Does Mint Keep Snails Away?

When you notice slugs in your garden, the fear is that they will quickly spread and eat the plants. This fear is quite justified, because slugs are pests in your garden, which you should deal with as soon as possible.

Slugs have hardly any natural enemies and if you do not take action against them, they will multiply until your plants are completely eaten by the slugs.

As a remedy for slugs is more and more often called mint. Unlike other plants, mint is not supposed to attract, but to drive away slugs. The idea is that you can protect your plants by growing mint against slugs.

Minze gegen Schnecken

But how effective is mint against slugs actually?

The idea behind the mint against snails

Snails usually make their way over any plant. They proceed without consideration against the leaves and see them as food. In the garden, the slugs spread quickly, and there is hardly anything that provides protection against them.

It is all the more surprising that the slugs do not attack mint. Gardeners who grow mint and whose gardens have been infested by slugs have found that the mint has been miraculously spared from the slimy animals.

Soils mulched with mint also apparently provided protection against the slugs.

Are these observations isolated cases and is mint really so important in the fight against slugs?

Mint tea against snails

Mint is contained in many products. So that you do not have to grow the entire plant, you can resort to other foods that contain mint.

Obvious is, of course, mint tea, which is very popular among many tea drinkers. If you use this as a mulch and sprinkle it on the soil, this could discourage slugs from nibbling on the precious plants.

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But in practice, it turns out that most slugs do not perceive mint tea as a threat. Although a change in behavior is visible and some snails seem to be impressed, many creepy crawlies simply walk over the mint tea.

Thus, the mint tea proves ineffective against the snails. This is because once the first animals have crossed this natural barrier, the other slugs will follow and the plants are once again populated by slugs.

Is fresh mint better?

So the old mint tea was a complete failure and could not effectively keep the slugs away from the plants.

But since the effect of mint is based primarily on smell, it is of course possible that the old mint no longer smelled intense enough. To get to the bottom of this theory, another practical test was carried out with fresh mint.

Here it is shown that the snails actually give the mint a wide berth. Instead of crossing the mint, the snails keep a safe distance.

As soon as they come close to the mint, they look very curious, but prefer to look for another way. Only very occasionally could it be observed that snails ignore the mint and walk over it.

How to use the mint in the garden

Minze gegen Schnecken - Mulch

So the effect of mint against snails is clearly proven. Although very old mint, which has been lying for a long time, is not so good against the snails, but fresh or dried mint is a very good remedy.

To drive away the snails, you should not necessarily grow the mint as a plant in your garden. The effect is only very regional and it is uncertain whether adjacent plants would really be protected by the mint.

So you can’t just pull up potato plants in the neighborhood of mint and trust that the slugs would ignore the potato plants.

It is better if you make fresh mint into mulch and put it on the plants that need protection. In this case, you had better be generous, because the effect of this mint is also very limited.

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Above all, you should make sure that you carefully work the corners and borders of the plants with this mulch. Because the slugs will definitely go very close to the mint.

So, in order for the plants to be protected against slugs, the entire area must be covered with mint.

Other plants against the snail

Mint is not the only plant that is said to have a positive effect against the snails. Odors of other plants, which are much more intense, you can also use to control the slugs in the garden.

Snails take a great distance from garlic, onions and Mediterranean herbs. This includes lavender, rosemary and thyme, for example.

These scents are much more effective at fighting slugs than mint in this regard. If you don’t want to let the slugs into the garden in the first place, you can plant thyme along the borders of the garden.

In this way, you will build a natural protective barrier that the slugs will not be able to overcome.

However, be careful if you rely on basil. This seems to have a particularly good attraction to the slugs. So before you plant herbs in hopes of keeping the slugs away, find out exactly how the slugs might react.

Put up a snail fence

Would you rather trust a physical barrier and are concerned that mint alone won’t be enough to keep the slugs away?

Then you can put up a small slug fence. This is placed around the bed and is a very secure protection against the slugs.

It can be climbed to a certain extent, but the design ensures that the slugs cannot climb the fence. The folded down walls prevent the slugs from entering the bed.

If you are interested in this very effective method of defense, you can read this review of the snail fence and choose a model.

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There are even fancy fences that are electrified and give the slugs a little electric shock. These definitely work better than the mint against snails, but also mean a little more effort.


Mint is one of the oldest and most natural home remedies against slugs. The smell of mint is said to have a repellent effect on slugs and discourage them from attacking your plants.

So much for the theory.

However, practice shows that mint is only partially successful in combating slugs. Old mint, the smell of which has already largely faded, is not much of an obstacle for the slugs. The snails simply overcome it and ignore the mint for the most part.

The situation is different with fresh mint. Their smell is more intense and associated with this is also a greater success in combating the slugs. Here, the home remedy is confirmed to be very effective.

It is best if the mint is given as a mulch over the soil. The slugs will avoid this area and your plants will be safe from these pests.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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