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6 Ways to Say So Long to Slugs

6 Ways to Say So Long to Slugs

Slugs and snails are a huge problem in many gardens, especially those with tender-leaved plants that have lots of folds or large sheltering leaves low to the ground, such as lettuce, hostas, and tender seedlings. Luckily, there are many ways to stop these critters.

Try these six ways to say so long to slugs!

1. Ammonia and water. Mix equal parts nonsudsing ammonia and water in a spray bottle. Visit the garden on a rainy morning or cool evening and spray the slugs as they feed. This technique is most effective on baby slugs, which thrive in the crowns of hostas and daylilies. As an added bonus, the ammonia converts to nitrogen and acts as a foliar food for the plants (Note: Some ferns and seedlings may suffer leaf burn from this spray. Test on a single leaf first.)

2. Vinegar and water. Mix two parts vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture directly on slugs you see or as you find them under boards or in the crevices of rock gardens. Be careful not to let the spray come in contact with plant foliage.

3. Wood ashes. A ring of wood ashes from your fireplace will discourage slugs from climbing up the stems of plants. Sprinkle the ashes in a band a few inches wide, but don’t let them actually touch the stem of the plant. Caution: If your soil is alkaline, as it is in many parts of the West and Southwest, avoid putting ashes on your soil or in your compost heap. They can raise the pH even higher.

4. A window screen. Cut an old window screen into long strips at least 6 inches wide. Sink the strips 3 inches into the soil so that a fence surrounds your most vulnerable plants.

5. Clay pots. Lure slugs away from your plants to where you can find and destroy them. Set out small clay flowerpots turned upside down and propped up on one side with a flat rock. These traps are attractive enough to use in container plantings.

6. Damp cardboard, rolled-up newspaper, grapefruit rinds, or damp burlap. Position these materials around your garden to collect slugs. Gather the items each morning and destroy the slugs. Or move the slugs, “hotels” and all, to your compost pile.

Read more: Nature, Natural Pest Control,

Adapted from Panty Hose, Hot Peppers, Tea Bags, and More - for the Garden, by the editors of Yankee Magazine (Rodale Press, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by the editors of Yankee Magazine. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from Panty Hose, Hot Peppers, Tea Bags, and More - for the Garden, by the editors of Yankee Magazine (Rodale Press, 2005).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


+ add your own
3:30AM PST on Jan 24, 2013

Thanks for the tips - I'll try the non-kill methods!

6:13PM PST on Jan 14, 2013

or live in the desert where it's too dry for them to live.

6:03PM PST on Jan 14, 2013

I have few Eastern Water Dragons in my yard, slugs and snails are like crack to them and any they miss i just throw to them :D

5:18PM PST on Jan 13, 2013

Or, you could make little tiny signs saying no slugs allowed and place them where appropriate.

6:20AM PDT on Apr 16, 2012


1:30AM PST on Jan 8, 2012

Thanks for the article.

6:42PM PDT on Sep 16, 2010

I see no reason to kill them.

5:09AM PDT on Sep 16, 2010

All in nature is important and if humans keep messing with it instead of going with the flow it's going to have negative effects on us personally!!

5:08AM PDT on Sep 16, 2010

Why? What did they do to you???

5:32AM PDT on Jul 22, 2010

Thanks for the info!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

thanks for sharing

I love Yoghurt especially Greek Yoghurt and eat it every morning for brekkie with my cereal. Yummo!…

I like yogurt any way :)


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