Pest Away Tips

10 Natural Ways to Stop Slugs from Destroying Your Garden

What Slugs Do At Night and Where They Come From

When we think of slugs, the image that immediately comes to mind is one of laziness and inactivity; however, these slimy creatures are actually most active at night. Slugs are members of the mollusk family and are related to snails.

They have adapted to life on land, although they still need to remain moist to function properly. In this article, we will discuss slugs and their habits.

Where Slugs Hide During the Day

Slugs are infamous for their nocturnal activities, but where do they hide during the day? Just like spiders, they tend to hide in crevices and dark places.

Damp basements, old boards, and wet stones offer the perfect environment for slugs to rest during the day. Additionally, leaf litter and untrimmed plants or bushes also provide hiding places for these pests.

In order to avoid high temperatures and predator activity during the day, slugs seek shelter in these dark and moist environments. The key factor for choosing the ideal hiding place is a cool and damp environment.

If you want to keep slugs away from your garden or home, ensure that these hiding spots are eliminated.

Why Slugs Are Nocturnal

Have you ever wondered why slugs are most active at night? The answer lies in their need for a moist and cool environment.

During the day, the sun can dry out and damage their bodies. However, at night, the air is typically cooler, and the dew provides a perfect environment for slugs to roam and forage.

Another reason why slugs are most active at night is that most predators are inactive during this time. Birds, hedgehogs, and other animals that prey on slugs are less likely to hunt during the nighttime hours.

As a result, slugs are free to roam and look for food without the constant threat of predation.

How to Identify Slug Infestation

Being able to identify a slug infestation is the first step in controlling these pests. One of the most common ways to spot a slug infestation is by their slime trails.

These shiny trails are produced by slugs as they move, and they can be seen around areas where infestation is the most severe. Another way to identify a slug infestation is by looking for irregular holes in leaves and stems.

Slugs feed by scraping away at the soft parts of plants, and their feeding habits often leave behind these odd-shaped holes.

Where Slugs Come From at Night

If you’ve ever wondered where slugs come from at night, the answer is pretty simple: they emerge from their hiding places. Slugs prefer damp and cool environments, and they are most active at night when the air is cooler and the dew is abundant.

Unfinished basements, damp utility rooms, and cool dark attics are typical hiding places for slugs. Ground cover plants, organic mulch, and plant debris are also ideal hiding places for these pests.

If you want to keep slugs away from your garden or lawn, ensure you remove anything that offers shade and moisture. Mulch and leaf litter are especially attractive to slugs because they provide the ideal environment for these pests to hide and reproduce.

If you want to keep slugs away from your garden, you can switch to inorganic mulch such as rocks or gravel. Alternatively, you can consider using copper barriers, which are known to repel slugs.

Slugs hide under rocks and stones, which offer moisture and shade, creating an ideal environment for these pests. Woodpiles, old equipment, leaky sprinklers, foundations, and stone piles are all places that slugs can hide during the day and emerge at night.


In conclusion, slugs are most active at night when the air is cooler and the dew is abundant. During the day, they hide in dark and moist environments to avoid high temperatures and predator activity.

To identify a slug infestation, look for slime trails and irregular holes in leaves and stems. If you want to keep slugs away from your home or garden, ensure that you remove anything that offers shade and moisture.

By taking proactive measures to eliminate hiding places, you can prevent a slug infestation in your yard or garden.

How to Stop Slugs In The Home and Garden

Slugs can be a nuisance to homeowners and gardeners alike. They can cause significant damage to plants and leave a slimy trail everywhere they go.

However, there are several ways to keep slugs away from your home and garden without resorting to harmful or toxic chemicals. In this article, we will discuss various methods to deter slugs and stop them in their tracks.

Avoiding Moisture to Keep Slugs Away

Since slugs thrive in moist environments, one of the most effective ways to keep them away is by avoiding excess moisture in your garden or home. One way to accomplish this is by watering your plants in the morning, as opposed to at night.

Watering plants in the morning ensures that they have sufficient moisture throughout the day, allowing time for the soil to dry out at night. Alternatively, it is essential to water plants slowly and by using methods such as hand watering or drip irrigation.

This tactic will ensure that the water reaches the plant roots, without saturating the soil and creating an ideal habitat for slugs. Pruning plants and ensuring that good air circulation exists can provide an environment that is hostile to slugs.

This process includes removing dead plant matter and limbs which create too much shade, allowing for more light to filter through, which slugs just cannot tolerate. Spacing plants adequately is also vital because overcrowding makes an environment ideal for slugs who thrive in dark, moist, and cool conditions.

Yeast as a Slug Trap

Yeast is a proven effective slug trap that lures slugs into containers filled with an enticing mixture of flour, yeast, and water. The yeast trapper is simple yet effective, and all that one needs to do is fill a container with this mixture and bury it up to the rim in the ground.

Slugs are attracted to the scent of yeast; they crawl into the container and become stuck in the mixture. The trapped slugs will eventually die due to the alcohol content in the yeast.

Using Copper to Deter Slugs

Copper is a natural, non-toxic method for deterring slugs. Slugs experience an unpleasant sensation when their slime comes into contact with copper.

The sensation they feel is similar to a mild electrical shock. Copper tape is effective in creating a barrier that slugs can’t pass, and copper wires or pipes can be used effectively around new seedlings or young plants.

However, ensure that the copper barrier around young seedlings is tight-fitting, buried, and secure, leaving no gaps below them, so that slugs cannot get through.

Commercial Slug Granules

Iron phosphate-based slug granules are a popular commercial solution to eradicate slugs in the garden. These slug granules can be sprinkled around the edges of the garden beds, boundary lines, and in other areas where slugs are present.

Iron phosphate-based slug granules contain iron phosphate, which is toxic to slugs, but at the same time, gentle enough not to harm other beneficial non-target species such as earthworms. This natural method is effective, safe to use, and poses no harm to pets or wildlife.

Essential Oils to Repel Slugs

Essential oils such as clove bud oil are effective in repelling slugs in the garden. The best way to use clove bud oil to repel slugs is by mixing four to six drops of oil in a small spray bottle of water.

To use, shake the solution well, and spray it liberally on the plants in your garden. Ensure that you avoid applying the spray solution on the edible parts of the plants, as clove bud oil can be harmful if ingested in large amounts.

Combination of Tactics

While each of these methods can be used independently to deter slugs, a combination of tactics can be most effective. Gardeners and homeowners can combine the above methods to create a broad and diverse defense against slugs.

For instance, sprinkling iron phosphate-based slug granules around the edges of the garden beds while using copper tape around young seedlings and spraying clove bud oil on the plants, will keep the garden free of slugs.


In conclusion, slugs can be a menace to gardens and homes. However, there are several effective and natural methods that homeowners and gardeners can utilize to deter or eliminate slugs.

Avoiding excess moisture, using yeast traps, copper tape, iron phosphate-based slug granules, and essential oils are all effective ways to repel slugs. If used in combination, these methods will create a diverse defense against slugs, protecting a beautiful garden.

In conclusion, understanding the habits and habitats of slugs is crucial to avoiding their detrimental effects on gardens and homes. By identifying their hiding places and taking preventative measures such as avoiding excess moisture and spacing plants adequately, slugs can be deterred from taking up residence.

Methods such as yeast traps, copper barriers, iron phosphate-based slug granules, and essential oils can also be employed to eliminate, or at the very least, control the slug population. By combining these tactics, gardeners and homeowners can create a comprehensive defense system that will protect their gardens and homes from the destruction that slugs can bring.

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