Slugs are slimy, gross little creatures that can wreak havoc on your garden if left unchecked. Slug infestation can be hazardous for your plants. Slugs are seen as plant destroyers and carriers of disease that is harmful to the fruit and vegetable you eat. They feed on young plants that are still fragile, which can lead to their death. While there are several ways to get rid of slugs, many of them involve using harsh chemicals or killing the slugs outright, which can be harmful to your plants. This blog post will share a few tips on how to get rid of slugs without hurting your plants. Stay safe and slug-free!
Copper tape is a physical barrier slug pest cannot cross. Copper tape usually is self-adhesive and can be wrapped around plant stems or laid on top of your soil, making it hard for slugs to crawl from place to place without walking over the tape. If you have a small garden, you can lay copper tape along the beds’ perimeter. More extensive gardens with more ground space to cover will need taller fences made from wood or cinder blocks that slugs cannot climb up or over.
Slugs detest the sharp edges of broken eggshells. Whether you have used the insides for baking or simply scrambled them up, save your empty eggshells and crush them into small pieces. The jagged edges of the eggshells will make it difficult for slugs to move without cutting themselves open on the shells, keeping your garden safe from future infestation. Broke eggshells are especially useful for plants that grow in containers.
Not only do many culinary herbs smell delicious, but they are also very effective at warding off slugs and other garden pests. You can plant basil, tansy, mint, or dill around the perimeter of your garden to keep slugs away. These aromatic herbs emit strong scents that repel many insects that might want to snack on your veggies or plant shoots. Planting these herbs with your veggies will attract natural predators like ladybugs and lacewings that eat up harmful bugs without hurting anything else.
Slugs are not fans of acidic environments. Baking soda makes an excellent slug repellant because when mixed with water, it becomes slightly acidic (the opposite of neutral). Measure out ¼ cup of baking soda in a spray bottle and fill it up halfway with warm water. Shake well to dissolve the powder before giving the final mixture another shake. Simply spray the baking soda solution wherever you find slugs or their trails.
Slugs are not big fans of caffeine, which is found in coffee beans. Without getting too scientific, caffeine interferes with a slug’s normal digestive system and can be toxic if consumed in large quantities without getting too scientific. The good news for us is that the effects on slugs are only temporary, so there is no lasting harm to your plants. To get rid of slugs using this method, simply sprinkle dry coffee grounds wherever you have seen slugs or signs of them devouring your garden plants. One advantage of this method is that, after its inevitable effect wears off, it will leave behind an attractive compost material that can enrich your soil after its inevitable effect wears off.
Vegetable Oil And Dish Soap
Another homemade slug repellent is ½ cup of vegetable oil mixed with 2 teaspoons of dish soap, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and 2 quarts of warm water. All you have to do is shake the solution to thoroughly blend the ingredients before spraying it where slugs are active. This method has the potential to dry up plants, so this method should only be used when plants are not in bloom or otherwise, will suffer damage due to lack of water.
While not advisable for edible gardens, salt can be an effective way to get rid of slugs. When sprinkled on the slug’s soft underbelly, the salt will cause them to dehydrate and die. However, if too much salt is used, it can also kill beneficial earthworms and other organisms in the soil that are necessary for a healthy garden. So use this method with caution!
Encourage Beneficial Wildlife
One of the best ways to get rid of slugs without harming your plants is to encourage beneficial wildlife populations in your garden. This can be done by planting a variety of plants that will attract different types of animals, installing a pond or water feature, and putting up birdhouses and bat boxes. Slugs are natural prey for many birds and bats, so having these creatures around will help to naturally control slug populations without the use of harsh chemicals or dangerous traps.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Another product that is available for purchase at garden centers is diatomaceous earth (DE), which is made of fossilized algae. It’s best used on outdoor plantings because DE can be harmful when inhaled or consumed by humans or pets. When exposed to the slug, sharp pieces of it cut into their exposed body parts, and the creature will dehydrate and die. It’s best used on outdoor plantings because DE can be harmful when inhaled or consumed by humans or pets.
One of the most popular methods for dealing with slugs is to use a beer trap. Simply bury a small bowl or jar in the soil so that the lip is level with the surface and fill it with beer. The slugs will be attracted to the beer’s scent and fall into the container, where they will drown. Be sure to check your bait traps regularly and dispose of the filled containers properly so as not to attract other pests or wildlife.
Stay safe and slug-free! There are many ways to get rid of slugs without resorting to harsh chemicals or killing them outright. By using one or more of these methods, you can keep your garden safe from these slimy pests. Just be sure to stay vigilant and reapply as necessary, especially after a heavy rainstorm. Stay safe and slug-free!