Gardening expert shares how to kill slugs ‘overnight’

Gardening expert details natural ways to deal with slugs

Slugs can cause widespread damage in gardens especially seedlings in spring and summer. There are many ways to deter and banish slugs but natural methods are best as these won’t impact the garden’s biodiversity.

In a video for Homebase, the head of horticulture and landscaping at Capel Manor College, Tom Cole, has shared some ways to deal with slugs in the garden using natural methods that have a beneficial impact on the environment.

Gardeners will need a garden fork, copper rings, a beer trap and grit or sand.

The first thing gardeners need to do is tend to their plants and remove anything collapsed, dying or diseased like dead leaves as these are a “haven for slugs”.

Removing these means the pests are less likely to make an appearance.

Thinning out plants by removing leaves and branches will allow more air to circulate around the plant which will make it healthier.

It will also help remove the damp spots slugs are attracted to. Planting spiky or thorny plants around slug-loving plants will also deter slugs.

The gardening expert said: “The prickly surfaces are hard for the soft slugs to navigate.”

Copper rings

Copper rings can be bought from most garden centres and can be fixed around the pots and containers to deter slugs.

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The copper contains ions which emit an electrical charge which gives slugs a “non-lethal shock if they try to crawl over it”.

Cheap copper strips can also be bought from DIY stores and put around pots.

Beer traps

Beer traps are exactly what they sound like – a trap filled with beer.

Rather than buying a beer trap, gardeners can make their own using an empty jam jar.

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Simply dig a hole, put the empty jar in the hole near vulnerable plants and pour a little beer into the bottom.

The garden expert said: “Slugs will be attracted to the scent, crawl in overnight and drown.

“Be sure to replace the beer regularly for maximum effect.”


There are a plethora of different barriers that can be used to prevent slugs but the most common is using grit or sharp sand around the plants that need protecting.

This is too sharp for soft slugs. Slug-repellent mulch, which contains slate or gravel, can be used alternatively.

Plant care

Gardeners also need to look after the around their plants to keep slugs at bay.

Pick around the plants with a fork or use a hoe to break up the soil to dry out its surface.

This will make the soil less attractive to slugs while exposing pests lingering in the soil.

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