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How to get rid of slugs organically?


We have a bit of a slug infestation on our allotment, we want to get rid of them but as it's an organic allotment we can't use slug pellets or anything nasty like that. Does anyone have any suggestions for ridding ourselves of slugs without resorting to chemical warfare?

Thank you,

(Observer Allotment



The classic suggestions include:

Beer traps: bury a glass so the rim is flush with the ground, half fill it with beer. Slugs will be attracted, and drown.

Physical barriers: surround your planting with a border of sharp gravel.

Sacrifial planting: plant something the slugs will prefer to your veg (I'm not sure about this one -- sounds like a way to increase the slug population).

Turning the soil before a frost: exposes eggs etc. to the frost.
Turning the soil in dry weather: exposes eggs etc. to reduced humidity

Keeping things tidy to avoid dark damp sheltering spots.

And of course, wandering around sprinkling salt on the little swine is ghoulish fun!

23 May, 2007


My mum finds beer traps work well. You'll have to decide whether Stella constitutes chemical warfare :o)

23 May, 2007


Brilliant suggestions - thank you so much. Keep them coming so we have an array of organic weaponry at our disposal!

23 May, 2007


I have problems with snails rather than slugs but I suppose they are similar pests. I have one or two Hostas in my borders although I keep most in pots which helps against the slugs and snails but recently I have used cat litter around them and touch wood seems to be working ok. I believe one of the best methods to get rid of them is to go out at night with a torch pick them off and squash them, I don't like to kill any living thing but slugs and snails I don't have a problem with, it's either them or my plants, and my plants are precious to me.

24 May, 2007


If you decide to use slug pubs please do not bury the container (I use yoghurt pots) flush with the ground, it must be half an inch or so above the ground so that beneficial beasties do not fall in. Slugs are discerning drinkers, they prefer dark beer such as stout (the mind boggles) Cat litter works in the same way as organic Slug Stoppa granules, both absorb moisture so they 'dry' the slugs and snails out causing them to perish. Garlic rinse is excellent, especially on hostas. Stinky to make though. Can you find a corner to make a boggy area to encourage frogs and toads - they love to scoff slugs.

24 May, 2007


I understand that slugs and snails hate Copper, perhaps you could put Copper piping around an area but you would have to water the ground with nematodes as you would be stopping the pests escaping! Good luck!!

25 May, 2007


Well done Grows on You members! Your replies were quoted over on the Observer allotment blog -

28 May, 2007


oh wow, I found the blog, great reading. By the way (famous last words) did you know that snails are 'homing' - if you think you can rid yourself of snails by chucking them over the wall (oh your poor neighbours) you had better think again. They do come back. Furthermore, if you kill a big snail and it has babies lurking somewhere the babies actually grow faster - omigosh, this is dreadful, I shall close now.

29 May, 2007


Are you allowed to keep livestock on the allotment because a couple of ducks will put paid to most of your slug problems. However they do need to be looked after too which puts more demand on your time.

15 Jun, 2007


Hi, I saw a show garden today that used crushed seashells as decoration. I've heard elsewhere that crushed eggshells act as a slug deterrent because of the coarse texture but seashells might be more durable? If anyone tries it out, let us know :)

4 Jul, 2007


Two to three pieces of garlic boiled in a large pan. leave to cool and bottle. Add two tablespoons to a gallon of water put around hostas works on my hostas every time, does no harm to plants. You could try it on other plants. Would leave bottle outside because it does stink the house up.

22 Jul, 2008


I dunno if this helps but you can use cigarette butts to kill slugs. I'm not sure how organic it is because you use cigarettes and water. Hope it helps, I used it to kill some ants too! here we go:

26 Jan, 2010

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