How To Get Rid Of Slugs Naturally? ( Top 15 Ways )

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Gardeners and slugs have been doing battle for hundreds if not thousands of years, although the ways of getting rid of slugs have changed due to technological advancements, there are still plenty of ways of getting rid of slugs naturally.

To get rid of slugs naturally, you will have to remove as much of their food source as possible. Slugs eat decaying organic matter, so anything that contains leaves, dead plants, and grass is a viable food source for them, this includes mulches and compost piles as well. You can attract to your garden the natural predators of slugs, like snakes hedgehogs, and frogs, although you will need to create a small wildlife pond for them.

If you want to get rid of slugs by letting their predators move into your garden then my personal recommendation is to set up a small container water garden Click here to check it out on

Nature always finds a balance, and this is true even in your garden. If something is way out of balance, some creature will try to make the best of it. In the case of slugs, this usually means that if there is an excess of decaying organic matter, then this will lead to a serious slug infestation. Although in this case most slugs will not bother your plants, as they have plenty of food, but once their food runs out they will go after your plants, and they will eat everything in a matter of days.

A lot of people say that you should wait for predators that eat slugs to show up, but the truth is that this rarely happens, as most gardens and lawns are not good living environments for predators that eat slugs, like snakes, frogs, and hedgehogs. If you want to get rid of slugs without killing them, then check out my recent article How To Stop Slugs Eating Plants Without Killing Them ( 5 Easy Ways ).

How To Get Rid Of Slugs Naturally?

To get rid of slugs naturally, there are several methods you can try. One option is to create barriers using materials slugs dislike, such as copper tape or diatomaceous earth, around vulnerable areas. These substances create an unpleasant texture for slugs to cross. You can also encourage natural predators like frogs, toads, and birds by creating habitats such as ponds and bird feeders.

Another natural approach is to use beer traps, where you bury containers in the ground filled with beer, which attracts slugs and they drown in it. Additionally, maintaining a clean garden by removing debris and keeping the soil surface dry can make the environment less attractive to slugs. Applying natural repellents like coffee grounds, eggshells, or garlic spray around your plants can also deter slugs.

Get Rid Of Their Food Source

By far one of the easiest ways of getting rid of slugs naturally is to get rid of their food source. The more food there is in your garden for the slugs the more they will reproduce. Slugs eat for the most part decaying organic matter, although they will also eat earthworms and fungi as well. If you want to get rid of slugs then you will have to remove as much decaying organic matter from your garden as possible.

Grass clippings and leaves tend to be excellent food sources for most slugs. You have to make an effort to collect as much decaying organic matter from your garden, this means that you have to collect all the dead plants, grass clippings, and leaves. If you have a compost pile or if you use organic mulches then these are also mostly made out of decaying organic matter which is a good food source for the slugs.

In the case of compost piles and mulches, you either get rid of them completely or dry them out as fast as possible as most slugs will avoid eating dried out organic matter. If you tend to frequently cut weeds from your garden, or chop plants then make sure to throw them away, as these also can be used as a food source by the slugs. If slugs tend to show up in your kitchen during the night then check out my recent article Slugs In The Kitchen At Night ( 4 Easy Steps To Get Rid Of Slugs ).

Use Preventative Mesures Agaisnt Slugs

One of the main problems of slug control is that most people try to get rid of them in the middle of summer when their numbers are at their highest. If you know that your garden gets a lot of slugs in every season then it is time to think about getting rid of them when their numbers are still low. You can use preventative measures in the early spring, right when the first plants start to sprout.

These preventative measures can be anything from slug bait traps to slug pellets. Any slug killed during the spring can mean dozens if not hundreds fewer slugs in your garden during the summer.

Allow The Natural Predators Of Slugs To Live In Your Garden

Slugs tend to be at the bottom of the food chain and they do have plenty of predators. The main problem with using predators against slugs is that these predators don’t really like a low cut lawn and they need a source of water nearby. No matter how many slugs you have in your garden, if the predators can not find a good hiding spot or have access to water in your garden then they are very unlikely to show up.

Predators like snakes, frogs, and hedgehogs are all excellent at eating slugs. All you need to do is to make a small wildlife pond where they can hide during the day and have some water as well. The wildlife pond doesn’t need to be anything fancy, something as simple as a large plastic container dug into the soil and filled with water will be enough. Make sure to plant some plants around the pond, or allow the grass to grow as tall as possible in that area.

Ducks Are An Excellent Slug Control

Ducks have been used against slugs for thousands of years already, and the ducks are not complaining, in fact, they love eating the slugs. Even today farmers use ducks in order to get rid of slugs from their rice fields in China, and this natural pest control method is getting more and more popular. If you have a smaller garden then one or two ducks will be enough to kill most slugs, although the bigger the garden is the more time it will take for the ducks to get them all.

You don’t even have to buy the ducks, many farmers that raise ducks will rent them out for a set period of time, usually, a couple of days as this is all they need to pick a garden clean of most slugs. Just keep in mind that slug pellets and other chemicals that kill slugs can be deadly to the ducks as well.

Slugs Hate Coffe Grounds

The caffeine in the coffee grounds will usually kill most slugs, although it does take a couple of days. The higher the concentration of caffeine in the coffee grounds the more potent it will be against slugs. Coffee grounds should be sprinkled in your garden, especially near plants that are targeted by slugs like Dahlias for example. Coffee grounds are effective against slugs, but the caffeine will stunt the growth of most plants and delay the germination of seeds, so use it at your own risk. You can even use instant coffee against them, for more information check out my recent article Can I Use Instant Coffee To Deter Slugs? ( Pros & Cons ).

Keep Your Grass Short

One easy way of getting rid of slugs from your garden is to limit where slugs will actually be able to travel. Slugs hate large open spaces, as they are vulnerable to predators. Long grasses are ideal hiding spots for most slugs and they will use the cover off the grass to get to other areas of your garden. Simply put, make sure that your grass is short and tidy, it will do miracles when it comes to how many slugs you will actually find in your garden.

Garlic Slug Spray

Garlic has been used against slugs since forever, in fact, it is one of the best natural pesticides. Slugs hate garlic, and they will try to avoid it as much as possible, the garlic spray is usually only lethal if you spray the slugs with it directly. The garlic spray isn’t only effective against slugs, it will kill most sap sucking insects as well like aphids for example. Garlic spray can be also used directly on plants as it protects them from pests and even cures them of powdery mildew.

Beer Traps

Beer traps are a simple and effective way of getting rid of slugs. Slugs are attracted to the yeast in the beer, so you could even use some water, with a tablespoon of sugar and some yeast and the results will be the same. The problem with beer traps is that they tend to be very inefficient, for every slug killed by the beer trap, there are probably 10 more slugs who just drank the beer and simply left.

Wool Pellets

No matter if regular or sheep wool pellets are used, both of these can be excellent slug deterrents. Wool tends to be excellent at absorbing water, and it can dehydrate the slugs that attempt to crawl on it. Some say that slugs simply hate the touch of wool and that is why they avoid it. The problem with wool pellets is that they can become less effective once they are fully saturated with water, like after rain, you know when the slugs come out to eat, which tends to be kind of important.


I had to add eggshells to this list because all of the top sites are recommending it. Although you can easily tell if somebody recommending the use of eggshells against slugs has done no research on it and has never tested it out. Eggshells do not work against slugs, their “sharp” edges will not stop the slugs from crawling on them, in fact, there are videos of slugs crawling on the sharp edge of a razor.

What eggshells are actually doing is feeding the slugs, as the eggshells are jam packed with calcium which is in short supply from most plants but is extremely important to both slugs and snails. In fact, people who keep slugs and snails as pets will often feed them eggshells due to their calcium content.

Alliums And Garlic Plants

Allium and garlic plants have the same thing that slugs hate which is allicin. Alliums are basically onions, so you can use them as well against slugs. You can actually protect your garden by strategically planting alliums and garlic in your garden. As for how effective this method is, depends on a lot of factors. Although these plants will repel most slugs, but it is not much you can do against a really hungry one.

Copper Tape And Rings

Copper can be used to stop slugs from damaging your plants, copper tape can easily be glued to the side of the pots and this will usually stop most slugs. You can still use copper to stop slugs in your garden directly, but in this case, you will have to use copper rings. Simply place the copper ring around the stem of the plant and it will stop most slugs from getting to the plant.

When slugs come into contact with copper a chemical reaction occurs, or a small static shock, both of these are enough to deter slugs from crawling up the copper tape or ring.


Nematodes are a big threat to slugs as they seek them out, enter their bodies and with the help of bacteria, they will slowly dissolve the slugs from the inside, not a pleasant way to go. Although nematodes can be found in a lot of different types of soils and areas, but you can also order them. The secret behind using nematodes effectively against slugs is to follow the instructions as closely as you can.

Wheat & Corn Bran

Wheat and corn bran can be used against slugs, although it is limited on how effective it actually is. The idea with bran is that slugs will eat it and the bran will act as a desiccant which, in turn, dries the slug out. The problem is that most slugs tend to come out to eat after a rain, and if the bran is already wet then it will not be effective. This is very similar to the eggshells, in theory, it sounds good but in practice, it is extremely unlikely to actually work.

Slug Pellets

Although there is nothing natural about slug pellets they do their job of killing all slugs that ingest them. My personal recommendation is to start using them in the spring before most slugs actually come out of their hiding spots. You can easily control the number of slugs by simply preventing their numbers from getting too high. You can use the slug pellets in the middle of the summer as well, but this will be an uphill battle.

Key Takeaways

  • To get rid of slugs naturally make sure to get rid of their food source, use preventative measures, use their natural predators, ducks, coffee ground, keep your grass short, garlic spray, beer traps, wool pellets, eggshells, alliums, copper tape, nematodes, wheat and corn bran, and slug pellets if everything else fails.
  • Predators can help you out when it comes to slugs, they will basically do the job for you but you will have to make a small pond for them.
  • It is always a good idea to start addressing the slug problem in early spring when their numbers are still low.