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Garden Slug

Here are tips on how to identify, eliminate, and control slugs in the garden.


What are slugs? 

Slugs are very damaging garden pests that can be found throughout the country, most likely in moist and humid climates. Slugs are not insects, rather, they are soft-bodied mollusks. They are hard to spot in the soil because of their dark color, but also because they only feed at night and hide throughout the day.

Identifying Slugs

  • Most slugs are grey to dark brown and about one-inch long. They will hide in dark, damp places during the day.

  • Slugs will feed on almost anything in the garden—look for holes and ragged edges on leaves and stems.

  • Slugs will leave a slimy secretion where they have been, so even if you can't spot them, you'll know they are there. Look for slime both on plants and surrounding soil.

Report this bug More information about the Big bug hunt

How to get rid of Slugs

  • Lay boards or pieces of cardboard on the bare soil around your plantings. Each morning, turn the boards over and scrape the hiding slugs into large plastic containers. Cover and place in freezer. When frozen stiff, dump them on your compost pile.

  • Place shallow dishes of beer around the garden to lure the slugs to a drunken death. Or mix water with molasses, cornmeal, flour, and baking yeast to replace the beer.

  • Pick them off by hand!

  • To keep slugs away from tender plants, circle them with wood ashes, diatomaceous earth, copper sheeting, or crushed eggshells.