How to Kill Slugs in the Garden


Slugs can wreak havoc on your garden, causing damage to plants and frustrating gardeners. If you’re struggling with a slug infestation, worry no more! This comprehensive guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to kill slugs in the garden. From identifying slugs and understanding their behavior to using natural and chemical remedies and implementing preventive measures, you’ll learn effective strategies to protect your garden and keep slugs at bay.

How to Kill Slugs in the Garden?

Step 1: Identify Slugs and Understand Their Behavior

  • Recognize slug characteristics: Slugs are slimy, soft-bodied creatures with no external shell, varying in color from brown to black or even yellowish.
  • Learn their habits: Slugs are most active during damp and humid conditions, typically feeding at night and seeking shelter during the day.
  • Identify common slug damage: Look for irregular holes and chewed leaves, especially in young and tender plants.

How to Kill Slugs in the Garden

Step 2: Natural Remedies to Eliminate Slugs

  • Handpicking: Go on a slug-hunting expedition during the evening or early morning hours. Wear gloves and pick the slugs off the plants, collecting them in a container for disposal.
  • Beer traps: Sink shallow containers filled with beer into the soil near slug-prone areas. Slugs are attracted to the yeast in beer and will crawl in and drown.
  • Copper barriers: Create a barrier around vulnerable plants using copper tape or strips. Slugs dislike the electrical charge produced by copper and avoid crossing it.
  • Diatomaceous earth: Sprinkle a thin layer of food-grade diatomaceous earth around plants. The sharp particles will dehydrate and kill slugs upon contact.
  • Slug-friendly traps: Place damp boards, grapefruit halves, or overturned flower pots in the garden overnight. Slugs will seek shelter underneath, allowing you to collect and remove them the following morning.

Step 3: Chemical Remedies

  • Iron phosphate-based baits: Use slug pellets containing iron phosphate, which are considered safer for pets, wildlife, and the environment. Follow the instructions on the label for proper application.
  • Metaldehyde-based baits: Exercise caution when using slug pellets containing metaldehyde, as they can be toxic to pets, birds, and other wildlife. Use them sparingly and according to the instructions.


Step 4: Preventive Measures

  • Encourage natural predators: Create a welcoming habitat for slug-eating creatures like birds, frogs, and toads by providing shelter, water sources, and native plants.
  • Garden cleanliness: Keep your garden free from debris, fallen leaves, and hiding spots that attract slugs.
  • Proper watering: Water your plants in the morning to allow the soil to dry out during the day, reducing the slug-friendly moisture levels.
  • Mulching with materials slugs dislike: Mulch around plants using materials like gravel, crushed eggshells, or pine needles, which slugs find abrasive and unappealing.
  • Raised beds: Consider using raised beds, as they are less accessible to slugs than ground-level planting areas.

Tips for Effective Slug Control

  • Monitor regularly: Inspect your garden regularly for slug activity, especially in moist areas or after rainfall, and take prompt action.
  • Combine methods: Utilize a combination of natural, chemical, and preventive measures for the most effective slug control.
  • Persistence is key: Stay vigilant and continue implementing slug control strategies throughout the growing season to maintain a slug-free garden.


With the help of this detailed guide, you can effectively eliminate slugs from your garden and protect your plants from their destructive feeding habits. By identifying slugs, using natural and chemical remedies, and implementing preventive measures, you’ll create a garden environment that is less appealing to slugs and more conducive to plant growth.

By Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is the founder of and a seasoned gardener with over 20 years of experience. He started the website with the goal of providing fellow gardeners with reliable information and reviews on the best garden tools available in the market. Patrick’s passion for gardening and his expertise in using different garden tools have been instrumental in creating a website that caters to the needs of both novice and experienced gardeners. When he's not tending to his garden, Patrick enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

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