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How To Get Rid of Slugs

Nothing can be a sorer sight for the eyes than seeing your well maintained garden being held hostage by slugs. Slugs are capable of eating all of your seedlings in a matter of minutes and can completely ravage that favorite delphinium plant in a matter of days.

Slugs are hermaphrodites. This means that they possess female and male reproductive organs and can breed on their own. Slugs are capable of producing at least 36 eggs, many times during a year. Slugs reach adulthood within six weeks, and there are some species that live up to 2-6 years. Moreover, slugs keep on growing in size. There are slugs that have been able to reach a height of 10 inches.

Slugs have an enormous appetite. They feed primarily during the night and are capable of consuming double their mass in a single day. Here’s a fun fact about slugs: they have 27,000 teeth.

Slugs are extremely devastating breed of pests and are extremely difficult to control. However they play an extremely important role in maintaining an ecological balance as they consume rotting matter. They thrive in moist and low light spots. Keeping this in mind, one of the surefire things you can do is to regularly mow your lawn and remove all the weeds. Slugs can usually be found under weeds.

However, if those basic measures do not achieve the goal, here are some remedies for eliminating them, and then deterring them completely.

Trapping and hunting slugs

  1. For all the important and valuable plants, use milk or beer traps. Slugs can only spot such traps within a few feet of distance. Therefore these are most effective in small gardens or specific areas. Set up the traps in the following manner:

  • Take a tall cup that has steep sides and burry it in the soil. Make sure that the rim of the cup is about half an inch above the level of the soil. This will prevent ensnaring beetles which naturally prey on slugs.

  • The cup should be half-filled with either milk or beer.

  • Replace the cup after a few days. If you see slugs climbing out, replace the liquid with a mixture of yeast, honey and a small amount of water. This mixture should be boiled until it acquires a glue-like consistency.

  1. You can also kill slugs using a cornmeal trap. This is a cheaper alternative but the downside is that it may not draw many slugs out. Take about two tablespoons of cornmeal, place them in a jar and put the jar on its side. Ensure that the cornmeal is dry so that it kills the slugs by expanding in their bodies.

  2. Ideally you should use humane traps to get rid of slugs. The best thing to do is to gather them and discard them at a significant distance from home. Slugs congregate in moist and low-lit areas such as flower pots, below planks of wood or cardboard boxes. You can set up these and regularly check them. Once you see that they have accumulated, gather them up and discard them at a significant distance from home. You can easily attract slugs using moist fruit rinds, leaves of cabbage and dry pet food.

  3. You need to ensure that your traps are not ruined by rain or pets. Water is the bane of all liquid and cornmeal traps. Cover the traps to ward off the rain. If there is a chance that your pet(s) may eat up the bait, cover them using something that your pet cannot knock over e.g. a flowerpot turned upside down.

  4. You can hunt slugs during the night. This is obviously not easy but may be necessary if there is a sizeable infestation. Use gloves and preferably a headlamp to keep your hands free. You can skewer the snails with a sharp stick or dump them in a bucket of soap water. Spots to keep an eye out for include the underside of leaves. Trails of slime also will definitely lead to slugs.

Slug deterrents

  1. Keeping and maintaining a dry garden is the best solution for warding off slugs for the long term. You can adopt the following measures to deter slugs from infesting your garden.

  • Water your plants in the dawn so that the soil has time to dry before night

  • Use drip irrigation techniques to minimize the use of water

  • Clean your yard regularly and regularly mow your lawn

  • Avoid the use of organic mulch like grass clippings or straw bundles

  • Space out your plants to allow the passage of air

  1. These specific plants are great for keeping slugs out; use them to create tea or mulch.

  2. Spread a mulch of oak leaf or tobacco stem meals to create a barrier around your plants

  3. You can make wormwood tea by submerging cuttings of Artemisia in warm water for a day. Mix that with soap water and then either spray the soil or directly onto slugs.

  4. Copper strips can make an impenetrable barrier. Buy some strips and ensure that they are of sufficient width so that they cannot be breached by slugs. Barricade your plants using them. Make sure that children stay out of reach as they can get cut.

  5. Spread some salt on surfaces that do not have soil. Do this on surfaces that are occupied by slugs -- salt kills slugs by absorbing their moisture. Be careful with salt as it is very harmful for plants, and can ruin your soil.

Use Professional Products From Solutions Pest & Lawn for Slug Control

If you want a permanent solution to slugs in your home, Solutions Pest & Lawn has what you need to get the job done. Perhaps the best product we carry specifically for snails is Deadline Force II Slug and Snail Killer.  This is a snail attractant which you can place around your garden and create a barrier to lure snails in to take the poison, which will then keep them away.

A few other solid options are granular baits like Ficam Insect Bait and Niban Granular Bait. Scatter some bait around your lawn and garden area, especially after watering or rainfall as this is typically when snails become the most active. These baits will attract the snails and eliminate them through dehydration.


By following the tips above and equipping yourself with the products we have mentioned, you can successfully make your home slug-free. For more pest control help and advice, give us a call at 800-479-6583 or email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com


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