Slug and Snail Nightmare Gone!

Are you loosing the battle of the slug and snail infestation in your garden? The utter destruction that these molluscs leave behind night after night, year in year out is beyond a joke.

Common brown garden snailCommon brown garden snail

The horrible blue pellets do their job but it's such a nasty and messy semi-solution at its best as more turn up after a few days of mourning their relatives.

No use throwing them into your neighbours garden either because snails are homing creatures according to a friend of mine who always has interesting stuff like that to entertain you. They will just come crawling back home.

It's time to use your loaf, and I mean use it. Think! If you were invited to a restaurant and they never failed to serve up a variety of delicious dishes, would you not regularly eat out at that same venue?

Not only that, there's a good chance you would meet your future spouse there if your not already married, raise a family, and they and their families would probably make that restaurant their regular haunt too.

But suppose that restaurant's manager gradually changed the menu. The food was still good but little by little the menu offered dishes that didn't suit your particular pallet or that of your family. It wouldn't be long before you all abandoned that place and sought out another.

Gastropods will stay in your garden as long as there is an abundance of tastey food for a party. The problem is, they are not very fussy and will eat almost anything, so what you can do is plant slug and snail resistant herbs placed in strategic places as part of your arsenal.

Slug and Snail Deterrent Herbs

Depending on what type of garden you have will determine which plants to use. For a rockery and plot types you can plant a quick spreading ground herb such as purple rock cress (Aubretia deltoidea).

Snails hate the stuff! It`s one herb that doesn't normally have a pest problem. The leaves and flowers are great in salads and it produces a beautiful display in a variety of colours. Use it to surround your more vulnerable herbs.

Lavender and Rosemary

Lavender and rosemary are other herbaceous plants that snails hate. Use them as a border edging to your plot. They are just as at home in container gardens too. Plant other vulnerable plants in the same container to keep snails at bay. The heady scent of lavender smells wonderful and calming to us but off-putting for them.

An added benefit of these plants is that they attract bees which are great pollinators for your annuals that require self-seeding to sprout and spread the following year.

Other Herbs to Consider

Nasturtium,Thyme, Basil, Lobelia, Borage (very hairy)

Slug and Snail Predators


But what to do with those subterranean beasties the slugs? Nematodes are excellent because they can tolerate a late bout of frost. Treating the soil with Nematodes prior to planting young plants will start reducing slugs as they emerged from their eggs in early spring. This is one of the best ways to reduce your slug population if you don't have many frogs and hedgehogs visiting the garden. But beware, there are also other slugs that are not responsible for eating your plants. Their food is other slugs.

Other Predators

Hedgehogs, Frogs, Birds, Bull snails 

More Weapons in Your Arsenal

  • Turn over all rocks and dark damp places snails like to hide during the day.
  • In summer water the garden early morning not evening. This really proved to be effective for me personally.
  • Hand pick snails of plants at night using a torch.
  • Use beer tubs sunk in the ground around plants.
  • Cover young plants with transparent covers e.g. plastic bottles in half. I personally applied this tactic and it worked while the plants were young. Remember to put small pin holes in them so the plants do not become overheated in their mini greenhouse.
  • Consider a mini pond that is easy to keep to attract frogs, toads and newts. These creatures dine on snails. Add some water plants and herbs like water cress, pennywort, and water lettuce to keep the water oxygenated and clean.
  • A pesticide that I approve of and use is
    Origins Slug and snail control - ferric phosphate - Molluscicide Contact action, interferes with calcium metabolism in slug / snail stomach causing it to stop feeding - Information source - IUPAC

Slug and Snail Fake Deterrents

Every garden centre I know sells copper tape to stick around the top of plant pots which is supposed to keep the snails from reaching your plants.

The manufacturers of the product claim that snails will not venture across copper whether it`s copper tape or any other copper barrier because they experience an unpleasant sensation. What do you think? Are their claims true or false?

Well if you know anything about me at all you will have learned that I just love to get down to investigating stuff for myself.  So before you go and buy copper tape watch what happens in the following demo video when I encircled an unsuspecting garden visitor with some copper coins and wire too.

Need I say more? Save your money!

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