51 organic ways to get rid of slugs – By the ishers and Andy Hamilton

Slug in a strawberry
Slug in a strawberry
Slug in a strawberry

Every year many of us face the same struggle with our organic principles and slugs. Slug pellets start to look more and more attractive, they sit there on the shelf at the garden centre and their price seems to lower year on year. They start to talk to you, “if you buy me then your courgette plants and lettuces will survive they won’t all be eaten as soon as your back is turned”. If we manage to resist for another year we begin to wonder what would have been, we think of all the produce that has been eaten; how nice those sunflowers would have looked, the smell of the chamomile lawn.

Never fear self sufficientish is here to save the day. Written by our forum members here are 51 organic* ways to get rid of slugs.

1. Pick up and slam them between two bricks
2. (a pretty macarbe one) – collect loads and stick them in a blender then paint around the area that they are in with juice, its like Vlad the impaler they don’t like sensing death of their own kind.
3. Beer traps
4. Keep any areas free of places for them to hide.
5. Collect them in jars and feed them to the ducks.
6. Collect them in jars, but leave jars out in sun and let them die a horrible death!
7. Chuck ’em over the fence into the neighbour’s garden (No I never!)
8. Salt ’em
9. Roll ’em up in puff pastry, bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes and tell the (guests, kids, vicar etc.) that they are party sausage rolls
11. Get out the big clippers and snip them in half
12. Protect plants with copper strip around them.
13. Sprinkling coffee grounds around lettuces, marigolds and delphiniums could help to deter snails and slugs.
14 Make a pond to attract frogs, toads and newts to eat them.
15. A sharp knife…
16. Crushed up egg shells around your plants as a barrier (slugs hate rough surfaces)
17. Crushed seashells
18. Use as sea angling bait.
19. Nail them into the ground. (hmm is that a bit angry)
18. Borrow a chicken and let it eat them all.
19. Microwave them. (please note you will need to clean your microwave afterwards)
20. Use them for golf practice.
21. Use them in artwork
22. Apply parasitic nematodes
23. Razor blades
24. Open a hedgehog sanctuary
25. Serve them to unpopular visitors, pretending they are “the finest French snails”
26. Learn to love them. Understand that in the eternal cycle of life, in the endless continuum of existence, they are no less significant (or hungry) than you and I, and no less deserving of love. Embrace them. Touch nirvana together.
27. Lapidation
28. Coarse sand or grit around your plants
29. Leave a bucket in a damp grassy area for a couple of days to collect slugs underneath and then flick them to the chooks* (because you get funny looks from them if the slugs aren’t on the ground) *Chickens
30. Use a glut of home made ginger beer in beer traps
31. Superglue
32. Photograph your slugs, so that they can give up garden grazing and jet off to become international models
33. Double-sided sticky tape
34. Testacellid carnivorous slugs (I like the idea of slugs eating other slugs).
35. Putting boiling water over them to kill them
36. When cold add to compost heap.
37. An unbroken smear of vaseline around the rim of flower pots or containers.
38. Collect them in a bag, walk them out to the woods, and dump them there.
39. Live in a desert.
40. Live in the Arctic.
41. Become a slug breeder and grow lettuce as feedstock.
42. Encourage frogs and black ground beetles as well as birds and hedgehogs.
43. Cut plastic milk bottles into deep rings. Slide these over individual plants and push into the soil so there’s a a good few inches sticking up.
44. Use a flame weeder
45. Spray gun with 25% ammonia/75% water solution. Go on the prowl at night with your torch and sprayer – to entertain your neighbors do it in wellies and dressing gown!
46. Use barrier crops around plants that attract slugs. So, if you’re growing lettuce, cabbage, comfrey, beans etc, then surround them with things like garlic, mint, chives, sage, fennel, chicory and endive.
47. If you’re a home barber (as I am), keep the hair clippings and sprinkle them as a barrier around your plants. It’s said to be as effective as eggshells. But, they do have to be kept dry.
48. Pick them up, baby talk them whilst tickling them under their chins (YES they have chins!!!!) and then teach them to fly and teach them to swim (chuck em in the river!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)…
49. Feed them with Bran, it will expand inside them and kill them
50 . Slugs hate lavender!
51 . Collect as many as you can, stick them in a blender and use as paint around your containers

If you have any words of wisdom to add to our war on slugs then please visit our forum. We need another 50 to reach the magic number of 101 ways to get rid of slugs.

* If using egg shells, beer traps ect you will not be gardening organically if you don’t use use organic eggs or beer ect.

Special thanks to

Ina, Muddypause, Wombat, Shirlz2005, Wulf, the Chili Monster
Albert Onglebod

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12 Comments on 51 organic ways to get rid of slugs – By the ishers and Andy Hamilton

  1. Before planting a new bed, spread comfrey leaves on it. Collect them next day heaving with slugs – they find it irrestible – and compost the lot. Repeat the process until the number of slugs declines to minimal levels. Then surround the bed with comfrey leaves. Most slugs will stop on them instead of invading the new bed. Replace the barrier as needed.
    You may still get some slug damage but it should be far less. Anyway, it’s good to leave a bit of food for natural cycles and processes, for biodiversity – some useful predators need to feed on slugs.

  2. I think you mean MACABRE.

    gruesome and horrifying; ghastly; horrible.
    of, pertaining to, dealing with, or representing death, esp. its grimmer or uglier aspect.
    of or suggestive of the allegorical dance of death.

    I only read the first two entries, but thank you for wasting my time.

  3. I use a caffeine spray called slug Snub (its the only caffeine repellent around, had to do a lot of googling to find it). They just stay right away..

    I found a real zombie of a slug in my compost bin and i put it near my sprayed lettuces. Should of seen the impressive back flip it did once it sniffed the leaves! I just respray after heavy rain and it hasn’t been touched!!

    I sprayed the poor thing afterwards and it basically went mental and died… mwo ha ha ha!!

    Its a real ‘organic’ nuclear option, wouldnt go near touching pellets. naturally keeps them away.

    A friend told me that plants like tea make caffeine naturally as a pesticide. only took us thousands of years to figure this out!

  4. So what is the deal with organic slug pellets? Im mulling over options for my poor beans which have struggled, then finally now they are doing their thing are being munched!

  5. This is a great list. Lots of good ideas and it put a smile on my face too. You can’t take life too seriously. Thank you.

  6. One nice way to deal with slugs (besides putting them to work in the compost heap) is to invite your neighborhood possum to come in and clean up the bugs in the yard regularly. Besides doing a good job, possums are cute and they will clear out other things like roaches and mice. I think that if you put out enough apple cores and fruit peels for their dessert, the possums will prefer those over the vegetables. Win/win.

  7. I use old playdough (full of salt) and smear it around pots and planters with a good rim around the top . this stops water from washing it away. However the sneaky little devils will try and climb a nearby objects to gain access .grrrr

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