For slimy creatures, snails and slugs are actually kind of cute! However, using a natural snail repellent is smart to control these pests before they start to eat your spinach leaves or attack your pepper plants, and quickly become unwanted guests.
Land snails often leave behind slime trails. On the other hand, slugs drop traces of silvery slime on chewed leaves on the ground. You will also notice holes on huge foliage and leaves of seedlings completely consumed.
Although these garden pests look small, snail and slugs eat a lot of leaves. And it means danger to your beloved plants. So before they eat most of the leaves of your plants or wreak havoc on your entire vegetable garden, think fast and find a way to kill slugs and snails.
We all know driving them away with chemicals may seem harsh. Not only to these pests, but also to your plants and animals that could get near to the area. With this, you need to think on how you can naturally get rid of snails and slugs.
At first, you may think that organic slug control spells trouble and extreme difficulty. Worry not as we came up with easy slug and snail control. You don’t need to become an expert when it comes to pest control for the safety of your plants.
Below are 9 natural ways to keep snails and slugs out of your garden.
#1 – Diatomaceous Earth
Diatoms are microscopic green algae with a glass-like (silica based) shell.
Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of these glassy creatures. If you sprinkle a circle of this special “dirt” around plants or garden beds being attacked, this will deter the snails and slugs.
For these pests to crawl over diatomaceous earth, it would be like people walking barefoot over broken glass on the beach… ouch!
For diatomaceous earth to be effective, however, you will need to reapply it often as it doesn’t work as well after it gets wet.
#2 – Crushed Egg Shell
Like diatomaceous earth, crushed egg shell will deter snail and slugs due to its abrasiveness to their soft bodies.
While egg shells aren’t quite as effective as diatomaceous earth, egg shells have the added benefit of providing calcium and other nutrients to your soil as they break down! Plus, water doesn’t affect them as much.
Also, used coffee grounds are recommended as a way to god rid of slugs and snails out of the garden.
Read more on Using Coffee Grounds in the Garden
#3 – Beer Traps
If you don’t mind killing your garden snails and garden slugs, beer traps are a good option to get rid of these garden pests.
Dig a hole near the plants that are being attacked by the pests. Bury a recycled beer can, plastic container, or glass jar into this hole so the top of the container is flush with the top of the soil.
Pour cheap beer into this container. Snails and slugs are naturally attracted to the scent of beer because it contains yeast but they get disoriented when they drink it. This is a very effective snail or slug trap.
When this happens, they fall inside the container and drown. Be sure to use a container deep enough so they can’t just crawl back out again.
#4 – Get Some Chickens Or Ducks
If you live in the country, this is a solution to your slug problem that will also produce some nice farm fresh eggs.
Free ranging chickens and ducks don’t just eat grass! They also love highly nutritious and delicious slugs and snails and will happily help you with your problem!
If you cannot afford to raise these foul birds in your small backyard, consider introducing your garden to beneficial insects. Such organisms eat snails or kills slugs. They can also help you control other garden pests while dealing with the slug or snail problem.
#5 – Put Some Chopped Mint In Your Soil
Mint grows like gangbusters and can even take over a yard if it isn’t cut back.
If you have a flowerbed that is being attacked, consider adding your mint trimmings to the soil to deter snails and slugs. They are repelled by the smell.
However, to the human nose, the sweet smelling mint and the fragrance of the flowers blend well together. In fact, you may find your neighbors coming over for natural aromatherapy!
#6 – Plant Rosemary Or Thyme Bushes Nearby
Rosemary and thyme are in the mint family, so like mint (such as peppermint and spearmint), these plants deter slugs and snails with their aroma! Just give them the right care and watering requirements, and they will pay you back big time.
This is a simple but effective natural slug and snail deterrent and you’ll have some nice perennial herbs for cooking.
Slugs and Snail Control Tips
#7 – Put Seaweed In the Soil
If you live near an ocean beach, collect seaweed and chop it up to create mulch. Mix the seaweed into the top layer of soil around your plants.
The iodine smell will deter slugs and snails and it will add nutrients to the soil as it decays! This includes many trace nutrients that would be difficult to get into your garden soil any other way!
In fact, if you have any seaweed left over after you create your mulch, don’t throw it away! Put it in your compost pile!
#8 – Don’t Water Your Garden In the Evening
Snails and slugs are more active at night because it’s more moist then and they need a moist environment to survive.
If you water your garden in the evening, this just creates a haven for these slimy creatures and they’ll be even more attracted to your plants! You’ll notice the impact on the leaves of your plant the next morning.
If you water your plants in the morning, the daytime sunlight will dry the plants out before nightfall and make them less attractive to slugs and snails.
#9 – Pick Them Off By Hand
While this method may seem time consuming, you may be able to solicit the help of your kids!
They will find this a fun activity and you won’t have to apply any pesticides to your yard where they play.
If it is safe to do so, you can have them take a flashlight out at night and pick off the snails and slugs when they are more active. Just wash your hands with soapy water afterward.
If you don’t want to do it on your own, you may use the ecoguard pest management services. They are professionally licensed in pest control and received great reviews throughout the duration of their business.