How to stop snails and slugs eating your plants

Habitat and Habits

Not all nighttime marauding is attributable to gastropods. A simple clue to find out who’s inflicting the harm is by the telltale path of shiny mucous they go away behind – if a slime path is current, the offender is a slug or snail.

Snails and slugs each belong to the mollusk phylum, and have related our bodies and biology. The first distinction between the 2 is that slugs are with out the snail’s exterior spiral shell.

They each propel themselves with a muscular “foot” that repeatedly secretes a slimy mucous to assist them glide, and each thrive in related environments.

Each forms of gastropods want cool temperatures and are most lively at evening, or on overcast days. On shiny, sunny days, or when temperatures are excessive, they’ll search cool, shady havens to beat the warmth and shiny mild.

In chilly climate, they’ll hibernate beneath any particles that gives shelter, or burrow into topsoil. However in areas with gentle winters, they are often lively year-round.

4. Make use of Organic Strategies (Predators)

The most effective, most pure organic strategies is using predators.

For instance, you possibly can introduce chickens, geese, and geese in your backyard to feed on them. Different creatures that assist are tortoises, turtles, frogs, toads, snakes, newts, salamanders, hedgehogs, beetles, nematodes, and birds.

You may as well use predatory snails. These snails are engaging and don’t carry parasites. You may introduce them in your backyard; although on this case, you shouldn’t use different management strategies, corresponding to baits, traps, and pesticides.

If you wish to eliminate gastropods in a fish pond, you possibly can introduce a scavenging fish. Some really useful fish embody loaches, catfish, and putterfish. These predators additionally feed on the pests, eliminating the menace fully.

Predator Slug

By La.Catholique on Flickr [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia


What Harm Can Snails Trigger?

For a small creature, snails can pack an enormous punch. Snails have a tough,  rasp-like tongue, which they scrape throughout the perimeters of plant leaves. The result’s massive holes and chips throughout the floor space of the plant, which may harm and even kill your greenery.

However that’s not all they do.

Listed below are just a few causes to eliminate snails as quickly as you see them:

  • Snails scale back crop yield. You probably have a flower or a  vegetable backyard in your property, snails will eat your crops and scale back your crop yield. They’re notably arduous on leafy greens.
  • They will destroy water options. Snails and slugs are parasitic and might kill fish in ornamental ponds and water options. Plus, these water-loving mollusks reproduce quickly and might brief your electronics and clog pond or pool filters and pipes.
  • They unfold illness. Snails carry diseases and parasitic worms (together with Schistosomiasis that may be harmful for home pets and folks. Having them in your property could also be placing your well being in danger.
  • They’re ugly. No person desires to choose a contemporary leaf of lettuce from the backyard solely to discover a snail. Snails are ugly and disgusting and can make your yard or backyard a much less gratifying place to be.

What repels slugs within the backyard?

We consider that everytime you’re coping with a pest, repelling them must be your first line of protection. In any case, pests are solely pests as a result of they’re consuming your backyard crops! Once they aren’t consuming your strawberries, slugs are an necessary a part of the ecosystem—so let’s attempt to maintain them that means.

There are a number of alternative ways of repelling slugs, so that you’ll have numerous choices to attempt to determine what works greatest to your backyard!

3 Ways to Naturally Repel Slugs (Preventative Meas

3 Methods to Naturally Repel Slugs (Preventative Measures)

Create a Barrier: Slugs crawl all over the place, and their comfortable, delicate our bodies don’t wish to crawl over something that irritates their pores and skin. Use this to your benefit by circling your crops with a barrier that causes the slugs to show round and head within the different route. Espresso grounds, wooden ashes, sand, crushed eggshells, and diatomaceous earth (DE) all do that when sprinkled round crops—with DE being probably the most lethal. One other barrier choice is copper tape or copper wire. You place the tape or wire round your crops or backyard beds, and when the slug crawls throughout it, it’s given a small electrical shock that may be very uncomfortable.

Take away Backyard Particles: You probably have constant issues with slugs, after the soil has thawed within the spring, you wish to start to take away backyard particles like leaf litter or mulch. Slugs not solely wish to reside within the backyard particles, however additionally they lay their eggs in it.

Enhance Populations of Pure Predators with Companion Vegetation: Slugs are a favourite meals of snakes, toads, frogs, beetles, and different useful bugs. Floor beetles are a typical predator of backyard slugs, and planting white clover in your backyard may also help improve floor beetle populations.

Indicators Of Slugs in Your Backyard

In case you discover any of the next, you might have slugs or snails in your backyard.

  • Irregularly formed holes in crops, particularly in new crops
  • Slime trails on mulch and crops
  • Chewed seedlings or seedling leaves
  • Small scalloped chunk marks across the edges of plant leaves

Observe: Snails and slugs sometimes wish to wreak havoc on gardens within the Spring – earlier than different bugs come out. 


Ultimate if in case you have pots or crops that’re larger up.

Spray the lubricant onto the skin of pots or trellises so slugs and snails will merely slide down once they fancy making a meal of your crops.

12: Gravel, Bark or Wooden Chips

Gravel, bark, sharp sand and wooden chips create a barrier for snails and slugs. It makes it tough for the pests to get round and slide over the irregular, sharp surfaces. Including this to your gardens may also help scale back the possibility of them being eaten by slugs and snails, and these prime coats additionally look beautiful in a backyard. Wooden chips and bark look nice in pure styled gardens, whereas stone and sand seems to be wonderful in trendy fashion gardens!

Strategies of management

The one sure-fire solution to maintain your backyard freed from snails and slugs is to destroy them. There are a number of methods to do that, or you should use pure deterrents to maintain them away out of your crops by making the backyard much less hospitable.


Scatter pellets or apply a snail gel round crops by hand, selecting an animal-friendly product to guard pets, native birds and lizards.


Set traps baited with contemporary lettuce, citrus rind or stale beer, verify them each day and squash the pests or drop them right into a jar of salty water.


Use copper tape as a collar for younger crops and pots, or as mattress edging. Copper makes an efficient barrier, because it offers snails and slugs a slight electrical shock. This tape is about 30mm extensive.


Search and destroy snails and slugs by hand-picking them out of the backyard and killing them. In case you can’t bear to squash or drown them, combine an answer of equal elements vinegar and water and pour it into a twig bottle for a selfmade and eco-friendly pesticide. Spray the answer straight onto each snails and slugs to kill them, however watch out the place you employ it as vinegar is a herbicide and also will poison your crops.


Place timber boards on the soil close to weak crops and the pests will migrate to the underside the place they are often simply eliminated. Clear away decaying vegetation and particles like rocks and leaf litter to eradicate daytime hiding locations. Mulch additionally makes a superb dwelling for snails and slugs, so maintain it lower than 80mm thick.

TIP Don’t unfold mulch till crops are effectively established and daytime temperatures are reaching 21°C.


Lay limitations round crops, particularly lettuces, to cease snails and slugs of their tracks. These soft-bodied pests will flip away from a pointy or scratchy barrier relatively then crawl throughout it to get to the salad bar. Encompass crops with strips of coarse grit abrasive paper or damaged eggshells. Coir additionally works, because the tiny fibres persist with snails and slugs, making it arduous for them to maneuver.

15: Sacrificial Vegetation

Sacrificial crops, or lure crops, may also help shield your backyard by attracting pests elsewhere. If you’re making an attempt to guard a decorative backyard mattress, for instance, attempt planting some lettuce on the again or in inconspicuous spots. Snails and slugs love lettuce greater than decorative crops, so they’re extra more likely to eat the lettuce than your backyard crops.


This tip is healthier for many who don’t have pets, as espresso could be dangerous to them.

In case you’re pet-free, you possibly can put espresso grounds on the soil round any crops you wish to shield.

As they hate the style and scent, you could be assured no slugs will head onto your patch.


As you possibly can see, there are various methods to manage snails and slugs in your house, backyard, or water characteristic. A mix of strategies would possibly work greatest. Relying in your choice and different components, you possibly can select the strategies that go well with you greatest.

What sort of harm do slugs do?

Slugs will eat any type of foliage, however you’ll typically discover them doing probably the most harm to the tender leaves and stems of seedlings. Slugs will even take bites out of greens and fruits (notably comfortable fruits like strawberries), inflicting ugly crops.

Learn how to Get Rid of Snails within the Home

Snails in your backyard are one factor – snails in your home, although, are totally one other. No person desires to identify a snail on a wall or floorboard or – worse but – step on one in the midst of the evening.

Listed below are just a few methods to eliminate snails in the home:

1. Seal all Gaps

Step one to stopping snails is figuring out their entry factors. Use a flashlight to identify dried slime trails and hint them again to entry factors. Seal all gaps round home windows, doorways, and foundations, and substitute climate stripping on doorways. Use caulk or silicone sealant for small cracks and increasing foam for bigger cracks.

Execs: Efficient, inexpensive, protected for youths and pets

Cons: Doesn’t eliminate snails already in your house

2. Use Bait

For greatest outcomes, fill a shallow bowl with beer and place it anyplace you’ve observed snail exercise, corresponding to beneath a fridge or behind potted crops.  You probably have children or pets, make sure that to put the bait someplace they’ll’t attain or spill it. Test the bait lure often, and refresh with contemporary bait if wanted.

Execs: Efficient, inexpensive, non-toxic, protected for households with children and pets

Cons: You’ll must set bait time and again to scale back your snail inhabitants

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

Do slugs have a goal?

Slugs could be useful to an extent as a result of once they chew on and break down backyard particles it converts to nitrogen-rich fertilizer. This in flip can improve the dietary worth of the soil in an identical means that worm composting works. Slugs and snails are additionally useful as a meals supply for birds and different widespread backyard critters like frogs, toads and snakes.

Must you kill slugs in your backyard?

Like we talked about above, slugs (moderately) can serve some goal for soil diet, nonetheless, they often turn out to be rampant and destroy gardens. Snails are additionally recognized for carrying ailments and parasites which generally is a risk to family pets in the event that they get ahold of 1. 

Why are there so many slugs in my backyard?

Sometimes, you’ll discover a considerable amount of slugs or snails in your backyard after it rains or after you’ve watered your crops. That’s as a result of snails and slugs are moist creatures. They lose a major place of their physique weight by crawling round, and can due to this fact search for moist locations to outlive.  

Are slugs toxic?

No, slugs should not toxic. The one hazard that slugs pose to gardens is that they eat the crops–making them extra of a nuisance than a hazard.


Pure predators will even do their fair proportion in holding slug and snail numbers down, supplied you will have a welcoming atmosphere – which often means no cats or canines to chase them away.

Some predators recognized to feast on gastropods embody frogs and toads, garter snakes, lizards, hedgehogs, moles, thrushes, blackbirds, magpies, and rooks.

Which brings us to our ultimate tip…