How to stop snails and slugs eating your plants

Snails are sweet little creatures, but they can wreak havoc on your plants.

Your plants can go from healthy and lush to full of holes – in fact, a snail or slug can make light work of a full plant in just a few days if you’re not careful.

Thankfully thwarting their efforts isn’t too difficult, and there are ways to humanely deter them from your foliage.

Below we’ve put some of the easiest methods to stop slugs and snails in their tracks.

Now, you’ll see them in your garden but be able to keep them away from anything important.

Eggshells

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to slugs.

Use crushed eggshells in the soil around any plants you want to protect, and snails and slugs will stay away.

The sharp edges on the shell are the perfect deterrent for these slithering molluscs.

Copper

Slugs and snails get a small electric shock when they travel over copper, so will avoid the material.

You can purchase copper tape from garden centres that can be easily wrapped around a pot and keep slugs and snails at bay.

Coffee

This tip is better for those who don’t have pets, as coffee can be harmful to them.

If you’re pet-free, you can put coffee grounds on the soil around any plants you want to protect.

As they hate the taste and smell, you can be assured no slugs will head onto your patch.

Other plants

Plants themselves can have deterrent effects to slugs and snails, but you have to pick the right ones.

Some that secrete scents unliked by the animals include astrantia, wormwood, rue, fennel, anise and rosemary.

Predators

If you’d rather avoid killing any slimy encroachers to your garden, you might still be understanding of the fact slugs and snails are a natural part of the ecosystem.

You can steer clear of using poisons but cut down on the pest issue by introducing other animals into the garden who will act as natural predators.

Some include toads, frogs, hedgehogs, and song thrushes.

If you have chickens, they should also help.

WD40

Ideal if you have pots or plants that’re higher up.

Spray the lubricant onto the outside of pots or trellises so slugs and snails will simply slide down when they fancy making a meal of your plants.

‘Trap’ them

This can be done humanely if you don’t use poison, beer, or salt (tried and tested methods, but not very friendly).

Instead leave out something that’ll attract the snails in a container to lure them in. Lettuce leaves or dry pet food would both work.

When you see them congregating, gently move them on to somewhere they’ll cause less carnage.

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