31 May 2017

Natural ways to repel (not kill) slugs

While there are a wide range of slug pellets, repellents, and poisons available in most DIY and gardening stores, an increasing number of gardeners are uncomfortable with the cruel and inhumane methods of these products. Campaigners are even calling for slug pellets to be banned, which is perhaps unsurprising when you consider that cats, dogs, and other wildlife can be poisoned by slug pellets.

Here are five natural ways that you can deal with slugs cruelty-free:

Grapefruit skins

Place empty grapefruit skins upside down around affected areas and make sure to leave a hole for the slugs to enter. Slugs cannot resist the sweet fruity goodness, and the moist, dark shelter provided by the grapefruit half is the ideal spot for a slug to stay hidden.

Copper tape

The theory is that, when slugs connect with the metallic copper, they receive a small electric shock from it. Although scientific research into this has produced mixed results, in many cases, wrapping copper tape around the rim of your flowerpots can deter slugs from feasting on your flowers.

Crushed eggshells Crushed egg shell repels slugs

It is believed that the sharp texture of crushed eggshells can keep slugs at bay. Next time you make eggs, keep the shells and scatter them around your most-prized plants. The calcium provided by eggshells can help moderate soil acidity and provide nutrients for plants, so this could be worth trying even if you don’t have a particularly bad slug problem.

Decoy plant

Using a decoy plant is often suggested as a natural slug repellent, however there is one major issue with that. The more slugs feed, the more they breed, which could lead to the problem getting even worse in future. That said, decoy plants do work in some instances, but we’d advise that you see this one as a last resort, or if your slug problem is already really bad as it is.

French marigolds, orchid flowers, daffodil flowers, and irises all make for good decoys.


If you have access to seaweed or live near the coast, seaweed not only provides nutrients for your soil, but it’s also a natural repellent to slugs. The salt in seaweed keeps the slugs away, and don’t worry about your garden smelling the street; once the seaweed dries, it shrinks significantly and the smell becomes less potent.

We’re not saying that these methods will be 100% effective, but if you’re looking for humane ways to control slugs in your garden, then these are definitely worth trying.

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