How to get rid of slugs in your house without salt or toxic pellets

How to get rid of slugs in your house without salt or toxic pellets


 Tuesday, 26th April 2022 Tuesday, 26th April 2022

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7. Sprinkle Sand Around Plants

If you are made uncomfortable by the feeling of sand stuck to your feet, imagine how a slug feels with those tiny shards of sand sticking into its body. Scatter it around plants in the spring; it will also help the soil retain moisture.



A slug, or a family of slugs, in your home is horrendous! But, as bad as it may seem, if you deal with the problem quickly and appropriately you can eradicate the slugs from your home. 

It’s likely that the solutions above will take time to work, and not every solution will work for everyone, but it is possible to rid your home of slugs! 

Got your own story to share? Let us know in the comments below! 

Bethan Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!

How To Seal Cracks And Stop The Entry Points?

Use PU Foam ForLarge Gaps

If your house is full of larger gaps, you should opt for polyurethane foam cans. Polyurethane foam can expand and fill up all such gaps and cracks in your household.

It creates a waterproof and pest-proof barrier with incredible durability. You should spray it around joints, ducting, and spaces between doors, and anywhere else the slugs can make way through.

Wear old clothes and gloves while spraying expanding PU foam as it will stick to everything nearby when you spray.

After the foam seals and hardens, you can trim off any excess foam using a hack saw blade or serrated knife. Be careful enough to locate all gaps in your house.

Use Sealants For Small Holes

If you have tiny gaps in between your floors or doors, silicone sealant will work better than expanding foam.

You can squeeze out the product and seal of all the suspicious holes in your house. Cover spaces around your door trims, floors, walls, and joints. If you need to work with tight spaces, opt for squeeze tube sealants.

Copper Tapes To Keep Slugs Away

Copper tapes are the easiest solution to eliminate all slugs from your house. However, they are less effective than expanding foams and sealants.

Copper tapes last long, offering greater value for money. You can place them across your floors, door thresholds, and around pots.

Copper is known to react with the slime of a slug, thus disturbing its nervous system. The slugs will feel a reaction equal to an electric shock, causing them to die slowly.

However, in most cases, snails and slugs slide past them without much effort. You should opt for a copper tape with high ratings and good reviews. If you need something more full-proof, then opt for sealants and PU foam.

How can I protect seedlings from slugs?

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lee)

Growing seeds in pots rather than sowing directly into the ground keeps them out of harm’s way until seedlings are a decent size and are better equipped to look after themselves. Protect young plants in a cold frame, greenhouse or a raised frame on a stand. Once planted out, cover with a cloche or with a plastic bottle with the bottom cut off and the top unscrewed until they’ve established. After that, they’re on their own.

See: How to get rid of wasps – follow these simple steps

How Do I Get Rid of Slugs?

The best bet in reducing slug numbers is to get rid of places they like to hide. They like damp, dark places under boards, rocks, garden debris, and flowerpots. In fact, any of these items can be used as lures. Check under them each day and get rid of any slugs you find. Repeat daily until the slugs are gone. Adding some decaying fruit underneath a board in a damp area will also draw in slugs so you can remove them. Wearing rubber gloves, throw the slugs in a plastic bag, seal, and dispose.

10. Opt for Plants That Slugs Shun

When all else fails, plant a garden that is decidedly not slug friendly; or at least do so in areas where slugs are persistent. Slugs don’t like highly scented things, so go with lavender, rosemary, begonias, and sage. Other slug repellers include ferns, cyclamen, hydrangea, California poppy, nasturtium, and lantana.

How to Use Copper Tape

If you found a slug in your house, the best first step is to prevent them from getting inside in the future. A great way to do this is to use copper tape.

There are a number of them on the market, and as an avid gardener, I have tried a number of them. I like using the tape because I found it worked best.

  • The tape is just slightly wider than an inch, flexible enough to bend and adjust to shapes and corners, and is easy to attach. It works great for wrapping around flower pots and tubs.
  • It uses an organic solution that doesn't actually kill the slugs. It simply stops them in their tracks and sends them off in a different direction.
  • It is also harmless to wildlife, family pets, and children. That makes it different from slug killers such as pellets.

I've used this tape a lot around the back and front doors as well as certain areas of my garden. It works really well, is easy to fix, and lasts for around three years before it needs replacing. Always wear gloves when putting this on, as the metal edging is very sharp and will cut you.

The tape is a cheap and easy method to end your problem. The main drawback of using this is that you do need something to attach it to, and in certain circumstances, it can be very difficult to keep it on.

Why Do They Come In?

Slugs invade homes for a number of reasons, but usually because there’s something good that they want inside.

  • Slug love dark places, and they enter homes at night because they’re dark and very inviting. 
  • They also come in because houses have moisture problems – slugs love moist environments! Moisture in the home is usually caused by a damp problem and can be sorted out. 
  • In the night houses can be quite cool, which is a really welcoming environment for slugs.  
  • One of the biggest reasons they come in is because food has been left out – this includes pet food and human food in some cases. 

It’s worth noting that slugs usually target older homes because they have more holes and dampness in them. But this doesn’t mean that they won’t enter new builds.    

Resort to slug killers

If you just can’t get on top of the problem slug pellets could be the solution. Ferrous phosphate slug pellets are considered safe around pets, crops and wildlife, and are the only ones allowed in organic gardening. Sprays containing calcium chloride or a yucca extract are also worth a try.

Get Rid of the Ones That Are Inside Your House

There is nothing worse than waking up on a beautiful morning, only to find slugs in your house. They look horrible and leave a slime trail everywhere they go. My kids are also frightened of them, and my wife hates them with a passion.

For a long time, I had a problem with these slugs both in my house and in my garden. I tried all the usual off-the-shelf products, including various types of pellets, sprays, and beer traps. Some of them worked for a while, but the slugs returned. My other concern was that I have kids and a dog that could get into poisonous pellets or sprays. I had to be careful using these as well.

The frustrating thing about battling slugs is that you feel you made some progress, but the slugs just come back year after year. I remember going on a real crusade to get rid of them one year by picking them off every time I saw one. The only thing I can say about that is that there are more slugs than I had time to get rid of, both in my garden and just outside my house.

I asked my neighbor if he was having similar problems, and he said that he had been tortured with slugs at one time. He still had the problem but greatly diminished it by putting a bird feeder into the garden. It attracted quite a few wild birds that apparently helped eat the slugs.

The Good News

The good news is that slugs are not actually that clever, but boy, can they breed quickly! The only appeal your house has for them is darkness and dampness.

We all have darkness in our houses, and they will have some moisture inside. We like to make our houses look nice with flowers and planters, but don't leave them right outside your door. That makes a very short path for them, and slugs move a lot faster than you might imagine. Trust me, I had a personal vendetta against slugs for many years because they destroyed my flowers for years.

I hope you have found this helpful and that you are able to get rid of slugs from your home quickly and, hopefully, permanently.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Enda McLarnon

How Does Slug Bait Work?

Baits are available on the market, such as the brands Escar-Go! or Sluggo. When using baits, place them near dark, damp areas of the garden where slugs typically hide. Follow the label directions and repeat as necessary. The active ingredients in most baits are toxic to humans, dogs, and cats, so use them safely and store them securely.

With a combination of strategies, the slug population in your garden should decrease or disappear.

Get more garden pest control tips.


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