Killing slugs for fun and (not really) profit

Ivy says:

Oh, Twitter, how I love thee. I tweeted recently that I’m very short on ideas for Home Ec 101 lately and I got this tweet:

You can tell me about how to get all the slugs that have taken over my backyard, dog bowls, and screen doors to die or getting them to die without hurting the dogs or the cat or my bushes. They are grossing me the (censored) out.

Well, dear Twitter friend, they gross me the (censored) out, too. There are only 2 things on this planet that make me so intensely grossed out that even the thought of them makes me barfy. The first one is maggots (I saw Poltergeist at a very young age) and the second one is slugs.

So, there are several ways of getting rid of slugs. Theoretically, it’s fun to pour salt on them and watch them die. I’m too grossed out by that to even consider that as a method of slug murder, but there is that.

You can prevent slugs from living at your house by making sure the bottom branches of all your bushes are trimmed. Slugs love damp, moist areas, so if you trim the bottom branches from your bushes, the damp and moist areas are not so plentiful and they’ll go find somewhere else to live.

Probably the most fun method of killing slugs involves making them a beer swimming pool. Take a somewhat shallow container (like a Cool Whip container, after you’ve eaten all the Cool Whip, ha!) and bury it in the ground so the lip of the container is even with the ground. Then fill it up with beer. The slugs will be attracted by the beer and will come on in, but won’t be able to get out and will drown. If you feel like that’s a waste of good beer, you can do the same with a packet of yeast and some water.

Another method of keeping slugs away from a certain area is to protect that area with copper edging. That’s a bit on the spendy side, but apparently slugs don’t dig copper and would stay off your back porch.

Finally, you can use an iron phosphate bait like Escar-go! to kill them. Iron phosphate messes up something in a slug’s metabolism so they end up starving to death. Man, killing slugs is mean. 😉


  1. AA on August 4, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Also, you can take a 2 liter bottle, cut off the top third, then staple it back in the bottle spout in (for a funnel effect. Put bait in the bottom of the bottle. They’ll crawl in and not be able to get back out. This can work for other beasties too depending on the bait.

    As to the mid-air mating .. that is seriously (censored)!!!!

  2. Carolie on August 3, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Hair. I know, weird. But it’s even cheaper than using beer or yeast and water…and it’s easier than burying a little slug swimming pool! Ask your local barber or hair salon for their floor sweepings, and spread around the base of your bushes. Slugs don’t like to move on hair…guess the sharp ends of the individual hairs bother them. This works especially well in the garden, as it also discourages deer…and it’s biodegradable and adds nutrients to the soil!

  3. kateanon on July 24, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Um, this post grossed me the (uncensored) out. But, I have a weak stomach for thinking about said slugs.

  4. Badbadivy on July 24, 2008 at 12:49 am

    Darling, darling K. Thanks so much for sharing that mental image with me. It will stick with me for life. 😉

  5. K on July 23, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    I dont like slugs much though am used to them as I live in slugville u.s.a. But one of the grossest things I have ever seen is slugs mating mid-air in on a ‘vine of slime’. I had the dry heaves for days thinking about it. Even now it evokes the same reaction just typing this. Bleeeech!

  6. jag on July 23, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Bless you, Ivy. Bless you forever and ever.

    It was one thing when they’d hang out under my bag of mulch. Yet another when I touched one as it was hanging out under the lip of my dog’s food bowl.

    It was when I started seeing mucus trails stretched across the dog food (in the bowl) and slug tracks up and down my screen door that I decided it was time for slug genocide.

    Sorry about the censored language. I’ve touched and stepped on too many of these things now to hold my tongue.

  7. saraclark on July 23, 2008 at 11:17 am

    I’ve heard that Diotomaceous Earth can work at least as a barrier method to keep slugs out of certain areas. It’s supposed to be sharp and uncomfortable for them to crawl over. I’ve made circles around my plants as they come up in the spring to keep slugs and snails away.

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