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What do people use for organic slug control that's really effective?  I've tried some things in the past like using gravelly stuff round the plants but nothing seems to work.  In a wet year we lose a lot of veg.  We have enormous slugs in our veg garden.  I tried the famous slug trap using beer and a jam jar but they used it as a bar.  They stopped for a booze up and then went and ate the plants.

What slug trap did you use? Mine are always full of dead slugs.


We use Slug pubs in the veg patch, grit or the sheeps' wool pellets around precious plants in pots and sharp sand around hostas and delphiniums as they surface in the spring.  Otherwise we rely on the birds, frogs, toads and hedgehogs that are visiting us more and more now that we're providing the right habitat.  We get very little slug damage (fingers crossed).  

We have lots of the huge orange slugs but we leave them alone as they and their big black cousins eat the small slugs that do all the damage to growing plants.  The only plant matter that the big ones eat is stuff that is already decomposing. 


I just used a jam jar buried up to the neck in the garden for the slug pub.  I'll try the sharp sand as I have plenty of that.


I've been considering nematodes but not sure whether it's worth the outlay. I'm currently going out at night and putting them in a mayonnaise jar ready for a walk in the park the next morning. Scattering oats around has worked in the greenhouse, but I have a small rat problem in the garden so haven't tried them outside.


Slug Shield is a good solution.  Last all season and 100% non-toxic.


I have heard, though not tried, that Coffee granules, stop slugs. I do not drink the stuff and feel embarrassed to ask for free discards from Coffee shops without being a customer! Good for plants and the caffeine puts Slugs off. There is a systemic garlic spray that you can use but it is systemic, ie you need to be committed to use it and water and spray it all the time. Fine if you have time but inclination. I use pellets - horrid as they are.


I have a number of hostas... far fewer than I started out with:

coffee grounds- unless very dry and continuously refreshed (dry!) not much of a deterrent

crushed egg shell/ gritty stuff- plants seem to disappear from within... slugs unlike snails, can live underground and surface within a protective ring!

pellets! you can get organically certified, so they'll kill the slugs and snails and not anything that subsequently eats them.  I have come to the conclusion that this is the only effective defense.

I haven't yet tried nematodes, but am considering. I have recently started using a garlic spray/ wash to deter as I have several large shrubs that snails seem to launch themselves onto from all manner of other launchpads/ amble onto from nearby or overhanging plants, so pellets on ground not much use. Have yet to determine the effectiveness of this.

Having spoken to a specialist Hosta grower at one of the flower shows (yes... I was the 50 millionth person to ask..),  judicious use of pellets and garlic wash are the answer!


Pair of scissors is the most organic method there is.


Out in the evening after dark with a torch, a pair of scissors and a little plastic bag to dispose of them.

No chemicals involved whatsoever and seems to be the most effective method for me

Kathy 2

I think I read somewhere that sheep's wool was a deterent - or was I dreaming???

I have unearthed an old sheepskin rug from the loft which needs throwing out. Could I pull the wool of it and use round my seedling and plants I don't want my cougettes going the same way as my daughter's. 


Kathy2 there is an ongoing thread called slugs slugs and more slugs, where all sorts of control have been discussed you might find that helpful, I don't know about using sheeps wool soz.

Steve 309

I believe you can get little wool pellets that are supposed to discourage them although I hear (from on here mostly) that they're q expensive.   If you know (as I do) someone who keeps sheep you may be able to get a fleece from them.  Personally I'd say it does more good under the rhubarb!

One problem with many deterrents that rely on dryness is that they are rendered useless by the first rainfall. Here in North West England that often means they need replacing after one or two nights or they are ineffective. Even the pellets become useless after a few days of rain. I found coffee grounds [even unused dry ones], eggshells and proprietary barriers were all useless. Slug pubs drowned slugs but did not protect the plants.


I use slug pubs and have great success. You have to have a vessel around 6 inches deep so that they can't climb back out. I am using cheap 2.8% beer from Aldi and it does the job.
I put a few small lollipop-type sticks in the ground around the edges of the vessel and put an upturned flowerpot on top to protect it getting diluted by rain.

There are a lot of slugs around so I prefer to do something that actually lowers the numbers rather than just turning them away to go somewhere else or come back another day.


Steve 309

Sounds like a 500g yoghurt pot's what you need.  Might try that.  Rim up to avoid catching beetles (as discussed elsewhere) and a rain cover.  Sounds like a great way to go if you're a slug!


Mattbeer, if you cut the slugs in half, why do you collect up the remains?  Leave them where they are and they will be gone by the morning.  Eaten by slugs, maybe.

L Bennett

I have found (am no expert) that the beer traps (though must be covered) and dark with a torch is the best way.

Went from 40-50 to 3 or 4 per evening within a week.

Nematodes do work but I find the cost a bit off-putting. Having said that I've just ordered some as I've found that one of my courgette plant's stems has been eaten!

L Bennett

These are my beer traps, buried bottle with cheap lager, then I used plastic pots that are damaged or split (waste not, want that), I cut a 'door' , works a treat.