Keep slugs out of your garden this summer with 5 everyday substances you can find around the house

With brighter days ahead and the half-term holiday just around the corner, more and more of us may already be turning our attention to our beloved gardens, as we plan what to plant and grow over the coming months. Yet while it’s safe to say the great British public has no shortage of enthusiasm for cultivating a beautiful garden sanctuary to call our own, sadly all that hard work can easily be ruined by the arrival of unwanted slugs.

The pesky molluscs can easily decimate your lovingly tended vegetables, and wreak havoc with your flowers – not to mention the intrepid few who like to venture indoors too! But luckily despite their unwanted arrival, there are a number of natural remedies that can be used to keep the garden pests at bay – and several of them don’t require much effort.

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In previous years, one of the tried and tested ways to tackle slug infestations has been to put down chemical slug pellets, or to set beer traps by burying a plastic cup full of beer and luring the slugs to their death – however many modern gardeners are now turning to more humane ways to ward off slugs.

Here we take a closer look at some of the best natural remedies to keep slugs at bay…


Coffee grounds are one popular alternative to using beer traps to deter slugs -Credit:Getty

For many of us, a steaming mug of coffee first thing in the morning is just what we need to start the day, but for the common garden slug, it’s more akin to a nightmare as the garden pests can’t stand the stuff! That’s why some gardeners swear by the introduction of coffee grounds into their garden routines, and will often sprinkle fresh coffee around their plants to help protect them from hungry slugs.

It is worth noting however that fresh coffee is much more effective than instant, and the higher the caffeine content, the more effective it is at deterring slugs from feasting on your beloved garden.


Seaweed is a little known deterrent disliked by slugs due to its high salt content -Credit:Getty

Another all-natural remedy you may want to consider is seaweed. Effective in both its fresh and powdered forms, the aquatic plant also carries an additional bonus of being great at nourishing the soil too. Much of the plant’s effectiveness comes from its high salt content, which it is common knowledge slugs are far from fans of.

To use seaweed effectively, place the fresh leaves around the plants you wish to protect, or sprinkle powdered seaweed on the soil.

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A simple DIY grapefruit trap means you can easily catch and dispose of slugs -Credit:Getty

While it may seem counterintuitive, instead of deterring slugs with smells and tastes they hate, one possible way to get rid of them is by tempting them to gather at a specific location by choosing something they love to tuck into – such as grapefruit. As huge lovers of citrus, a grapefruit rind can be used to trap a slug in search of a nibble, and then later disposed of.

To set up the trap, place a couple of empty grapefruit rinds upside down on the ground, while allowing enough space for the slug to slither inside. After entering, the slug is well fed by nutrients from the rind, while the damp environment provides a cozy spot for the slug to hide. Simply leave the grapefruit overnight and dispose of any captured slugs in the morning.


Rosemary is a plant disliked by several garden pests including flies, spiders and slugs -Credit:Getty

Another plant that slugs are believed to dislike is the common herb Rosemary. This mildly scented herb rarely bothers the human nose, but frequently bothers all manner of garden pests from spiders and flies through to slugs themselves.

By planting a few rosemary plants in your garden, you can maximize your chance of dissuading slugs from eating your crops, while also adding to your culinary arsenal by having the tasty plant on hand for any cooking.

Egg shells

Eggs shells are an effective way to deter slugs from your garden -Credit:Getty

As slugs don’t like moving across sharp objects, scattering crushed egg shells or nutshells around affected areas can help to provide a barrier to protect your plants from any hungry slugs in search of a quick meal. Although it’s not a foolproof method and slugs can move across sharp objects when necessary, they generally prefer not to suffer the pain if they don’t have to, and will usually try to avoid any rough or sharp terrain.

Interestingly, egg shells also carry a secondary benefit for gardeners as the calcium from the shells enriches the soil as they decompose over a period of around a year.