5 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Slugs in the Garden

Slugs can be a gardener’s worst nightmare. These slimy creatures can wreak havoc on your plants, devouring leaves, stems, and even fruits. But don’t worry!

There are plenty of natural ways to keep these pests at bay without resorting to harsh chemicals.

Here are my top five natural methods to get rid of slugs in your garden.

1. Beer Traps

One of the most popular and effective methods to control slugs is the beer trap. Slugs are irresistibly attracted to the smell of beer, making it an excellent bait.

How to Make a Beer Trap:

  • Materials Needed: A shallow container (like a yogurt cup or a tuna can) and some beer.
  • Instructions: Bury the container in the soil so that the rim is at ground level. Fill it about halfway with beer. The slugs will be drawn to the beer, fall in, and drown.

Pro Tip: Place several beer traps around your garden, especially near plants that slugs love. Check and refresh the beer every couple of days to keep the trap effective.

Why It Works: Slugs are attracted to the yeast in beer, which mimics the smell of decomposing plant material. This makes beer traps an effective and humane way to reduce the slug population in your garden.

2. Copper Barriers

Copper is another excellent deterrent for slugs. When slugs come into contact with copper, it reacts with their slime to create a tiny electric shock, which they find unpleasant.

How to Use Copper:

  • Materials Needed: Copper tape or copper mesh.
  • Instructions: Place copper tape around the rims of your plant pots or create a barrier around your garden beds with copper mesh.

Pro Tip: Make sure to clean the copper regularly with vinegar to maintain its effectiveness. Some gardeners have found that wider copper tape (at least 4 cm) works best.

Why It Works: The reaction between the slug’s slime and the copper creates a mild electric charge that slugs find uncomfortable, effectively keeping them away from your plants.

3. Eggshells

Eggshells are a great way to recycle kitchen waste while deterring slugs. The sharp edges of crushed eggshells can be uncomfortable for slugs to crawl over.

How to Use Eggshells:

  • Materials Needed: Crushed eggshells.
  • Instructions: Scatter crushed eggshells around the base of your plants.

Pro Tip: While some gardeners swear by this method, others have found it less effective. It might be worth trying in combination with other methods to see what works best for you.

Why It Works: The sharp edges of the eggshells act as a physical barrier, making it difficult for slugs to move across them. Additionally, eggshells add calcium to the soil, which can benefit your plants.

4. Coffee Grounds

If you’re a coffee lover, this method is perfect for you. Coffee grounds are not only a great fertilizer but also a natural slug repellent. Slugs dislike the texture and caffeine in coffee grounds.

How to Use Coffee Grounds:

  • Materials Needed: Used coffee grounds.
  • Instructions: Sprinkle coffee grounds around the base of your plants.

Pro Tip: This method also helps improve soil quality, making it a win-win for your garden.

Why It Works: The caffeine in coffee grounds is toxic to slugs, and the gritty texture is unpleasant for them to crawl over. Plus, coffee grounds can improve soil structure and add nutrients.

5. Natural Predators

Introducing natural predators into your garden can help keep the slug population under control. Animals like birds, frogs, toads, and hedgehogs love to snack on slugs.

How to Attract Natural Predators:

  • Materials Needed: Bird feeders, a small pond, or a hedgehog shelter.
  • Instructions: Create a welcoming environment for these animals by providing food, water, and shelter.

Pro Tip: Avoid using chemical pesticides, as they can harm these beneficial creatures. Instead, focus on creating a balanced ecosystem in your garden.

Why It Works: Natural predators help maintain a balanced ecosystem by keeping the slug population in check. Encouraging these animals to visit your garden can provide long-term, sustainable pest control.

Bonus Tips

Slug-Repellent Plants

Certain plants naturally repel slugs. Consider planting herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme, or flowers like lavender and ferns. These plants not only add beauty to your garden but also help keep slugs away.

Why It Works: These plants contain natural compounds that slugs find unappealing. By incorporating them into your garden, you can create a natural barrier against slugs.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder made from fossilized algae. It has sharp edges that can cut through a slug’s body, causing it to dehydrate and die. Sprinkle it around your plants, but be sure to reapply after rain.

Why It Works: The sharp particles in diatomaceous earth damage the slug’s skin, leading to dehydration. This method is effective but needs to be reapplied after rain or watering.


Nematodes are microscopic worms that can be introduced into your soil. They infect and kill slugs, providing a natural form of pest control. This method is particularly effective in small gardens.

Why It Works: Nematodes are natural parasites of slugs. They enter the slug’s body and release bacteria that kill the slug. This method is environmentally friendly and targets slugs specifically.


By using these natural methods, you can keep your garden slug-free without harming the environment.

Remember, the key to effective slug control is consistency. Regularly check your traps, barriers, and plants to ensure that these methods are working.

Combining multiple methods can also increase your chances of success. Happy gardening!