Organic Slug Control Methods For those of us that do not want to use potentially harmful chemicals. There are lots of possible organic slug killing solutions to getting rid of this persistent garden pest without using chemicals that harm plants and animals.
Some work better than others, and some are best used as a combination of a major attack plan to get rid of slugs from your plot or garden as quickly as possible.
Slugs hide out in the soil, decaying vegetation and under pots or the side of raised beds. They are extremely resourceful. A constant action is needed to prevent them from eating everything.
Below is a list of possible organic slug killing solutions that you can use to stop, slow down and kill the slugs in your garden.
- 1 Organic or Non-Toxic Methods of Slug Removal
- 2 Barriers
- 3 1. Salt
- 4 2. Egg shells as a Deterrent
- 5 3. Coffee Grounds
- 6 4. Hair
- 7 5. Ducks
- 8 6. Wool Pellets
- 9 7. Copper
- 10 Destruction Organically
- 11 8. Organic Slug Pellets
- 12 9. Slug Nematodes
- 13 10. Slug Traps
- 14 Deterrents
- 15 11. Garlic Spray
- 16 Other Methods
- 17 Squishing or Chopping
- 18 Hand Removal
Organic or Non-Toxic Methods of Slug Removal
- Salt barrier
- Egg Shells
- Coffee Grounds (organic only)
- Wool pellets
- Copper Tape
- Organic slug pellets
- Slug Traps
- Garlic Spray
- Squishing and Chopping
- Hand removal
Salt can work well as when the slugs go over the salt it dries them up. However, rain will wash out the salt into the soil and reduce how well it works.
2. Egg shells as a Deterrent
Egg shells were recommended to me when I first started. The slugs do not like climbing over the sharp edges. I did not find this stopped them. My sister also used this method and she had completely covered her tubs in shell but the slugs still got in. We think they climbed up the walls and climbed across.
Only really truly organic if you buy organic eggs. These are great to help with the battle, however, they should be used with other methods rather than relied upon on their own.
Photo by Richard G Hawley CC by ND 4.0
3. Coffee Grounds
Many people have recommended using coffee grounds as the slugs do not like them. You can get these from your local coffee shops like Costa or Starbucks. Although these are less of a hazard than inorganic pellets they may not be strictly organic you would need to check your suppliers coffee to make sure. Maybe against EU law to use this method now though. And how organic is would be would depend on your shampoo and conditioner.
You can use your own hair removed from a hair brush or cut to stop them. You would need a lot of hair though.
Ducks like to eat slugs.
6. Wool Pellets
Wool pellets are designed to put a natural barrier up around your plants to prevent the slugs and snails from getting to them to eat them.
These pellets are completely natural soil association approved wool and are also recycled are organic.
They work by causing an irritant to the slug and also by absorbing their moisture. In addition, they also reduce weed growth and release nutrients which is a great bonus.
Copper makes a great barrier. However, you have to keep it clean or it loses its ability to stop the slugs. Also, this assumes the slugs are not already in the soil or hiding out somewhere else.
8. Organic Slug Pellets
As mentioned in part one, slug pellets work really well. However, many of the organic slug pellets are costly and do not work as well according to most people I have spoken to and my own experiences.
Slug pellets need to withstand rain and quite a lot of it here in (not so sunny) Cornwall. There was one with great reviews that caught my eye. Many people are happy with and say it works and that it withstands rain. As I said previously this didn’t work with the ones I got locally. So this was music to my ears.
9. Slug Nematodes
This is probably one of the best solutions for organic slug killing as it is truly natural and non-chemical, unlike the organic pellets. Nematodes are microscopic worms. They decimate slug populations and kill them without the need for chemicals.
All you have to do it pick the right time, not too hot and dry or too cold. Raining is ideal. Following the instructions on the packet your water them into your garden. This one pack covers 40 square meters.
As they are a living product they only last about three weeks in storage. Once applied they last up to 6 weeks so if you first apply them in March you may need 2 applications.
10. Slug Traps
You can also buy slug traps that you can place in your ground. These capture and kill the slugs.
11. Garlic Spray
I have used garlic for my seedlings in the mini greenhouse and it does work to a degree but you have to keep on top of it. As soon as it rains or you water the plants you have to re-apply.
All you do is crush up a couple of garlic cloves and pop into a water spray bottle. You leave it a couple of hours and then spray. (It may pay to mix separately then strain as the bits of garlic clog up the spray).
Squishing or Chopping
Shudder! I have accidentally done this but couldn’t do it on purpose, but if you are not squeamish you can go up in the evening with a torch and either squish them or cut them in half.
I confess I don’t like killing anything really. You can just go up in the evening and remove them. Though what you do with them afterwards I am unsure as you are not meant to move them to a different location.