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Summary: The slug looks like a booger or old piece of chewing gum that has come to life, which is gross. A slug is a pest of garden plants like lettuce, tomatoes, and Hostas. Let us show you how to get rid of slugs.

A slug is gross loking, but cool to watch. Sciencey-type people refer to slugs as Gastropod mollusk, in case you care to know. However, you probably care more about getting slugs out of your garden than watching them do their thing.

The soft bodied slug needs moisture to survive. To avoid the sun and keep its gooey body moist, it likes to hide under rocks or logs. Its body produces a slime that helps it move across the ground without getting scraped.


Slugs will avoid any kind of material that will dry them out. A little bit of salt, for example, will kill a slug almost instantly, shriveling up their bodies like a piece of plastic thrown onto a fire. Kind of cool if you are into that sort of thing, but salt in soil can kill plants, too. So, let's talk about a few other control options.

Any kind of rough edged rock like lava rocks or rough soil like diatomaceous earth will provide a good barrier against slugs. The slug's soft body is easily injured by the rough textures. Spread the barrier material around the perimeter of a garden at least an inch thick. Make sure there are no gaps or leaf bridges that the slugs could sneak across.

Seaweed contains salt, but also nutrients that can be beneficial to soil. Seaweed sprinkled generously around the garden in the same manner will also tame unruly slugs. Don't put the seaweed directly next to the stems of your plants because of the potential salt damage.

Copper repels slugs like garlic repels vampires. A thin strip of copper wrapped around a flower pot, or even around the stem of a plant like a tomato plant, will keep slugs from reaching their leafy lunch. A piece of copper sheeting placed into the soil around your garden can serve as a kind of slug fence. Copper mesh is also available and is a little less expensive than sheets of copper or copper wire. Stuff-It Copper Mesh is one brand name for this kind of copper mesh. Come to think of it, slugs don't like garlic either. Garlic slug killing pesticides like ECOguard are available commercially.

Slugs love drinking beer. That's one thing a lot of us have in common with slugs. I guess that's why our wives refer to us as slugs. Try setting up a beer slug trap by burying an open coffee can in the ground near your garden. The top of the can should be nearly level with the ground so the slugs can crawl

Slugs drinks from beer trap

in. Fill the can a quarter or halfway up with beer and leave it there overnight. I hear slugs have a preference for Pabst Blue Ribbon or Coors light. Anyway, the slugs are supposed to crawl in and get too drunk to crawl out. Simply pick up the can the next morning and throw it away. You might have to repeat this process for several nights and periodically throughout the year until you catch all the slugs living near you. If you can't find a proper can you can buy a slug beer trap on line. Google " Slug X slug trap".

Another effective way to catch slugs is to place a wooden board flat on the ground overnight. The board doesn't kill the slugs, but when you lift the board up in the morning you will find lots of slugs hiding under it. Be ready with your salt shaker or collect them to feed to your pet hedgehog or box turtle. This method also works with a piece of mellow.

If you are into spending your money there are slug killing products available online or in garden supply stores like Escar-Go Slug and Snail Control or Sluggo, but who needs those? You now have all the tricks you need to get rid of the destructive mollusks chewing up your patch of produce.

If these methods don't work for you then try adjusting your watering schedule. Slugs come out at night, so try watering in the morning to reduce moisture build up. Napalm or grenades might work well too, but that would probably be too extreme for your average, non-mutant, non-man eating slug.

Ask Rick A Question


24 Jul 2009, 00:05
I have a major slug problem and have yet to find help. Neighbors think I am crazy because I am out at night with a flashlight and salt shaker. Not only do I have holes in my plants, but I have slugs in my grass. I stopped watering grass over two years ago. I have beige slugs that are small and smaller, I have green slugs with black spots, brown with spots, and now a pretty orange colored breed. They come out at night, rain or no rain. They are out in the day when the sun is not so bright. My beer trap did not work. Slug pellets somewhat work, but Sluggo pellets still remain in my garden and slugs crawl right on by, so those were useless. Two years ago I noticed a green and black one so large it was hanging off the edge of my potting shovel when I scooped it up and threw it in the street. It splatted loud and hard like a water balloon. I tried to cut it I guess and stood up with slime stretching from the ground to my height. I did not eat for days and would not let my dog out at night or kids in the grass. I was sick from that nasty thing in my yard. Since then, I have found a range of sizes but would never have looked for them until that experience. Now, years later, I still check my dog when she comes in and I cannot stop trying to find those big ones and killing them whenever I can. I tried to buy plants they didn't like, but so far, they only leave my lavender alone. I am going to give up gardening and cement my yard I think. I also see very tiny ones on my begonias and am wondering if they are something different. I now have found snails with round shells and funny oblong black and shiny curly shells. My only thoughts are that they come from my neighbor's pool filled with algae? Or, because I had a lawn service a couple years ago that put something down that brought them in and is still breeding them? Can they cause the large holes that look like snake holes all over the back yard? I have an enormous amount of earthworms at night and after a rain and holes and valleys all through my grass. My dog will not go further than the edge of the grass at night, as if something scares her at night. they have been on the sidewalk, yard furniture, stepping stones, cedar fence, light post and especially smaller ones are on the edge of a single blade of grass. They have also eaten some weeds. I live in the city and it is not all that wet or rainy. A dianthus died in a matter of days completely yellowed. I am at my wit's end and think I may need psychiatric help to get over my "slugophobia" and war with slugs.
24 Jul 2009, 20:03
i have no idea where to find this. i live in ohio, any suggestions? also, if they are snakes, do you have any suggestions on how i can find out if snakes are in my yard or if i have to trap or kill them would be the only way, how do i do that? thank you for your help
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