How To Get Rid Of Slugs & Snails

Slugs and snails can be pretty annoying companions if you grow plants in your garden.

Fortunately, there are some easy but yet effective ways how to get rid of snails that I want to show you in this article!

Snail Overview

Short descriptionSnails and slugs are quite common garden pests. While those two are quite similar, the main difference is that snails have a shell and slugs don’t.
Scientific nameGastropoda.
Lifespan2 – 3 years on average, some snails even live up to 10 years.
What plants do they like?Lettuce, cabbage, spinach, mustard greens, several other leafy greens.
SymptomsYou will see snail bites on the leaves of your plants with your naked eye.
Potential damageSnails can eat your whole plant and it is therefore crucial to keep slugs and snails away from your plants so that you don’t lose your harvest to those hungry intruders.
Control optionsChemical, biological and cultural.
Treatment difficultyEasy.
Natural predatorsBeetles, snakes, toads, birds, ants.

How to get rid of Slugs & Snails in your Garden

1. Don’t leave food remains in your garden

One important step to get rid of snails in your garden is that you remove all food remains.

Quite often, people eat food in their garden but don’t care about cleaning up properly.

Not only will this attract slugs and snails, but also other pests and even rats and other rodents.

Hence, to keep away those unpleasant intruders, make sure to not leave any food remains in your garden after your meal.

2. Keep your garden tidy

Make sure to keep your garden tidy in general to deter snails.

The more plant material is inside your garden, the better conditions are for snails to find food and to reproduce.

Thus, make sure to remove greenery from your garden as best as possible to confine the living space for slugs, snails and other hungry little friends.

3. Install slug fences

Another simple but yet quite popular and easy approach to get rid of snails from your garden is simply to use slug fences.

Those fences are easy to install and will also not hurt the visual appearance of your garden.

Moreover, those fences are also reusable and can therefore be used to keep away slugs, snails and other insects for many years to come.

4. Locate where snails come from

To get rid of slugs in a long-term manner, it is also crucial that you figure out where all those snails come from.

Quite often, snails and slugs will hide in shady and moist places in your garden and will only come out during rainy periods.

Hence, during dry periods, try to locate where those snails gather and remove those snail nests as best as possible.

5. Use salt to get rid of snails

While some people claim that using salt to get rid of slugs is unethical, salt can still be an efficient substance to get relief for your garden plants since snails and slugs will just dry up when they get in contact with salt.

Consequently, you could just place some salt next to the stems of your plants and snail infestation should get much less severe over time.

However, keep in mind that salt will be washed into the soil once it rains and this will not lead to a loss of protection for your plants, but it may also lower the quality of your garden soil in the long run.

6. Natural predators may help as well

You could also rely on natural predators to get rid of slugs in your garden.

For instance, you could just take measures to attract ants to your garden since they will often feed on slugs and snails.

However, make sure that you really want to have those ant colonies in your garden since ants can often be even more annoying than slugs.

7. Use bait to lure slugs away from your plants

You can also try to place some baits for slugs and snails to lure them away from your garden plants.

You can get this slug bait from your garden center or also online from an internet vendor.

While this may work in the short run, it may do more harm than good in the long run since you will likely attract an even higher number of slugs and snails to your garden.

8. Snail traps can help as well

Thanks to our modern technologies, it is also pretty easy to install a snail trap in your garden.

You just need to put some bait into those traps and snails and slugs will often not be able to withstand the temptation and will get trapped pretty soon.

You can either make those traps yourself or just get some from your local garden center.

9. Grow plants that repel snails in a completely natural manner

Instead of taking manual action to keep away snails and slugs from your plants, you could also just grow plants that are well-known to deter snails.

For instance, rosemary, sage, lavender and thyme are perfect in this regard since snails and slugs don’t like the flavor of those herbs at all.

10. Adjust your watering schedule

You should also make sure that your garden soil is not too wet.

Otherwise, snails and slugs will feel quite comfortable in your garden and will often come back to feed on your plants.

Hence, make sure to let the soil surface dry up from time to time to deter snails in a natural manner.

11. Remove slugs and snails manually

If you have the time, you can also just remove slugs and snails manually whenever you see those hungry intruders in your garden.

However, this can be quite exhausting and annoying in the long run and you may therefore rather rely on other measures to deter slugs instead.

12. Use chemical pesticides to deter slugs

Your last option to get rid of snails and slugs would be to use chemical substances.

While those substances work, they are also pretty harmful to our environment and you should therefore use chemical pesticides to get rid of slugs, snails and other pests only as a measure of last resort if nothing else helps.

What’s left to say?

I hope you got good advice on how to get rid of snails and slugs from this article.

If you want to learn more about growing plants in general, also make sure to check out my grower’s guides and also my companion plant articles.

About the Author

My name is Andreas and I’m really passionate about our environment and also about growing plants. In fact, I have grown several different plants over many years. I love to see my plants grow and also always try new things to improve my overall conditions at home.

In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants and improving your home as well, even though you might still be a beginner right now.

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