How to Get Rid of Slugs – on Patio, Porches & Deck

Trails of slimy mucus on your patio, porch or deck are a sign of snails or slugs on your property. These nocturnal mollusks hide in damp places during the day and get out during the night to search for food, warmth and shelter.

Copper tape
Copper tape on plant containers

Slugs are unsightly, a reason many people don’t want to see them near their homes. They also feed on the soft parts of plants including leaves and petals. Although not directly harmful to humans, in large numbers snails and slugs can damage your ornamental plants. and make your home a scary place to live.

Slugs and snails are similar creatures, the only difference is that snails have a shell and slugs do not. They all feed on fungi, decaying plant matter and soft parts of plants. These slimy animals produce mucus to glue them to a surface and also offer them a kind of protection from the elements.

How to Get Rid of Slugs – Proven Ways

Reducing the number of snails or slugs in your home is important before they become a serious nuisance. There are a number of methods you can use to get rid of slugs and snails in your home which include the following:

1. Remove their shelter

Removing a potential shelter for snails and slugs exposes them to elements and natural predators such as birds and toads. Remove items such as logs, bricks or broken plant pots from your garden. Prune your shrubs and flowers so that sunlight can reach those dark areas. Check to ensure that the mollusks are hot hiding under your garden furniture or deck.

2. Grow slug repellent plants

Many plants produce a scent that is not attractive to these animals. These include rosemary, marigolds, wormwood, rue, lavender, fennel, anise, lantana, sage and black-eyed Susan. Grow some of these plants in your garden or use them as container plants for your patio, porch or deck and you will never see those trails of mucus again. You can find high-quality rosemary plants here.

Bonnie Plants Rosemary Live Edible Aromatic Herb Plant - 4 Pack, Perennial In Zones 8 to 10, Great for Cooking & Grilling, Italian & Mediterranean Dishes, Vinegars & Oils, Breads
Bonnie Plants Rosemary Live Edible Aromatic Herb Plant - 4 Pack, Perennial In Zones 8 to 10, Great for Cooking & Grilling, Italian & Mediterranean Dishes, Vinegars & Oils, Breads
Tiny, strongly aromatic & flavorful leaves, blue blooms; Garden use: Herb garden, flower border, containers, low clipped hedge

3. Use copper tape

Copper tape is a thin strip of copper, often backed with adhesive. It is effective at keeping slugs and snails out of certain areas in homes including, gardens, container plants, and trunks of trees and shrubs. You can find copper tape in nearby hardware and gardening stores or electronic stores.

4. Use prickly materials

A prickly barrier can deter slugs from accessing certain areas. Use sharp sand, crushed egg shells or nutshells in suspected areas as it will be very uncomfortable for them to move around. For your flower pots and containers, simply smear them with some petroleum jelly and it will be too slippery for these animals to grip.

5. Make a beer trap for slugs

You can make a trap using beer to eliminate slugs in your home. These creatures love the smell of a bear and you can use it to trap them. Place a container half filled with beer in your garden or under your decking. They will come in large numbers to have a sip and eventually get trapped.

6. Trap them with grapefruit rinds

Place empty grapefruit rinds or peels upside down on the ground overnight. Ensure there is enough clearance for a slug to enter. The grapefruit scent will attract slugs searching for food, and a damp environment to hide. Check your grapefruit trap in the morning and take the slugs away.

7. Use ground coffee beans

Slugs hate the smell of fresh coffee beans. Sprinkle some coffee grounds around your garden and snails will run away immediately they smell coffee. You can found ground coffee beans at your nearby coffee shop.

8. Sprinkle salt

Salt instantly kills slugs and snails. Although not a good option for plants in your garden or lawn grasses, it can be used in areas without vegetation. You can sprinkle salt on your patio, driveway or deck but ensure no plant is exposed.

9. Use nematodes

Nematodes are parasites to slugs, snails and grubs. You can apply nematodes to your garden and after a few weeks, the slimy mollusks will disappear. These beneficial worms live in the soil and penetrate a slug’s body where they release a bacterial that will attack the slug or snail body from inside. Nematodes are applied with water on wet soil.

You can pick up nematodes quite inexpensively here.

10.  Encourage slug predators

There is a long list of animals that eat slugs and snails. They include ground beetles, ants, firefly larvae, marsh flies, toads, newts, salamanders, hedgehogs, shrews, moles, raccoons, chickens, ducks and songbirds among others.

While some of these animals will dig holes in your yard and tear up your lawn, they will completely get rid of slugs, snails and grubs in your property. You can encourage some of them into your garden as a natural way of controlling slugs and snails.

Final Thoughts

Slugs and snails can move from their hiding places into your home through any opening including air vents or any spaces found in skirting boards, doors or windows. On patios, deck and porches, snails can damage your potted plants and leave trellis of mucus that need to be cleaned. It is therefore very important to get rid of slugs in your home using any of our listed method.

5 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Slugs – on Patio, Porches & Deck”

  1. At night,the slugs are getting around the water and food I leave out for the outdoor cats.
    What can I do about them that would be safe for the cats?
    Are slugs dangerous to cats?

        • The slime trail they leave is dangerous to cats and dogs. They just have to lick the slime and they can get lungworm. I have two small dogs and feel like not walking them at night anymore as the slugs are everywhere.
          I’m going to buy bags of salt to put down. My dogs are washed throughly after being walked at night. They’re a nightmare!

  2. Hi we just recently moved to our home which is in the woods I’m not concerned about the slugs eating any plants because there is nothing around here I care about we are living here temporarily until we buy our home I was wondering if like if I sprinkle rock salt around will that keep the Slugs away last night I went out on my back deck to go into my deep freeze and there are slugs eight of them plus two snails and the Slugs were humongous so I picked them up and threw them over the balcony and then sprinkled regular house salt all over my porch hope for nothing


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