method is only good for patio gardens where there is no danger of the salt entering the soil. You can't put salt directly onto soil! It will kill everything!

So if you are growing directly into the ground, here are a number of other ideas you can try...

The Beer Trap
By far the most popular and effective way is to use a beer trap, or "slug pub". The design couldn't be simpler; sink a plastic yoghurt pot or similar straight-sided (deep-ish) pot into the soil so the top is flush with the ground. Some people suggest leaving less than flush - about an inch off the ground to prevent any beneficial bugs from falling victim.

beer trap

Fill the pot 3/4 full with beer.
All the slugs in the area will be attracted to the fermented smell, and will promptly throw themselves into it and drown. Not particularly bright creatures slugs, but what a way to go!

If you haven't got beer, try using yeast, sugar and water a sit it the fermenting smell that attracts them.

Natural Predators
Wild birds love garden slugs, but they will also love the fruits and berries growing in your garden. On the other hand, frogs and toads will happily munch on slugs all night long and will leave your food crops alone. It's the perfect excuse for adding a small pond to your garden. If you do something to attract some frogs and toads in to your garden and it's goodbye slugs.

Hand removal
Walking around the garden in pajamas in the middle of the night looking for slugs is not my idea of fun, but is a surprisingly effective way of dealing with them. Slugs come out to feed at night, and disappear during the day, so going out there with a torch will virtually guarantee you'll find them in the act of munching on your plants. Simply collect them up and dispose of them in a manor you see fit. The pajamas are of course optional!

During the day, slugs will hide anywhere that is damp and out of the sunlight - think of them as squishy vampires. As my garden is all containers, I found several of my main culprits living on the underside of the pots they were attacking.

Garden slugs absolutely can not bear to come into contact with copper, so placing a copper barrier in a slugs path will keep it at bay. This is just a deterrent and does not kill the slugs.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Keep slugs away from new shoots in planters 
Sprinkle used coffee grounds on the soil around new shoots. The grounds are sharp and the slugs won't pass over them.

Try using crushed eggshells round your plants, they're pretty good at stopping slugs etc.

Shells Not rated yet
Because we live on the coast we have gathered sea shells and either crushed them or laid them on the soil where we don't want the slugs to eat the plants. …

Slug Control Not rated yet
Coffee grounds spread around the boarder of garden also keep slugs away. Coffee grounds and Mr. Coffee filters are good to go in compost pile as well …

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