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Does Beer Work to Get Rid of Slugs in Your Garden?

Updated on November 28, 2012
Slugs can destroy your garden
Slugs can destroy your garden | Source

Here in the Pacific Northwest there plenty of slugs crawling around. I swear I always manage to step on one every time I go for a hike. Yuck! Not only are they squishy and gross, they can wreak havoc on your garden. It wasn't until the damage had been done (see picture above) that I decided I needed to take action.

Chickens will surely keep the slugs at bay, but not everyone has the desire to raise chickens.
Chickens will surely keep the slugs at bay, but not everyone has the desire to raise chickens.

Chickens Are the Best Remedy

Now, the actual best technique for getting rid of slugs in your garden is to have chickens. My neighbor has chickens and boasts a beautiful, slug-free garden as a result. She also gets the bonus of fresh eggs every day. However, for those of use who don't have the energy or desire to hang out with chickens all day, the next best thing is beer.

Slugs. Yuck.
Slugs. Yuck.

Beer - The Next Best Thing

Believe it or not, slugs are attracted to the yeast in beer. Actually, believe it because I have proof! In the past two days, I have caught over 15 slugs in 1 tuna can full of beer. They slime their way over to the beer and then drown in it. Personally, it sounds like a better way to go than by slug bait. We're going to have tuna something for dinner tonight so that I can put more cans out in the garden.

The trick is pretty simple. Just take an empty tuna can, dig a hole in your garden, somewhere around where the culprits like to hang out, and stick the can in the hole until it's about level with the ground. Fill it up with beer and wait. The picture below shows the tuna can I placed in our garden that was getting devoured by slugs.

Use a tuna can filled with beer to get rid of slugs.
Use a tuna can filled with beer to get rid of slugs.
Sophia helped me set the slug trap.
Sophia helped me set the slug trap.

A Completely Safe Way to Get Rid of Slugs

The great thing about using beer is that it is non-toxic (as long as it's not over-consumed) and pesticide-free. You don't have to worry about kids or pets playing in the garden. My daughter, Sophia, helped make our slug trap.

Proof that It Works

I took this picture a couple of hours after Sophia and I had made our slug trap. There were already three dead slugs in the can, one at the can and you can see one more following not too far behind. It's not in the picture, but there were three more additional slugs on their way to the can of beer. I was impressed.

A couple hours after we filled our can, there were already 3 slugs in there, plus more on their way!
A couple hours after we filled our can, there were already 3 slugs in there, plus more on their way!

Now Get Out There and Garden

The most environmentally safe and the most economical way to get rid of slugs in your garden is to use beer. It is a very simple and very effective technique. Tonight we're eating tuna and tomorrow, escargot! (I know, escargot is snail, but humor me.)

Did beer work to get rid of slugs in your garden?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      rim your containers with petroleum jelly top and bottom and salt it in the spaces between containers,beer also helps and you have a multi layer process that will last a little longer if you cant get back to the plants for a couple of days.

    • wordsmith2418 profile image

      Veronica Lewis 

      6 years ago from Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

      I actually found your article because I was searching for info on raising chickens. I'm glad I found this because we have a LOT of slugs in warm months. Getting the chickens will be an added bonus. And the beer idea is great for the areas where the chickens won't have access to!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      7 years ago from United States

      Great photos!

    • Jenna Estefan profile imageAUTHOR

      Jenna Estefan 

      7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Haha, my thoughts as well. Seems like a much better way to go than slug bait...

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      I've used the beer method and it works well. I figure the slugs die happy too.


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