Large Red Slug (Arion rufus) on a leaf of a flower.

The best ways to get rid of slugs in your garden

Slugs can decimate a garden in no time if you’re not careful. These slimy creatures love nothing more than to munch on tender plants and flowers, leaving behind a trail of destruction in their wake.

If you’ve found yourself with a slug problem, never fear. There are a number of effective ways to get rid of these pests for good. Read on to learn more.

Invite Predators

The best way to get rid of slugs is to invite predators. Slugs are the perfect snack for a number of common garden predators, including frogs, toads, snakes, and lizards. If you have any of these animals in or around your yard, they can help keep the slug population in check.

A pair of male and female toads on the lawn in a garden.
Toads on garden lawn

Coarse salt

If you don’t want to encourage predators in your garden or you live in an area where there aren’t many animals that eat slugs, you can also try sprinkling coarse salt around the base of plants. This will kill slugs quickly, but it will also damage your plants. Use salt sparingly and only as a last resort.


You can also purchase snail and slug traps from your local hardware store or online. These traps usually consist of a piece of card or plastic propped up on sticks. When slugs climb onto the trap to get to the delicious bait you’ve placed underneath, they become trapped and can’t escape.

Creating a barrier

Slugs are looking for cool, damp places to hide during the day and will often congregate under rocks, boards, or leaves. If you find slug central in your garden, simply remove the hiding place and watch as the slugs start disappearing.

You can also try placing objects like eggshells or coffee grounds around susceptible plants. Slugs don’t like crawling over these sharp objects, so they’ll avoid them if possible. Just make sure to remove and replace these barriers every few days, as they’ll eventually break down and become ineffective.

Hand-picking them off

This method is time-consuming, but it’s very effective if you’re patient enough. Simply go out into your garden at night with a flashlight and pick the slugs off by hand. Drop them into soapy water to kill them immediately. Otherwise, they may be able to crawl back out.

A jar on a wooden background filled with slugs.
Slugs in a jar

Alternatively, you could put them in a jar with some beer. The beer will attract the slugs and they’ll crawl right in, but they won’t be able to get back out again. Either way, make sure to dispose of them far away from your garden so they can’t find their way back.