View Full Version : An alternative to slug pellets.

14th July 2008, 05:02 PM
Last night slugs ate 2 thirds of a new plant I put in a couple of weeks ago. I can't use slug pellets because of Dylan so my Mum gave me this recipe. She also gave it to a friend of mine who said it works 95% of the time, good enough for me. Here's the recipe:

2 garlics (the whole bulbs not single cloves) crushed into 2 pints water.
Steam or boil for 3 or 4 min (until blanched).
Strain, make up to 2 pints let cool.

Put one table spoon into one gallon of water.
Sprinkle onto leaves late afternoon.

I might add that I know garlic is toxic for dogs but this is a VERY diluted infusion and the garlic is taken out before only a tiny amount added to a whole gallon of water. I'm trying it tomorrow.

14th July 2008, 05:05 PM
Using slate gravel can protect plants quite well too as slugs and snails do not like to cross it. The easiest thing is to pick them off and toss them into a weak washing up and water solution -- non toxic but quickly kills slugs and snails. Copper rings generally work pretty well too. Let us know if the solution helps!

14th July 2008, 05:52 PM
Will do. I don't like killing them :rolleyes: They seem to hide when I am around too, I haven't seen many. I put slugs and snails in the compost bin which the dustmen collect. This week I noticed loads of tiny little snails, only about 3mm long around the edge of the bin! I appear to be breeding them!

14th July 2008, 07:45 PM
My Mum uses wire pot srubs - just unroll them and place around the plants. The snails don't like climbing them ;)

Cathy Moon
15th July 2008, 01:40 AM
We used to place lettuce leaves on the ground at night and pick them up in the early morning - yuck, covered in slugs - then throw them in the trash. It is a waste of food, but poses no danger to anyone. :thmbsup:

15th July 2008, 11:00 PM

I just went out by torch light and picked off about 20 slugs from my smallest flower bed so it didn't work :huh: My Mum also gave me some sharp sand and I put this round the worst plant and it still had three slugs on it. I guess I have to go out every night and pick them off then :shifty:

Claire L
16th July 2008, 10:37 AM
I bought some containers in Lidl (they come in a pack of 2) and basically you buy some cheap beer and pour some in to the container and the snails just love it. They drown :oops:but at least they have a blast before they go :D

16th July 2008, 10:39 AM
My mum used salt.

16th July 2008, 01:05 PM
I used salt but it killed off my plants too. I put some old sardine tins out with beer in them and found that seems to work :)

16th July 2008, 01:32 PM
Thanks for the tips girls. I dug out my lupins a few minutes ago and put them in a pot on the steps. They were totally eaten up by greenfly and slugs. I love lupins but never have any joy with them.

16th July 2008, 01:56 PM
I bought a gel version of slug pellets that was labelled as "pet friendly". You circle the plants with the gel. As its clear Bobby doesn't see it and isn't bothered by it.

16th July 2008, 07:31 PM
My dad uses the beer trick, too. This website (which mentions the beer trick) has tons of natural slug remedies:
Here is what the website says:

Here are a few alternative natural, non-toxic methods of slug control:
Far and away the best course of action against slugs in your garden is a simple adjustment in the watering schedule. Slugs are most active at night and are most efficient in damp conditions. Avoid watering your garden in the evening if you have a slug problem. Water in the morning - the surface soil will be dry by evening. Studies show this can reduce slug damage by 80%
• Beer Slugs are attracted to beer. Set a small amount of beer in a shallow wide jar buried in the soil up to its neck. Slugs will crawl in and drown. Take the jar lid and prop it up with a small stick so rain won't dilute the beer. Leave space for slugs to enter the trap.
• Seaweed If you have access to seaweed, it's well worth the effort to gather. Seaweed is not only a good soil amendment for the garden, it's a natural repellent for slugs. Mulch with seaweed around the base of plants or perimeter of bed. Pile it on 3" to 4" thick - when it dries it will shrink to just an inch or so deep. Seaweed is salty and slugs avoid salt. Push the seaweed away from plant stems so it's not in direct contact. During hot weather, seaweed will dry and become very rough which also deters the slugs.
• Copper Small strips of copper can be placed around flower pots or raised beds as obstructions for slugs to crawl over. Cut 2" strips of thin copper and wrap around the lower part of flower pots, like a ribbon. Or set the strips in the soil on edge, making a "fence" for the slugs to climb. Check to make sure no vegetation hangs over the copper which might provide a 'bridge' for the slugs. Copper barriers also work well around wood barrels used as planters.
• Diatomaceous Earth Diatomaceous earth is the sharp, jagged skeletal remains of microscopic creatures. It lacerates soft-bodied pests, causing them to dehydrate. A powdery granular material, it can be sprinkled around garden beds or individual plants, and can be mixed with water to make a foliar spray.Diatomaceous earth is less effective when wet, so use during dry weather. Wear protective gear when applying, as it can irritate eyes and lungs. Be sure to buy natural or agricultural grade diatomaceous earth, not pool grade which has smoother edges and is far less effective.
• Lava Rock Like diatomaceous earth, the abrasive surface of lava rock will be avoided by slugs. Lava rock can be used as a barrier around plantings, but should be left mostly above soil level, otherwise dirt or vegetation soon forms a bridge for slugs to cross.
• Salt If all else fails, go out at night with the salt shaker and a flashlight. Look at the plants which have been getting the most damage and inspect the leaves, including the undersides. Sprinkle a bit of salt on the slug and it will kill it quickly. Not particularly pleasant, but use as a last resort. (Note: some sources caution the use of salt, as it adds a toxic element to the soil. This has not been our experience, especially as very little salt is used.)
• Overturned Flowerpots, Grapefruit Halves, Board on Ground Overturned flowerpots, with a stone placed under the rim to tilt it up a bit, will attract slugs. Leave overnight, and you'll find the slugs inside in the morning. Grapefruit halves work the same way, with the added advantage of the scent of the fruit as bait. Another trap method, perhaps the simplest of all, is to set a wide board on the ground by the affected area. Slugs will hide under the board by day. Simply flip the board over during the day to reveal the culprits. Black plastic sheeting also works the same way
• Garlic-based slug repellentsLaboratory tests at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (UK) revealed that a highly refined garlic product (ECOguard produced by ECOspray Ltd, a British company that makes organic pesticides) was an effective slug killer. Look for garlic-based slug deterrents which will be emerging under various brand names, as well as ECOguard.
• Coffee grounds; new caffeine-based slug/snail poisons Coffee grounds scattered on top of the soil will deter slugs. The horticultural side effects of using strong grounds such as espresso on the garden, however, are less certain. When using coffee grouds, moderation is advised. A study in June 2002 reported in the journal Nature found that slugs and snails are killed when sprayed with a caffeine solution, and that spraying plants with this solution prevents slugs from eating them. The percentage of caffeine required in a spray (1 - 2%) is greater than what is found in a cup of coffee (.05 - 07%), so homemade sprays are not as effective. Look for new commercial sprays which are caffeine-based.

17th July 2008, 12:41 PM
That's really great info, thank you :D

31st July 2008, 08:38 PM
The easiest thing is to pick them off and toss them into a weak washing up and water solution -- non toxic but quickly kills slugs and snails.

I took your advice Karlin, picking them off by torch light before I went to bed, much to the disgust of my son. The plants have really picked up.