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How to Keep Slugs and Snails Away From Your Garden

Updated on June 17, 2009

Organic Slug and Snail Killers

Monterey LG6500 Sluggo Slug & Snail Killer 2.5 Pound
Monterey LG6500 Sluggo Slug & Snail Killer 2.5 Pound

Now you can kill slimy slugs and snails that are eating your plants without fear of poisoning your pets!

The active ingredient in SLUGGO is iron phosphate so it is an organic compound that breaks down into fertilizer in your yard.

SLUGGO can also be used in vegetable and berry gardens up to the day of harvest.

SLUGGO is used the same as the other bait materials. Simply scatter in the evening where snails and slugs feed. Once they have eaten the bait they crawl back under the plants to die. It is slower acting than metaldehyde but is active on the soil surface longer that other baits.


Snails and slugs are mollusks part of the Gastropod family. The Gastropods family consists of both aquatic and terrestrial members. While the aquatic variety of snails is beneficial to the gardener's pond or to the aquarium owner because it effectively cleans and removes sediments form the water, the terrestrial snails are usually a far cry from being helpful.They have a propensity of munching on greens, leaving unsightly holes wherever thy feast.

Snails and slugs are very similar, but snails are more attractive because they carry a ''home''. Yet, both of them are destructive in the same way, often causing gardeners to rush to their closest gardening center for some products.

While products that attract slugs and snails and kill them pretty much effectively do the job, they are mostly chemical and therefore toxic for the garden soil and often to small animals and pets. It comes natural therefore to seek less harmful manners to get rid of these annoying pests.

There are indeed various ways to repel and kill snails and slugs without resorting to chemicals. Some of this were the old fashioned ways farmers got rid of them before pesticides and other chemical concoctions were invented. Following are some natural methods to get rid of both snails and slugs.

-Walking on Egg Shells

Walking over them bare foot may really hurt! No sound of mind snail or slug will enjoy crawling over them to get to their lettuce. Simply place some crushed egg shells at the base of your favorite plants so they will make a barrier that will keep them away. As an alternative, pine needles may work as well.

-Empty Orange

Cut an orange in half, collect the juice and remove the pulp from the orange. Save the emptied out, concave half orange and place it near the most infested areas in the evening. Place the juice in the refrigerator. In the morning, before having breakfast, check the emptied orange, you will find lots of slugs and snails inside. Then head back home and open the refrigerator and enjoy a fresh glass of home made O.J.!

-Let Them Get Drunk

When it comes to drinking, snails and slugs are avid drinkers that will enjoy a beer every now and then. Fill a shallow pie pan and fill it with beer. Place it out in the evening. By morning, they will enjoyed their beer, cheers!

- Adopt a Garter Snake or a Toad

Both will likely dine on snails and slugs. To allow toads to stick around create a toad house.Box turtles, in particular love to feed on slugs. Garter snakes instead appreciate rocks, try to create a rock garden for them, they will love it!

-Use Copper

For some reason snails and slugs dislike copper. If you put out strips of copper wire or copper mattings, the pests will very likely not cross over them.

-Get Them Salted

This is mostly for those with a strong stomach and that want to kill the slugs instantly. Simply gather the most slugs as possible and drop on them some salt. This will literally melt them which is not the ideal method for the faint of heart.

As seen, there are various natural ways to keep snails and slugs at bay. There are also some organic remedies now even sold at gardener's stores. With less snails and slugs, you will see less and less destruction and you will allow time for your favorite plants to finally recover from the extensive damage.


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    • profile image

      Julianne Stave 6 years ago

      Thank you! My cats' outdoor food bowl has become the home of dusins of slugs... they have diarrhea now and I wonder if the slugs might be the reason. Defiantly using salt!

    • profile image

      bob 7 years ago

      Ever heard of a pond turtle having problems if they eat a snail treated with sluggo? Anything known about instructions that sluggo should not be gotten into aquatic systems

    • profile image

      BK 7 years ago

      I absolutely love to sprinkle salt on them and see them burst! LOL and the best part is..they love to eat each leave them alone for awile and come back and sprinkle the ones that are eating the others! I did this at the edges of my driveway where they were making trails acroos the cement a lot..two days later I saw no trails..I still find them in the tall grass at edges of flowers and sprinkle them!

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 years ago from USA

      You are very welcome. It's very thoughtful and caring of you releasing them in the park, you may then want to stay away from the salt method. I personally, would neither have the courage to use that! Best wishes for your squash plants!

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Wow, Alexandry. Thank you so much. I really appreciate this hub. I have just returned with some squash plants so it's very timely. I truly like snais and find them beautiful but not in my veggie patch, I collect them up and put them out in a nearby park, but I think they come straight back! Once again thank you. I shall report back