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Kill Slugs In The Garden- What Do They Look Like and How To Get Rid of Harvest Slugs and Eggs BuyOnline

Updated on April 6, 2012

What Are Slugs?

Before I explain how to remove these slimy little creatures from your garden, let me tell you what they are.

Have you ever lifted your bird bath up or a large rock only to find numerous slugs underneath?

Slugs are basically a Snail without a shell. (But some slugs may have a smaller shell or even a small inner shell). Slugs are wet and slimy, so it is quite obvious that their bodies are made up of mostly water. Unlike Snails that are protected by a shell, slugs are subject to “drying out” or desiccation. They must produce mucus to protect themselves. Therefore, if your soil is dry it does not mean the slugs are gone, they are just lower in the soil where it is damp to help retain their moisture. Land Slugs eat decaying vegetables, fruits, and foliage as well as fungus from your garden. However, depending on the type of slug, it may eat living plants and produce.

Slug Eggs
Slug Eggs

Sign of Slugs

If you have never personally seen a slug in your garden there are signs that they are there.

Signs of Slugs:

  • Holes in your plants foliage (see photo for reference)
  • Eggs (see photo for reference) 
  • Slime

Slugs have male and female reproductive organs, they do mate and lay their young in an egg form. Slime is a sure sign of slugs. As stated previously, slugs produce a mucus protective barrier, so when they slither over the leaves the mucus remains on the foliage. 

In the photo below is a slug on a leaf, look closely at the slime (mucus) on the leaf.

This is what you are looking for.

How to Remove Slugs

There are numerous "so-called" sure things when it comes to ridiing your garden of slugs. But I found the best! I used Sluggo on my garden and I am free of these disgusting little slimy enemies!

Sluggo is safe around your pets, children and other wildlife. This is an organic granular product which contains iron and phosphate that breaks down into fertilizer. Use it before harvest, while in harvest and even before it rains and you will be free of slugs without harming any wanted wildlife. Iron phosphate is more effective than Metaldehyde-based chemical products because Metaldehyde ceases to work when it gets rained on, or if you water the garden, whereas iron phosphate remains active even with repeat wettings, for up to 2 weeks.

Truthfully I have never found anything better.

Copper Barrier
Copper Barrier

Alternate Removal of Slugs

Although I use Sluggo and am very happy with it. Here are a few other tricks that you may want to try. I cannot guarantee any of them because I have never tried them (except for the beer) but I have heard mixed reviews so try them first and see if they work for you.

  1. Beer- Stale beer left in dishes where the slugs are most noticeable has worked somewhat effectively, but personally I would rather not have to "catch them" and remove their drowned bodies from my property. Plus, my dog seemed to think that he could drink the beer when out for his nightly bathroom break, which caused panic in me because I feared he would eat slugs.
  2. Eggshells- Crush eggshells and place around plants. This will cut and ultimately kill the slug.
  3. Salt- dehydrate them by sprinkling salt around the areas of concern.
  4. Copper- copper electrically shocks slugs. It does not kill them but will keep them away from your plant or bush
  5. Coffee Grounds- used coffee grounds attracts slugs and destroys them although I understand that this solution is somewhat flawed.
  6. Birds and turtles! If you love can tolerate these animals then by all means get them in your garden! They will eat your pest and help control the problem, although the animals may take a nibble or two on your garden.

Slug Shields

 Slug Shields are basically a coiled metal that you wrap around the base of your plants. It is useful because it expands with the growth of the plant. Slugs receive an electrical shock when in contact with the Slug Shield. Much like copper barriers, the slug shield doesn't wash away in a rainstorm or hurt other wildlife or soil.   

Slugs are pests that no one wants to share their garden with.

Try the solutions above until you find the one that works for you.Remember, you must continue with it even if the slugs seem to have disappeared. Trust me when I say, they are sneaky little things. They wait until you think they are gone, stop treating and BAM they are back again. Each year I begin my garden with treatments of Sluggo and periodically re-treat even if I don't see any. Prevention is key- don't let your hard work of destroying them go to waste.

If you happen to get slimmed!

Wash your hands with vinegar and water- takes it right off!

If you have any "tricks" or remedies that worked for you- please share- Lets rid them together, one slug at a time!

Happy Gardening!


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    • PaulaHenry1 profile image

      PaulaHenry1 7 years ago from America

      Thanks for the recommendation- I have added the option for others.

    • profile image

      Lesley 7 years ago

      Try Slug Shields. They last ALL SEASON without maintenance and they are 100% eco-friendly. I used them and recommend them.