Although they are small and inconspicuous, slugs can do a lot of damage to our well-tended gardens. Fortunately, there are simple, natural and safe ways to get rid of the pests quickly.

There are two types of slugs and snails in your garden: those with and without shells. The more dangerous are the latter, the so-called naked ones. Characteristically large and long, black or brown in color, they destroy crops and ornamental plants by leaving slime behind.

Omnivorous snails like shady and moist places, garden corners, tall grass, decaying plant remains, but they also like to feed on young specimens, gnawing disfiguring holes in their flowers and leaves. Mollusc-damaged plants are weakened and may become sick more often

If you haven’t noticed many pests in your garden, you can simply catch them and carry them out of the garden. This method is the most natural, although it takes time and patience. However, if the problem is more serious, use the following proven ways to help control slugs.

Home remedies for slugs and snails


Slugs and snails don’t like its strong smell, plus the caffeine has a toxic effect on them. Coffee grounds can be sprinkled around the plants. Cinnamon and baking soda also deter the pests.


Slugs and snails may not like coffee, but they love beer. Pour the beverage into plastic cups, bowls or deep plates and dig shallow holes in which to place the vessels. Attracted by the smell of beer, pests will fall into the containers without having a chance to get out.


This is a time-consuming but effective way to wipe out slugs – you just need to sprinkle salt on every pest you encounter.

Repellent plants

A more pleasant way to get rid of slugs can be to plant plants that repel the pests with their smell and taste. Make sure that your vegetable bed has room for onions, garlic, savory, marjoram and mustard. Among flowers it is worth planting: sage, chamomile, yarrow, elderberry, wormwood or nasturtium. Between the beds you can also put sprigs of wolfsbane, elderberry and yarrow.

Slaked lime

Slimy lime burns the skin of slugs and snails and thus kills them. It is best to form paths with the said agent between the beds. Do this in the evening because slugs and snails become active between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. During the day they usually hide from the sun.

The right substrate

Another solution to discourage slugs and snails is to create a substrate that makes it difficult for the pests to move around. Sprinkle sawdust, small stones, ash or crushed eggshells on the soil. Such a mechanical obstacle will not only make it difficult for pests to move, but will also hurt their skin.

If you still struggle with slug infestation in your garden despite trying the above natural remedies, you can opt to use special chemicals available in gardening stores. However, this should be a last resort because toxic substances can also kill other beneficial insects and animals. Before using such preparations, read the instructions carefully so as not to harm yourself and destroy the plants.

Main Photo: Михаил Павленко/

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Angelina Schultz

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