How Do I Get Rid Of Slugs And Snails In My Garden Naturally?

The best home remedies against slugs in the garden
Snails in the garden are a thorn in the side of every gardener. With special home remedies or slug death is possible to combat the pest.

The voracious slugs are a major problem for many amateur gardeners. From the lovingly planted lettuce and vegetables often remains only a holey skeleton. It is important to act against the slugs early and preferably with home remedies.

A dry path helps against snails

Snails do not like dry paths. With stone dust, ashes, coffee grounds, lime or pine needles around the vegetable bed, it is difficult for the slugs to enter the bed. The grit must be replaced after each rain. Slug Stop Gel is recommended as a weather-resistant barrier. It is 100 percent biodegradable and free of chemical agents.

Special fences for slug control in the garden.

An effective way to control slugs in the garden is the slug fence. The angled metal edges form a barrier for the snails that cannot be overcome. Overhanging leaves serve as a ladder for slugs and must be removed. Deep pruning before planting helps destroy slug eggs.

An old home remedy is to collect slugs.

A safe but labor-intensive method is to consistently collect the snails. A pair of snail tongs serves as a helper. Snails are nocturnal and like to slip away somewhere during the day. Lined boards serve as shelter and make collection easier.

A natural garden for slug control

Having a natural garden that provides shelter for beneficial insects such as hedgehogs, shrews and various species of birds will help you combat pests such as slugs. Magpies and blackbirds exterminate slugs. Eggs of snails eat ground beetles and centipedes. Natural gardening is an environmentally friendly way to keep your garden nearly slug-free. The aggressive slug pellets used to control slugs can be dispensed with.

Preventive measures against slugs

If you want to create a flowering garden without slugs, you should plant columbine, bamboo, stonecrop, ornamental shrubs and phlox. Snails give these plants a wide berth. Popular plants, on the other hand, include basil, marigolds, lupine and delphinium.

Digging up in the fall is not recommended. It is better to do this work in the winter. The slug eggs come to the surface and freeze, or the birds eat them.

10 home remedies against snails at a glance

Snails in the garden are not a nice sight. Not only do they look unappetizing, they can leave real damage to plants and the garden. While not all slugs are harmful to your garden, you shouldn’t give the species a chance to make themselves at home in the garden in the first place.

To get rid of slugs, however, you don’t have to wield the chemical club right away either. There are enough home remedies that you can use to keep the slug out of your garden.

The positive thing about these remedies is that you already have them on hand at home and there is no additional cost. But which home remedies are effective against slugs?

Here you get now 10 home remedies against slugs, with which you can declare war on the slimy animals.

This video will also give you a good overview of how to fight the snails.

Hausmittel gegen Schnecken

Collecting the snails

A very laborious but effective method is to collect the snails. For example, if the snails have nested in your greenhouse, you can simply remove them and lock them out. Be careful not to allow possible access into the greenhouse for the slugs.

Collecting them takes some effort and can take a long time, but if you expose the snails as far away from the greenhouse as possible, they will avoid the place. It is recommended that you release the snails in a place where they feel comfortable. This way, there is no reason for them to go back to your garden.

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If you want to be absolutely sure that the snails will not repopulate your garden you can also kill them. They are not a protected species and the slug is a natural pest.

So killing them is a legitimate home remedy to keep your garden free of slugs. Nevertheless, you should not additionally torment the slug. You can specifically kill the slug with a heavy blow. Freezing also kills the snail quickly and relatively painlessly.

To avoid attracting other snails you should dispose of the dead animals outside your garden. This is because snails are cannibals and will eat their dead conspecifics.

For the sake of the animal, you should not cut it with scissors or sprinkle it with salt. Snails suffer greatly from these methods and out of consideration for the animals, these methods should be refrained from.

Moss extract

Snails stay away from certain plants. Lawn moss is among one of these home remedies that you can use to keep slugs away from your plants. You can spray vulnerable plants with an extract of the moss. The slugs will not attack them and in a very natural way your plants will be protected. The extract of moss can be bought in specialized shops and sprayed on the plants.

On the other hand, it is easier if you have the possibility to make the moss extract yourself. If you have dry moss, then you can mix it with water and make a broth yourself, which is effective against the slugs.

To do this, you need about 50 grams of dry moss and mix this with a liter of water. Let the moss steep in the water for about 24 hours and then drip the mixture through a sieve again.

Now you have an extract that you can spray on the plants. Instead of lawn moss, you can try ivy, elderberry leaves or lavender.

However, the spraying will need to be renewed after each rainfall, as the extract will be washed off the plants. The extract should also not be sprayed on crops. It can develop toxins that make the plants inedible.

Protect the bed with copper wire

Snails can generally move on any surface. Thus, they climb even steep walls. But in front of copper snails have a certain discomfort. You can take advantage of this.

To protect individual plants or the entire bed, you can create a copper wire. Either buy a single thicker band and place this around the bed, or connect many smaller wires. In any case, it is important that the wire is thick enough so that the slugs can not simply crawl under it.

This is because the effect is based on the copper causing a chemical reaction with the snail’s sole. This reaction deters the snail and it prefers to look for another way.

To ensure that the wire remains in position, a mounting tape should be laid. The wire is then taped to the mounting tape, ensuring that the bed is protected. Likewise, the wire should not be too thin so that the snail can easily stretch over it.

So lay out the copper wire rather generously. However, the copper wire is not an insurmountable barrier for all snails. Some species are not impressed by it.

Nevertheless, this is a very peaceful home remedy against fritillaries. If you have the copper wire available, it is definitely worth trying to keep the slugs away this way.

Build a snail fence

If you don’t fully trust the copper wire as a barrier, then you can also erect another fence. You can use a slug fence to keep the slugs out of your bed.

A metal version seems to be the most effective method, according to the experience of many gardeners. If you want to give copper a chance, then there are also slug fences for this purpose, which are made of copper.

The snail fence is optimal because of its angled edge. Tests show that snails can climb the flat walls, but when they hit the angled edge, it creates an insurmountable barrier. In this way you can effectively protect beds or flower boxes. The snail fence is visually unobtrusive and can fit well into the overall look of the garden.

Coffee grounds against snails

Hausmittel gegen Schnecken - Kaffeesatz

For many people, coffee in the morning belongs to start the day well. However, if the slugs already invade the garden, then even the most delicious coffee can not save the morning.

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But stop! Because avid coffee drinkers can use your passion to stave off the slug invasion. Because unlike most people, snails don’t dig coffee and let it send them fleeing.

To do this, you need to scatter the coffee grounds over a large area around the plants. The snails will ingest the coffee grounds. The caffeine is harmful to the snails and so they normally avoid the coffee grounds. However, if the snails ingest the coffee grounds in a large concentration, then the caffeine has a lethal effect.

Therefore, coffee grounds are a popular home remedy against snails. However, you should keep an eye on the coffee grounds to make sure that no snails have inadvertently ingested the coffee grounds. Dead snails should be removed as soon as possible, as this can attract their fellow snails.

Scatter sand

In order for snails to be able to move around, they need a moist surface. Therefore, you will see especially many snails when it has just rained. Certain substrates extract water and are difficult for the snails to overcome.

You can use sand as a natural substrate to protect the beds. For this, the sand is poured out around the bed and the snails will in most cases, avoid sand to sit over.

The sand extracts water from the soil and the snails will perceive this as a natural barrier. However, after a rain shower, the sand must also be replaced or it will no longer work. Therefore, the sand is especially effective when it is spread in a dry place.

If you do not have sand available, you can also use lime or sawdust. These have the same effect and effectively protect the bed from the slugs.

Set up beer traps

One of the most popular and at the same time controversial home remedies to repel the slugs is a barrier made of beer bottles. Snails are considered to be particular beer lovers and are attracted to the smell of beer.

You can take advantage of this fact and build a trap from which the snails will not be able to crawl out. To do this, take a plastic cup and fill it about halfway with the beer.

The rim should be about a centimeter above the ground. This will prevent other harmless insects from also being lured into the trap.

However, the snails are particularly attracted by the smell of beer. They overcome the edge of the plastic cup and then fall into the trap. There they drown and the problem can be controlled.

As a home remedy against snails, however, the beer trap is controversial. Although the luring effect is undisputed and numerous snails can be killed, the luring effect attracts snails that may not even come into the garden.

Thus, a problem is eliminated here that might not occur in the first place without the beer. In addition, the trap must always be renewed after a rain shower.

The smell of beer in the garden is also not pleasant for all gardeners. So the beer trap should only be used to a very limited extent in real problem areas. If the slugs are already at the bed, then the trap can be useful.

If your goal is to repel the slugs, then there are more effective methods and you don’t have to use beer traps to lure the slugs into the garden in the first place.

Use different herbs

Hausmittel gegen Schnecken - Thymian

Snails do not give the impression that you have a particularly good sense of smell, but the example with the beer trap shows that the snails are attracted by certain smells.

The snails do not like the smell of some herbs and if you smell them they will leave the garden. So if you often have problems with snails in your garden, it makes sense to use intensely smelling herbs.

These herbs include thyme, rosemary or sage. Growing these in your garden will help keep the slugs at bay. There are also slug resistant plants that you can plant in the garden. While these do not pose a threat to the slug, the slug will still avoid these plants. If you have a major problem with slugs, then this is certainly worth considering as well.

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Use eggshells

A rather curious home remedy to keep the slugs at bay are eggshells. These are broken into small pieces and can be laid out along the edge of the bed in conjunction with sawdust. The sharp-edged eggshells are extremely unpleasant for the snails and they will avoid crossing this barrier.

Eggshells are a good home remedy, as eggs are present in most households. However, the sight of the mixture of sawdust and eggshells takes some getting used to.

If you want a better visual impression, then you can also use grit. This is also an unpleasant surface for snails, but it looks much better than eggshells.

If you use sawdust, then according to field reports, sawdust from conifers should work much better than from deciduous trees.

Attract natural enemies

The Spanish slug has few natural enemies in home gardens. Therefore, the slug can multiply pretty much without threat and become a nuisance in a short period of time.

If you want to get rid of the slugs, you can attract natural enemies or keep them in your garden for a short period of time.

Running ducks

The favorite food of Indian running ducks is slugs. The running ducks track down slugs in any hiding place and are more thorough than any control agent could be.

For the purpose of slug control, more and more running ducks can be rented. However, a pond should be nearby so that the running ducks can still wash the slugs before eating them.

If you still want to keep a pair of ducks, they can keep a garden of over 1,000 square feet free of slugs. So if you have the means to keep the ducks species-appropriate, then they are probably the most natural way to drive the slugs out of the garden.

The hedgehog

Hedgehogs are also happy to have a snail as a meal. However, hedgehogs cannot be borrowed, but must be lured into the garden in a natural way.

Hedgehogs like rather natural gardens and need a retreat where you feel protected. A small pile of leaves and a natural corner in the garden will attract hedgehogs and they will take care of the slug infestation.

A dense hedge or overgrown area is recommended in any case. This will not only attract hedgehogs, but also other natural pest controllers. These counterbalance the pests, which otherwise have no enemies in a very clean garden.


One of the biggest enemies of slugs is the frog. This can unerringly eat the snails.

To attract the frogs to the garden, a pond should be created. The pond provides a habitat not only for the frogs, but also for many other plants. This natural space could also attract other predators to the garden.

In order for the frogs to reproduce, fish should be avoided in the pond. Otherwise, the fish will eat the spawn and the frogs will have little chance to maintain their population.

With these home remedies against snails, you can protect your flowers and do not have to deliver your plants without protection. The most effective can be used the coffee grounds or eggshells. However, you can also try the other home remedies.

If the garden is to be permanently rid of slugs, then it makes sense if you adjust watering habits. Since slugs are nocturnal, you should water the plants mainly in the morning hours. By the evening, they are dried again and the snail is deprived of the vital moist substrate.


  • 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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