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How To Get Rid Of Slugs – 3 Simple Ways To Stop Slugs And Protect Your Plants!

Looking for a few great ways to get rid of slugs from your garden and flowerbeds – and keep all of your plants safe by stopping the damage they cause?

Slugs can wreak havoc and cause serious damage to all kinds of plants in the landscape. From tender young vegetable plants, to annual flowers, perennial plants and more – they show little mercy with their veracious appetites.

Slugs quickly chew their signature holes into the leaves of plants, leaving them weak and damaged. The slimy, slithering creatures can destroy plants overnight. In fact, one of the reasons slugs are so hard to control is that they do almost all of their damage while you sleep.

how to get rid of slugs
Slugs can be hard to spot as they like to come out at night – but the damage they leave behind can not only injure plants, but completely take them out.

Slugs are night-time creatures. They love to come out during the overnight hours, enjoying the damp, moist and cool overnight conditions. And as soon as the sun begins to rise, they quickly slither to hide under leaves or in the soil. Waiting, of course, for the skies to darken again to come out, dine and multiply!

Because of their nocturnal nature, it can be difficult to spot them until the damage is done – or at least well underway. But there is good news. You can actually can limit both their population and damage quite easily – and all with just a few simple all natural solutions!

How To Get Rid Of Slugs – 3 Simple Ways To Stop Slugs

The biggest key of all to stopping slugs is persistence. Daily checks of your flowerbeds and plants only takes a few minutes, but it can keep you ahead of the game in dealing with the damage they can cause.

If you allow slugs a few days or weeks to multiply and dine, the damage to plants can be severe. Especially for young, tender vegetable plants and annual flowers.

In the spring, when conditions are usually more cool and damp, daily checks are a must! And if you do spot the first signs of damage, here are three great ways to stop slugs in their tracks, starting with one of the best, Diatomaceous Earth!

# 1 Diatomaceous Earth – How To Get Rid Of Slugs

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a fine, chalky-like substance that can be purchased in bags. It is created from the fossilized remains of microscopic creatures from long ago – and is 100% organic. But can it ever be a great tool to get rid of slugs from your garden and flowerbeds!

how to get rid of slugs with diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is easy to apply and safe for pets and humans.

The dusty substance has microscopic razor-like edges that cut into the body of slugs. As it cuts into their skin, it dries out the slugs outer skin, stopping them in their tracks. It can be sprinkled on and around plants, or simply dusted onto the foliage. Affiliate Product Link: HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade, 10lb

Once in place, any slug that tries to cross its path will quickly perish. Because this powder works as a cutting agent, it is best to apply when plants are not wet or a forecast of rain is in the future. To keep it effective you will need to reapply after watering or rainfall.

It’s important to use the food safe, all-pure version of DE. This is safe for all pets and humans as well as the plants and fruit. With that said, DE can also kill beneficial insects as well, so it should be used only when slugs are present and not as a continuous treatment to prevent slugs.

#2 Coffee Grounds & Egg Shells – How To Get Rid Of Slugs

Many gardeners know the benefits of using coffee grounds and egg shells to help power their plants – but did you know that both can help protect your plants from slugs too?

The rough edges of coffee grounds are deadly to the slimy skin of slugs. When they attempt to crawl over the grounds, the sharp edges act like razor wire. Not only will it stop slugs cold in their tracks, the coffee grounds also act as a natural fertilizer, releasing small amounts of nitrogen and other trace nutrients to plants – all while protecting them.

Like coffee grounds, crushed egg shells can also stop slugs with their sharp edges as well. To help protect plants, crush a few shells up in your hand and sprinkle around the base of plants. Even better, just like coffee grounds, the eggs shells will add nutrients to the soil as they decompose. See our article: The Truth About Egg Shells And Tomato Plants – How To Use Egg Shells Right!

#3 Copper Tape / Copper Strips – How To Get Rid Of Slugs

Copper is another great deterrent against slugs. It is thought that perhaps the slimy make-up of the slugs outer skin reacts negatively with the copper, but for whatever reason, it works well for repelling slugs from plants.

This is especially good for young vegetable plants to keep slugs from climbing aboard. To protect plants, place a small strip of copper around the base of plants. This copper “fence” keeps slugs from getting to the base of plants, and hitching a ride up for an evening buffet.

Although copper can be expensive, you can use copper foil tape to easily make plant collars on the cheap. Rolls of copper tape are usually around $10 and are 40 to 50+ feet in length, letting you protect a lot of plants for little cost. Affiliate Product Link: 3.15 Mil Thick Copper Tape 1 inch x 12 Yards Copper Foil Tape

A Few Extra Ways To Keep Slugs Away – How To Get Rid Of Slugs

In addition to the three highly effective methods above – don’t forget about how easy and effective the act of hand picking slugs off plants can be. Believe it or not, this simple method for control is one of the best of all. In fact, more times than not, with most pests, hand picking is the best and most effective option.

When it comes to hand picking slugs, you need to check plants in the evening or early morning. The best times are right after the sun goes down, or right before it rises. Head out to your flowerbeds and garden area with a flashlight and a jar of soapy water.

Shine the light on the underside and tops of leaves. The slugs will light up, and you can simply pick them off and put them into the soap and water to eliminate them in one simple step.

Using Melon Rinds & Beer Traps – How To Get Rid Of Slugs

Slugs also happen to love the rinds of melons. And they love beer too – and both can be used to make a great trap! To make a melon trap, simply take leftover rinds, and lay them along the edges of the garden in the evening.

Be sure to turn them upside down and place lightly into the soil. When you return in the morning, you will have a virtual slug party on the rind. This method does not kill the slugs, but allows you to trap and dispose of large populations quickly.

Beer traps are one of the most well-known of natural ways to stop slugs. Slugs, for one reason or another love beer, and will find their way to it quickly.

Beer traps definitely work, but there are a few things that will increase the likelihood of success. Use smaller flat style containers filled to the halfway point with beer. Small plastic food containers or tuna cans work well for this.

The slugs are attracted to the beer and crawl into the bowl and drown. Keep traps near the edge of gardens to draw slugs outward, not into the garden. In addition, keep fresh beer in the traps each evening.

Here is to getting rid of slugs from your garden and flowerbeds this year! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.

Old World Garden

Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. The two are frequent speakers on all things gardening and love to travel in their spare time.

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