10 Powerful Natural Ways to Banish Snails And Slugs Form Your Garden

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Snails and slugs are one of the most troublesome pests in any garden. They have insatiable appetites and can destroy your plants and crops within a matter of weeks if left untreated.  Commercially available poisons are highly toxic, can harm children and pets and cause huge amounts of harm to the environment.  In addition, they kill the natural predators of slugs and snails so it’s a short term and short sighted solution.  Here are 10 of the very best natural solutions to banish slugs and snails from your garden fast.

(1) Beer Or Honey And Yeast Mixture

beer

Slugs and snails are drawn top beer more than a college football team.  Beer in your garden will draw slugs and snails towards as strongly as UV light to a fly.  Get in wrong however and they will just have a tipple and crawl back out.  Place the beer into a deep container and dig it into the ground so that the rim of the container is level with the surrounding earth. That way they can get in but not out.  They’ll drown in the beer inside,  but there are many worse ways to go.  And if a child or a family pet should find the beer it won’t do them any harm.  An all round great solution.

(2) Dried Dog Food

dogfood

Dried dog food may not taste like much to us human beings. But to slugs and snails it tastes like fine caviar. The absolutely love it. Cut a small hole in the side of an empty ice cream tub (big enough for slugs and snails to crawl in), place it upside down (with the base facing upwards) and put a handful of dog biscuits inside. Repeat in all problem areas of the gardens. It won’t be long before you have an entire colony of slugs and snails inside having a feast. Simple collect them by hand and dispose of. Easy!

(3) Diatomaceous Earth

diatem
Photo By Waddell Walker Hancock

Diatomaceous earth consists of mix of the fossilised remains of microscopic sea creatures.  The ends are as sharp as broken glass and cut and damage the skin of slugs and snails.  This causes them to dehydrate and die.  It’s a highly effective solution but to be at it’s most effective it needs to be applied each time it rains.  It may be a great solution depending on the climate where you live.

(4) Crushed Egg Shells (Or Other Crunchy Stuff!)

egg
Photo By Phu Thinh Co

This works great for the same reasons mentioned above for diatemaceous earth.  However, if you regularly eat eggs for breakfast it can be a much cheaper solution.  It’s alsorain proof so no need to reapply after a storm.

(5) Copper Tape

coppertape

Shock slugs and snails from eating your plants and shrubs.  Crawling over copper causes a harmful chemical reaction to take place on the surface of their bodies which slugs and snails hate.  So wrap this around plant pots and small trunks to prevent access.  The secret is to use copper tape that’s wide enough to prevent them from arching their bodies over the obstacle.  It’s a 100% safe and effective solution.

(6) Natural Seaweed

seaweed

If you have access to natural seaweed this can be an amazing natural slug and snail deterrent.  It’s also great for the soil.  Place seaweed around the base of plants or around the perimeter of beds.  You’ll need around 3 to 4 inches of wet seaweed which will shrink to about 1 inch after it dries out.  Make sure it doesn’t actually touch the surface of your plants though.  How does it work?  Seaweed is naturally salty which slugs and snails hate.  When it dries out it also acts as prickly barrier which they’ll avoid.

(7) Coffee Grounds

coffee

We were umming and ahhing about whether to include this one.  Some gardeners thing it’s an old wives tale, others swear buy it.  The truth is that caffeine is toxic to slugs and snails.  However, the caffeine concentration in coffee grounds is only just above levels required to be effective.  So, if it works it won’t work for long (especially after a rain storm when the caffeine will be washed away).  However, if you’re a big coffee drinker and have a readily available supply of old coffee grounds it’s certainly worth a test!  And coffee grounds are great for your soil.

(8) Change Your Watering Schedule

watering

Slugs and snails are most active at night and most effective at eating your beloved plants when conditions are damp.  Studies have shown that switching from watering your plants at night to watering your plants first thing in the morning can reduce slug and snail damage by up to 80%.  Probably the easiest solution and one of the most effective.

(9) Encourage Natural Predators

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Toads are the slug’s most effective predator.  Ground beetles, slow-worms and frogs, even centipedes will eat them, as well as birds. Put in a wildlife pond into your garden if you can, or simply provide a container with water – as long as the toads have access, they will come, bringing frogs with them. It will also encourage birds to visit your garden more often.  Ground beetles share the same habitat as slugs; moist areas that are protected from the sun during the day. Provide stone slabs, pieces of wood, and other moist areas for them to shelter under. This will also encourage hedgehogs, which eat slugs.  To make it easy for birds to eat them, place citrus peel or melon rinds around the garden in the evening. The slugs will be attracted by any seeds remaining, and will stay under as daylight comes. Turn the peel or rind over in the morning to display the sheltering slugs to birds. Birds will also eat the eggs, so raking the garden can expose them. The majority hatch in spring, although eggs are laid all year round.

(10) Introduce Nematodes

nematode
Photo By Scot Nelson

Nematodes are microscopic worms that feed on insects, plants and animals, and are extremely numerous – one handful of earth will contain thousands of them. This species kills by entering the body of the slug while it is underground, to begin feeding and release bacteria which is fatal to the slugs. Being hermaphroditic, they reproduce internally. When the slug dies, the nematodes are released to find another victim. They do not harm other organisms.  Packets of this species of nematodes can be bought to add to damp soil, and they remain active for around six weeks. Slugs have been seen to avoid earth treated with nematodes, so they are ideal for natural slug control. Add them to the area where you are growing your most vulnerable plants and they will be well-protected without the need to treat your entire garden.

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