Snails & slugs no more

G Magazine

Slimy critters can become a difficult problem, nibbling away at your vegie or herb garden. Here’s how to avoid chemicals with some natural ways to get rid of them.


Credit: iStockphoto

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Make your garden inhospitable

Slugs and snails love to munch away at night, keeping cool and moist to survive. During the day they hide away in dark damp places. Remove bottom from your plants that hangs close to the ground as well as any leaf litter. Water in the morning to keep your plants from being too moist at night.

Share your morning coffee

Research has shown that slugs and snails can’t stand caffeine so give them a morning wake-up along with your own. Ground coffee sprinkled on the soil around your plants should help deter the pests from making their way to the greenery, while spraying a coffee solution (just mix up some instant, espresso or drip brewed coffee) will do the job too.

Give them a beer

Attracted to yeast, beer traps are a tried and tested old trick for eradicating slimy critters. Fill a jar or tin ¾ full with beer and dig into a hole in the ground so the top is sitting at ground level. Slugs and snails will make their way in, and won’t be able to get out. Check every couple of days and refill when needed.

Build a barrier

When a slug or snail comes into contact with copper it receives a small electric shock, deterring them from
passing. Create a barrier line around your plants with copper wire or tape to prevent them entering. Just ensure you’ve not trapped any critters inside the barrier who will stay there happily.

Hand collect

You can work to get rid of the infestation by handpicking them out of your garden. Either go around at night with a flashlight while they’re active and drop them into a bucket of water, or turn a flower pot or two upside down in the garden – they’ll shelter under this when the sun comes up, enabling you to collect them in the morning.