Ways organic slug control keeps slugs away naturally:
Truly organic slug control products that keep slugs away naturally really can work. Too these natural products don’t necessarily kill slugs. And they might not be a way to permanently get rid of slugs. But they can be one of the quickest ways to get rid of slugs attacking your favorite plants. Moreover, they’re super simple to apply to your garden. And they have more benefits beyond getting rid of slugs and snails!
What organic slug control products will help my garden?
There are several products marketed as organic slug control. But, in our experience, some are better than others. Our favorite organic slug control products are made from sheep’s wool! And because these products are made from wool, they offer more garden benefits than just helping gardeners get rid of slugs naturally and quickly!
How does sheep’s wool deter slugs?
Wool is made up of fibers that irritates the slug’s body. So when you thickly surround plants with sheep’s wood pellets, slugs can’t get to your plants easily. And that means you might get just rid of those slugs permanently! Or, at least, you’ll send those slugs somewhere else.
How does sheep’s wool help my garden beyond keeping slugs away?
- Sheep’s wool is great at holding water. That means it can help slow the passage of moisture into your plant’s root zone. To clarify, this means the wool meters out water the way other mulches do.
- Wool works as an insulator. That means this organic slug control can also help warm your plant roots and cool them too. (Kind of like that wool sweater you wear in winter.)
- Wool breaks down and adds nutrients to your soil over time. So, yes, you may need to apply this material seasonally to protect new plantings from slugs and snails. But when it breaks down, wool pellets can help feed your soil and help your garden grow!
Can I just use raw, sheared wool?
In our experience, using sheared wool in its raw form may keep slugs at bay for a while. But, eventually it begins to become a nice little nest where slugs like to hang out. Seriously, we’ve seen slugs napping and breeding in raw wool.
So, for us, pellets work best to control slugs naturally!
Environmental benefits of wool pellets for slug control:
The wool pellet makers we’ve used make their slug control pellets from waste wool. So instead of trashing wool that isn’t fit for yarn or felt, they’re diverting it from the garbage and making it into pellets for our gardens. This wool might also have some sheep poo in it, which means added fertilizers too!
Several other “safe” slug control products look a lot like bird seed. In fact, we have observed birds pecking at this stuff, which is unlikely to be on their natural diet. On the other hand, sheep’s wool pellets don’t seem to attract birds at all.
Are there drawbacks to using sheep wool products for slug control?
Wool pellets smell like sheep.
But that’s not surprising since this is a waste byproduct of the wool industry. So, if you don’t mind a slight barnyard smell, the slug deterring benefits should outweigh the scent.
Dogs may want to nibble wool pellets.
Our border collie and aussie really like the smell of wool pellets. But, when our dog took a nibble, she didn’t get sick from what she munched. And pretty soon she wasn’t interested in it at all anymore.
On the other hand, when our aussie got into a different fertilizer, he definitely got sick. So it may be that this material is safer for pets than some others.
But we can’t be sure about that, so exercise caution! Too much of anything is never a good thing.
Where can I buy organic slug and snail control wool pellets?
These days there are a few options for purchasing wool pellets for organic slug control:
Skagit Woolen Works: This Genuine Skagit Valley product is available for purchase online here and locally in person in the Pacific Northwest. It’s our go-to product to keep slugs away naturally these days because it’s local for us!
Slug Gone: This is the first slug pellet from wool we learned about. However, it is difficult to procure in the US. But if you are looking for organic slug control in the UK, it might be the right option for you.
If you’re familiar with other vendors, please let us know!
Do slugs have predators?
Yes! Slugs do have predators.
- The best predators for organic slug control in our experience are garter snakes. But the only problem here is that slugs start eating plants when it is cooler than garter snakes prefer. However, if you have cool, damp summers, the garter snakes will do organic slug control for you then.
- Ducks will eat your slugs.
- Chickens may be more picky, but some chickens gladly eat slugs. However many will turn up their beaks instead.
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Want to try homemade slug killers?
Can I just use beer to deter slugs?
Beer-filled cups will lure in these gastropods to their death. But it doesn’t take much rain to dilute the beer to the point where it’s no longer a viable death trap for those slimers.
Plus, offering up beer may actually lure more slugs toward your garden. So while beer might be the best homemade slug killer, it might not be the best way to get rid of slugs and snails.
Is epsom salt a good slug killer?
Epsom salt and other salts will kill slugs. But please don’t use salt in your garden. That’s because adding salt to your garden can quickly ruin your soil. So not only will salt kill slugs, but it will likely kill your plants as well. Plus, it can take a very long time to “fix” your soil once it has salt damage.
Can I use vinegar to get rid of slugs?
Vinegar doesn’t do a good job getting rid of slugs. If you doused slugs and snails in a bucket of vinegar or sprayed them directly, vinegar might kill those slugs. But spraying your garden with vinegar isn’t likely to keep slugs away. Plus, if you get vinegar on your plants, they’re likely to burn, shrivel and even die.
Will coffee grounds stop slugs in my garden?
Coffee grounds might help dissuade slugs a little bit. That’s because those grounds may have sharp edges that hurt their soft bodies. And the acidity of coffee might not be their favorite. But, really, coffee grounds aren’t likely to permanently get rid of slugs for you.
Do eggshells stop slugs from eating your plants?
Sharp eggshells may stop slugs and snails from eating your plants. But, in our experience, most slugs cross right over eggshell barries to eat the plants you’re trying to protect.
Does diatomaceous earth stop slugs?
Diatomaceous earth can stop slugs. That’s because it is sharp and can irritate slug bodies when they try to pass over it. However, as soon as diatomaceous earth gets wet, it begins to melt. And when that happens, it is no longer effective against slugs and snails. So, if you water your garden, diatomaceous earth won’t help get rid of slugs and snails very well.