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Home Remedies for Slugs: Natural and Ecological

Slugs usually like to live close to our plants and can cause a great deal of damage compared to other pests. Although many commercial options can help us get rid of these terrestrial crustaceans, many times these products are toxic to birds and other wild animals, and not very effective during the rain. In this article, you will learn how to get rid of slugs naturally. Learn all about home remedies for slugs.

Home Remedies for Slugs

Before using pesticides, we recommend using these all-natural, non-toxic home remedies for slugs:

Prevent Their Appearance

A possible solution, or if you want to prevent their appearance, is to modify the watering hours. This is because slugs are generally more active at night and in humid conditions. For this reason, just watering at night can cause slugs to appear.

A great solution is to water in the morning so that the soil can dry out at night. Studies have shown that this can reduce slug damage by up to 80%.

How to Remove Slugs Naturally


If you can easily access seaweed then you can use it as a natural slug repellent. It will even help nourish your garden soil.  To do this you must mulch the perimeter of the plants with seaweed to a thickness of 3″ to 4″, preventing it from coming in contact with the plant.

The use of seaweed is very effective due to the presence of salt in its composition, a product that slugs hate. Also when in contact with sunlight the algae take on a rough texture, something that can also deter slugs.

how to remove slugs naturally

Home Remedies for Slugs – Copper

Another slug repellent we can use is small copper strips. These strips can be placed around pots or used as small fences around our plants to block the slugs’ path. This trick to repel slugs is effective because these earth mollusks suffer cramps when they come in contact with copper. A tip is to avoid leaves or other objects that cover these strips as they can help slugs reach our plants.

You should also purchase some non-toxic metal mesh made from copper. These can be wrapped around the stem of plants to act as a barrier against slugs. These protectors can be reused, as they are durable and weather resistant.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a sedimentary rock that has been formed from micro-fossils of unicellular marine algae. This product is characterized by causing deadly dehydration in insects. To use this granular material you can spray it around garden beds or on individual plants. It can also be mixed with water to make a foliar spray.

One point to keep in mind is that diatomaceous earth is less effective when wet and should be used only when the weather is dry. Cover your nose, mouth, hands, and eyes when using it, as it can irritate. Purchase diatomaceous earth that is all-natural or agricultural and avoid those used in swimming pools as they are less effective.

We recommend our article on how to use diatomaceous earth in garden. Diatomaceous earth is an excellent home remedy for slugs. Diatomaceous earth (Order it here).

Home Remedies for Slugs – Volcanic Rock

This is one of the most effective slug repellents you can find. This is because its abrasive surface is very much disliked by slugs. Volcanic rock is used as a protective barrier around plantings. It should be above ground to prevent dirt or vegetation from forming a bridge for slugs to cross.


If all else fails then you should go out at night with your salt shaker and a flashlight. Look for the plants with the most damage and inspect the leaves. Once you find any critters use this potent slug poison. Don’t overdo it with salt, as overuse can be very toxic to the soil.

Home Remedies for Slugs  – Beer

Slugs are usually very attracted to beer. To use this product to our advantage we can place a small amount of beer in a shallow, wide-mouthed jar buried up to the neck. The slugs will crawl into the jar and drown.

Electronic Fence

An electronic slug fence is one of the safest and most non-toxic repellents we can use. These fences are a 9-volt battery-operated barrier that produces a mild static sensation that is not detectable to pets and humans. This will help repel these unwanted insects and the battery will usually last up to 8 months.

slugs in garden

How to Get Rid of Slugs in Garden

Garlic-Based Slug Repellents

Laboratory tests conducted at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom revealed that a product made from highly refined garlic is a powerful slug repellent. This is why you can look for garlic-based repellents. We recommend this product containing garlic (Order it here).


Coffee grounds seem to act as a slug poison. To use this repellent you only have to spread on the ground a repellent spray made with this ingredient. However, we must emphasize that the use of this product can have side effects on our soil. It is for this reason that you should use it in moderation.

Nature magazine in 2002 demonstrated that slugs and snails die when a caffeine solution is applied to them. However, it should be noted that the percentage of caffeine required is much higher when compared to a cup of coffee. It is for this reason that a homemade spray is not as effective. We recommend our article about the coffee grounds for plants.

how to get rid of slugs in garden

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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