7 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Slugs
If you have experienced or are currently dealing with a slug problem, you’re not alone. These slimy creatures are a pain to deal with, and can seemingly appear out of nowhere! Slugs are attracted to cool, moist environments and love to feast on your plants. They can sometimes be difficult to keep away which creates a big problem for you and your plants! While there are many chemical-based options for getting rid of slugs, these often come with harmful side effects not only to you but to your plants as well. If you’re looking for a more natural solution, then you are in the right place! Today we are sharing our top ways of getting rid of slugs. After you’ve tried one or more of these ideas, we hope you’ll be slug-free in no time and learn some tricks for preventing their visit in the beginning.
So, how do you get rid of slugs naturally? Here are 7 ways to get rid of slugs naturally that really work:
- Neem Oil
- Bacillus Thuringiensis
- Diatomaceous Earth
- Soapy Water
- Natural Predators
Now that we have our list of natural methods, let’s go over each one in more detail so you know which method will be best for your slug problem! After we’re done, you’ll know the pros and cons of each method, how to effectively try each one, and which one works the best. Let’s get into it so you can enjoy the outdoors again!
1. Neem Oil
If you’re looking for an all-natural slug repellent, neem oil is a great option! This oil is derived from the Azadirachta indica tree and has been shown to be effective against slugs and other pests. Neem oil works by disrupting the molting process of slugs, which ultimately kills them. It also has a bitter taste that deters slugs from eating your plants. You can purchase Neem oil online or at your local garden center. To use Neem oil as a slug repellent, mix 2-3 tablespoons of oil with 1 gallon of water. Then, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and apply it to your plants. Be sure to thoroughly coat the leaves, stems, and surrounding area. Reapply every 7-10 days or as needed.
Pros of Neem Oil
- Disrupts the Molting Process
- Has a Bitter Taste
2. Bacillus Thuringiensis
Bacillus thuringiensis, or BT for short, is a naturally occurring bacterium that can be used as an effective slug control measure. This bacteria produces a toxin that is deadly to slugs and other pests, but completely safe for humans and animals. BT is most commonly sold as a powder or liquid concentrate. To use BT, mix the recommended amount with water and pour it into a spray bottle. Then, apply it to your plants and around the garden. Be sure to thoroughly coat the leaves, stems, and surrounding area. You can get BT online or at your local garden center.
Pros of Bacillus Thuringiensis
- Naturally Occurring Bacteria
- Produces a Toxin That Is Deadly to Slugs
- Completely Safe for Humans and Animals
Pyrethrin is a natural insecticide of the outdoors that is derived from the Chrysanthemum flower. This substance is effective against a variety of pests, including slugs. Pyrethrin works by paralyzing the nervous system of slugs and other pests, ultimately killing them. Pyrethrin is most commonly sold as a powder or liquid concentrate. To use pyrethrin as a slug repellent, mix the recommended amount with water and pour it into a spray bottle. Then, apply it to your plants and around the garden. Be sure to thoroughly coat the leaves, stems, and surrounding area. You can get pyrethrin online or at your local home/garden center.
Pros of Pyrethrin
- Derived From the Chrysanthemum Flower
- Effective Against a Variety of Pests
- Works By Paralyzing the Nervous System
4. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring substance that is derived from the fossilized remains of algae. This substance works by puncturing the slug’s exoskeleton, which ultimately leads to dehydration and death. Diatomaceous earth is most commonly sold as a powder or in granular form. To use diatomaceous earth as a slug repellent, scatter it around your plants and garden. You can also create a barrier by placing it around the perimeter of your garden. Be sure to reapply after heavy rain or as needed. You can purchase diatomaceous earth online or at your local home/garden center.
Pros of Diatomaceous Earth
- Naturally Occurring Substance
- Derived From the Fossilized Remains of Algae
- Works By Puncturing the Slug’s Exoskeleton
5. Soapy Water
One of the simplest ways to get rid of slugs is to use soapy water. This method works by suffocating the slugs. You can create a soapy water solution by mixing 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of dish soap. To use this solution, mix water and soap in a gallon-sized container and then fill a spray bottle. Then look for the slugs. It’s best to do this at night when slugs are most active. When you find a slug, spray it directly with soapy water. You can also use a sponge or brush to apply the solution to hard-to-reach areas. You can then follow any other slug trails to find and remove more slugs. Be careful of the soap you use and to not add too much into your soil around your plants as it could be harmful to the plants.
Pros of Soapy Water
- Simple and Easy to Make
- Suffocates the Slugs
- Can Be Used In Hard-to-Reach Areas
6. Natural Predators
Another way to get rid of slugs is to attract their natural predators. This includes ducks, birds, toads, and lizards. These animals will help keep the slug population in check and can also provide additional benefits, such as fertilizing your garden. One of the easiest ways to introduce a predator is with birds. Simply put in a bird bath and bird feeder near your garden to naturally attract birds. Once the birds start coming, they can help control the slug problem. You can also introduce toads and lizards by providing hiding spots and a water source. Creating a mini pond is a great way to do this. Birds are a great option as you don’t have to worry about them ruining your plants or being yet another nuisance to you.
Pros of Natural Predators
- Help Keep the Slug Population In Check
- Provide Additional Benefits, such as Fertilizing Your Garden
- Easy to Introduce
To use spinosad, mix the recommended amount with water and pour it into a spray bottle. Spinosad is a natural substance that is derived from soil bacteria. This substance works by causing neurological damage in pests, which ultimately leads to death. Spinosad is most commonly sold as a powder or liquid concentrate. To use spinosad, mix the recommended amount with water and pour it into a spray bottle. Then, apply it to your plants and around the garden. Be sure to thoroughly coat the leaves, stems, and surrounding area. You can purchase spinosad online or at your local home/garden center.
Pros of Spinosad
- Natural Substance
- Derived From a Soil Bacteria
- Causes Neurological Damage In Pests
The Best Method For Getting Rid of Slugs
Now that we’ve gone over each of the 7 natural ways of getting rid of slugs, which one is the best? To answer this question, we need to consider a few factors. These include:
- Ease of Use
Based on these factors, we believe that the best method for getting rid of slugs is spinosad. This substance is relatively easy to use and is very effective at killing slugs. It is also a natural substance that poses little risk to humans, pets, and wildlife.
However, if you want the most natural method that prevents slugs or chases them away without needing to kill them, then using natural predators is the best method. This is a great long-term solution that can also provide additional benefits to your garden and add beauty to the outdoors.
Can I use salt to get rid of slugs?
Salt is a popular home remedy for getting rid of slugs. To use salt, simply sprinkle it around the perimeter of your garden or on any slug trails that you find. The salt will kill the slugs by dehydrating them. You can also mix salt with water to create a saltwater solution. This solution can be sprayed directly on the slugs. Just be careful not to overspray as salt can also damage plants.
Are all these methods safe around pets and kids?
Yes, all of these methods are safe to use around pets and children. However, we recommend that you keep pets and children away from treated areas until the substance has had a chance to dry. You should also wash your hands after handling any of the products listed above.
Are slugs dangerous to humans?
No, slugs are not dangerous to humans. However, some people may be allergic to slug saliva. If you experience any irritation after coming into contact with a slug, wash the area with soap and water. If the irritation persists, see a doctor.
There are a variety of ways to get rid of slugs naturally. These include using natural predators, salt, diatomaceous earth, Pyrethrin, and Spinosad. All of these methods are safe to use around pets and children. No matter what you try, keep in mind that persistence is key. You may need to use multiple methods or reapply treatments regularly to get rid of all the slugs in your garden.
We hope you found this article helpful and are able to get rid of slugs quickly, effectively, and naturally! Good luck and get back to enjoying the outdoors!