Salt On Slugs ( The Slug Kryptonite )

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Salt is deadly to slugs, although that doesn’t mean that you should use salt to control the slug population in your garden. Salt tends to do a lot of damage to plants and the soil, it will kill most slugs that come into contact with it but it is only a matter of time until it kills the plants as well.

Salt kills slugs by drawing all the moisture out of them, in short, it basically dehydrates and dries them out. Although salt will kill slugs, it should not be used to get rid of them, salt also damages the soil, and the plants as well. Slugs that have died due to salt will release a lot of slime which definitely smells and also attracts a lot of flies. Slugs are not the most complex creatures, but they can definitely feel pain, and having all moisture drawn out by salt doesn’t feel pleasant.

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Overall, using salt against slugs is more harmful to your garden than beneficial. Slugs that come into contact with salt will release a lot of moisture and slime, this slime tends to be a lot thicker than their normal slime and it will make a mess of your garden. You will definitely see the marks left by slugs that came into contact with the salt, usually, it will be a slime trail or big ball of slime, and you will definitely notice the smell.

Salt isn’t an ethical way of dealing with slugs, as it kills them rather slowly and painfully, imagine all the moisture leaving your body in a couple of minutes, not a great way to go, to say the least. If you want to know from where slugs come after rain then check out my recent article Where Do Slugs Come From When It Rains? ( 5 Most Likely Places ).

Salt On Slugs

Using salt on slugs is a popular but controversial method for getting rid of these garden pests. When salt comes into contact with a slug, it causes dehydration by drawing out the moisture from their body. As a result, the slug’s cells become damaged, leading to its demise. However, it’s important to note that using salt to kill slugs is not a humane method and is generally discouraged by experts. The process can be slow and painful for the slugs, causing unnecessary suffering. Additionally, salt can have a detrimental impact on soil health and surrounding plants if used excessively.

Using Salt To Kill Slugs

A light sprinkle of salt will kill most slugs, although you have to be careful not to sprinkle the soil. If the salt enters the soil it will kill off beneficial bacteria and will damage your plants, especially if you use salt to get rid of slugs fairly regularly. What you should do is collect the slugs first and then sprinkle them in an area where the salt has no possibility of getting into the soil. Under no circumstances go out into your garden and start throwing salt around randomly. If you want to know what slugs like then check out my recent article What Do Slugs Like? ( 12 Things Loved By Slugs ).

Salt Bath Or Spray Also Kills Slugs

Mixing water with salt is also deadly for slugs, no matter if you dip them into the water or if you spray them. However, the salt spray tends to be less effective than the salt bath, as some slugs will survive. In the case of the salt bath, you will need to have a strong stomach, only a couple of slugs will create a thick “soup” due to the released slime, and it smells horrible. No matter if you use the salt bath or the salt spray, make sure to dispose of the dead slugs, don’t just throw them on the compost pile as the salt will linger in the compost and will eventually end up on your plants.

Slugs Killed By Salt Will Smell And Will Attract Flies

As the slugs are slowly dying to the slat they will release most of their moisture in the form of slime. In small quantities, you will not notice its smell, but 10-15 slugs that have died to salt will release a lot of slime, and you will definitely notice the smell. The worst part about it is that other creatures will also pick up this scent, anything from rodents to flies. As soon as a couple of hours after the slugs have died you will start noticing more flies in your garden.

Salt Will Kill Most Garden Plants

One of the main problems of using salt to kill slugs is that it also tends to kill your plants. You might get rid of your slug problem, but most of your plants will also be gone. Salt that gets on the leaves, buds, or flowers of plants will create a so called salt burn. This salt burn simply strips away the protective membrane from the plant, and the plant will slowly start turning brown, eventually drying out completely.

If the salt gets to the roots of the plants, then the roots will slowly dry out and their protective layer will be dissolved by the salt. Plants that have some salt damage on their leaves can still recover, but plants that have root damage due to salt will most likely not be able to recover.

Slugs Can Feel Pain And They Will Suffer If You Put Salt On Them

Most creatures do feel pain, even if they do not scream or run away. Slugs do not scream in pain if you put salt on them because they simply can not scream. On the other hand, they will definitely feel the pain of the salt drawing out all the moisture from their body. Putting salt on slugs is not an instant death, and in most cases, the slugs will suffer for a couple of minutes. In short, just because you can not hear the slugs screaming from pain, doesn’t mean that they are not in pain, so do not put salt on them.

Slugs that have been sprinkled with salt will start to wiggle in an effort to get off the salt, at this point they simply can not crawl away because they can not create the slime under their feet on which they travel. If you want to know what slugs really hate then check out my recent article What Do Slugs Hate? ( Top 11 Most Hated Things By Slugs ).

Key Takeaways

  • Slugs will die if they get in direct contact with salt or even with salt water.
  • Slugs that are dying due to salt will release a lot of slime which has a horrible smell and also attracts flies.
  • Salt should never be used to kill slugs, it is an inhumane method and the slugs can feel pain.