What Do Slugs Like? ( 12 Things Loved By Slugs )

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Slugs are simple creatures, there are some things that they like and some they really hate. The main problem with slugs is that our gardens are usually filled with things they really like and this is why most gardeners struggle to get rid of them.

Slugs like to feed on the leaves of various plants, particularly seedlings, as well as ripening fruits, vegetables, and decaying plant matter. Their extensive feeding can weaken or even kill plants. However, there are nonchemical methods you can employ to combat slugs. Creating physical barriers, such as copper tape or sharp surfaces, can deter their movement. Regularly removing hiding spots, like weeds or debris, helps minimize their presence. Additionally, you can introduce natural predators like frogs or birds to control the slug population. 

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Not all environments are suitable for slugs, you will rarely see slugs in more arid locations, but you will definitely see them in humid areas. Some things that slugs tend to like are vital for their survival, like plenty of moisture and cover. Slugs are fairly low on the food chain, they have a lot of predators, and this is why they will seek out places that provide them with enough cover and food.

As soon as you will start removing from your garden the things that slugs like you will see a significant reduction in their numbers. If you want to know what slugs hate then check out my recent article What Do Slugs Hate? ( Top 11 Most Hated Things By Slugs ).

What Do Slugs Like?

Slugs thrive in damp and moist environments, as these conditions are conducive to their movement and reproduction. Slugs are attracted to areas with abundant organic matter, such as decaying leaves, mulch, and compost piles, as these provide them with a food source and a suitable habitat. They are particularly fond of tender, succulent plants and can cause significant damage by feeding on leaves, stems, and flowers. Slugs are also attracted to moist and shady areas, making them more active during the night when the environment is cooler and more humid.


The first thing that all slugs like is moisture, usually, they come out to feed after rain and hide in areas where it tends to be dark and moist. Slugs rarely go out during the day if it has not rained, because they will use a lot more energy to produce their slime. Slugs are really vulnerable to getting dehydrated, and for the most part, they will seek out moist environments and will avoid areas that are dry and with full sun. If you want to get rid of slugs permanently then check out my recent article How To Get Rid Of Slugs Permanently ( 6 Permanent Solutions ).


Slugs also like darkness, as it is vital for their survival, during the day they tend to hide under anything they can as long as it is dark and moist. Usually, in the garden, they tend to hide under objects and rocks left sitting on the ground. If the soil is fairly loose, they will hide under the topsoil, where they can feed on the shallow roots of some plants, and also lay their eggs.

Decaying Organic Matter

Slugs love decaying organic matter because it is their main food source, and this is one of the main reasons why most gardens are filled with slugs. Although slugs will mostly eat decaying organic matter, they will also eat healthy plants as well. They are usually attracted by sick and stressed out plants, but there are certain plants that have no defenses against them and they tend to be the first ones to be eaten in the garden.


Mulches have a lot of benefits for plants, but the main problem with them is that slugs tend to love mulches. Organic mulches that are mostly made out of grass clippings, leaves, and other plant materials are ideal food for slugs, as they are mostly made out of decaying organic matter. A thick layer of mulch also provides the slugs with a good hiding spot which they will also use to reproduce.


If you have ever grown dahlias directly in the garden then you probably know that slugs really like to eat them. Dahlias the moment they start to sprout are vulnerable to slugs, which often eat their sprouts, to a point where the dahlias can no longer sprout. If the dahlias manage to survive long enough to flower, then the slugs will eat their flowers as well. Mature dahlias have a better chance of being left alone by slugs, but you will still notice the occasional damage on their leaves.


Slugs love eating feces, it is already a pre digested food source for them that is also jam packed with nutrients. The population of slugs can easily explode in your garden if you do not collect the feces of your pets. With that being said, slugs will not turn down a feast of feces, no matter what species have produced it. If you want to let nature take its course and remove the slugs for you, then check out my recent article How To Get Rid Of Slugs Naturally? ( Top 15 Ways ).


You might be surprised that slugs love eggshells because all the big sites are recommending to use eggshells against slugs. Slugs and snails need calcium in order to grow, and this calcium can be really hard to find in the garden. Lucky for them if you start throwing eggshells around your plants they will have a very good source of calcium.

Plant Cover

Slugs use the thick cover of plants to protect themselves from predators, even if your grass is regularly cut they will still be able to use it. This is why abandoned or overgrown areas in the garden tend to be a hot spot for slugs. On the other hand, these areas are also excellent for snakes, frogs, and hedgehogs as well which really like eating slugs. If slugs have plenty of cover they are more likely to come out and feed even during the day.


Another big favorite of slugs is yeast, this is what actually attracts them to beer traps. Most people think that the beer actually attracts them when in fact it is the yeast, so you could just place down some yeast with some water and sugar and they will be attracted to it. Slugs in fact love yeast so much that they will go right for it, even if there is plenty of decaying organic matter available in the garden.


Fungi are part of most slugs’ diets, they will eat a wide variety of fungi at different stages of development. As fungi usually grow in moist environments this makes it relatively easy for slugs to find and eat them. Some types of fungi are deadly to slugs, although they will usually avoid these, but sometimes you might find one dead right next to the fungi.

Rotting Fruits And Vegetables

As slugs usually eat decaying organic matter, they also love eating rotting fruits and vegetables. Damaged fruits and vegetables tend to start rotting, and the slugs can smell this rotting process. Vegetables that are growing right on the ground like cucumber for example are prone to rot, and you will see half eaten cucumbers by the slugs. If you are growing fruits or vegetables then make sure to not allow them to rot on the ground, as they will be eaten by the slugs.

Rotting Animals

Slugs will not shy away from eating dead animals, especially if they have already started to rot. You will rarely see slugs eating dead animals during the day, but once night comes they will be all over it, especially if it has rained. Although slugs tend to hate fur or animal hair, but if they can access the insides of the dead animal they will try to eat it.

Key Takeaways

  • Slugs like moist and dark environments where they hide during the day, during the night they come out to eat mostly decaying organic matter. Slugs also like it if they have plenty of cover from plants, so overgrown areas are one of their favorites. In addition to this, slugs also like eggshells due to their calcium content which can be really hard to find if they only eat decaying organic matter.
  • Yeast can be used to lure slugs into traps, from where you can easily get rid of them.
  • Eggshells are one of the favorite foods of slugs because it is jam packed with calcium.