10 Simple and Natural Ways to Get Rid of Slugs in the Garden

source: Pexels

Nothing is more disgusting to me than snails. They give me the creeps, with their slimy, sluggish trails and that squishy texture. But slugs? They’re a whole other level of horrible. Just thinking about them gives me goosebumps. My friend is even more terrified of them than I am—she’d probably faint if she read this article. Unfortunately for me, my garden seems to be a five-star resort for these little monsters. Sure, I know they have their benefits in the grand scheme of things, like breaking down organic matter and contributing to the ecosystem, but when they start munching on my plants, all that goodwill goes out the window.

So, let’s talk about these garden invaders. While I can appreciate their role in nature, it’s hard to overlook the damage they can cause. Slugs can decimate young plants and seedlings overnight, leaving nothing but tattered remnants in their wake. They chew holes in leaves, munch on flowers, and can even ruin fruits and vegetables. It’s a frustrating sight to see your hard work undone by these pests.

source: Pexels

But, if you’re like me and want to enjoy a slug-free garden without resorting to harsh chemicals, I’ve got some tried-and-true methods to share. Here are ten simple ways to get rid of slugs in the garden:

1. Beer Traps

One of the most well-known tricks in the book. Slugs are irresistibly attracted to beer. All you need to do is sink a container into the ground and fill it with beer. The slugs will crawl in for a drink and, well, that’s the end of their journey. It’s a somewhat gruesome method, but effective.

2. Eggshell Barriers

Crushed eggshells are a fantastic, natural way to deter slugs. The sharp edges are uncomfortable for them to crawl over, so they avoid areas sprinkled with these shells. Plus, eggshells add calcium to your soil as they break down, which is a nice bonus for your plants.

3. Copper Tape

Slugs and snails get a mild electric shock when they come into contact with copper. Lining the edges of your garden beds or pots with copper tape can create an effective barrier. It’s like an electric fence for slugs!

source: Pexels

4. Diatomaceous Earth

This natural powder, made from fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms, can be sprinkled around plants. It’s harmless to humans and pets but deadly to slugs. The tiny particles are sharp and desiccate the slugs’ bodies.

5. Coffee Grounds

Slugs hate caffeine. Sprinkle used coffee grounds around your garden beds to repel these pests. It’s a great way to recycle your morning coffee waste and keep your garden slug-free.

6. Handpicking

I know, it sounds awful (Ew, ew, ew!!!), but sometimes getting up close and personal with your garden foes is the best way to deal with them. Go out in the evening or early morning with a pair of gloves and a bucket of soapy water. Pluck those slugs off your plants and drop them into the bucket.

source: Flickr

7. Salt Barriers

Salt is lethal to slugs, but use this method sparingly as it can harm your soil and plants. A light sprinkling of salt around the perimeter of your garden can act as a barrier, but be cautious not to overdo it.

8. Slug-Resistant Plants

Some plants are naturally less appealing to slugs. Incorporate slug-resistant plants like ferns, ornamental grasses, and certain herbs like rosemary and thyme into your garden. This can help reduce slug damage.

9. Nematodes

These microscopic worms are natural predators of slugs. You can purchase nematodes and apply them to your soil. They’ll seek out and kill slugs without harming other beneficial insects.

source: Pexels

10. Encourage Natural Predators

Create a habitat that attracts slug predators like birds, frogs, and hedgehogs. A small pond or birdbath can help invite these helpful creatures into your garden. They’ll naturally keep the slug population in check.

Now, about those indoor invasions. Can slugs enter your house? Unfortunately, yes. Slugs can squeeze through tiny gaps and cracks, often drawn inside by the promise of food or moisture. To prevent this, seal any gaps around doors, windows, and foundations. Keep your kitchen clean, and avoid leaving pet food out overnight.

source: Pexels

Preventing slug invasions is all about making your garden less inviting to them. Keep your garden tidy, remove any debris where slugs might hide, and water your garden in the morning rather than the evening to reduce moisture levels at night when slugs are most active.

While slugs do have their place in the ecosystem, it’s understandable to want to keep them from destroying your garden. With these simple, natural methods, you can protect your plants and enjoy a beautiful, slug-free garden. And if you’re anything like my friend (no offense, love you!), maybe just skip the more gruesome methods and stick to barriers and deterrents.