7 Quick Tips For Keeping Snails And Slugs Out Of Your Garden | Survival Gardening

Feature | Snail muller gliding on the wet leaves | Quick Tips For Keeping Snails And Slugs Out Of Your Garden | Survival Gardening

November 12, 2023 / Comments (5)

Gardening Tips

Snails and slugs are damaging to gardens! Here are several tips to naturally keep them away from your precious plants.

RELATED: How To Manage Garden Pests

Keeping the Snails and Slugs Away

Getting Rid of Snails and Slugs

The most common belief about slugs and snails is they are the same, but, they are not. They do, however, have something in common – they are quite damaging to gardens!

The main physical difference between them is snails carry a shell and slugs do not. Here are brief descriptions of what they each look like.

  • Snails are grayish in color and their shells' colors range from white to brown to almost black. The shell can also be mottled or striped. A snail has two tentacles on its head.
  • Slugs, as mentioned above, do not have a shell. They range in color from light yellow to gray to almost black. They range in size from ½ inch to as long as 10 inches. Like their cousin, they also have two tentacles on their heads.

They will target almost any vegetation that is wet or moist. The damage they leave behind is holes in plant leaves and flowers, including succulent plants and plants that grow low to the ground.

They both can demolish young seedlings and will leave just the stem behind.

Due to the fact that snail and slug damage can resemble damage done by insects such as caterpillars and grasshoppers, there is one telltale sign—the slime trails that snails and slugs leave behind. The slime trails are silvery, reflective lines left behind on the plant leaves and the outer surface of pots.

Another way to possibly tell who the true culprit is: caterpillars, for example, leave behind droppings that resemble tiny pellets.

The reason you may not see them much at all during the day is snails and slugs are mostly nocturnal but can be spotted on extremely cloudy and wet days.

Let’s talk deterrents. What can you do to deter these two pests? In this article, I will share with you all-natural solutions to keep your survival gardens snail and slug-free this gardening season.

1. Petroleum Jelly

This is great for raised gardens and potted plants! Just smear petroleum jelly around the edges of the pots or raised garden beds. Snails and slugs simply will not cross the path of the petroleum jelly.

A finger dipped in petroleum jelly jar | Quick Tips For Keeping Snails And Slugs Out Of Your Garden | Survival Gardening
Some gardeners add cayenne pepper, salt, or ginger powder for extra measure!

2. Crushed or Broken Eggshells

Even though there has been evidence of snails and slugs crossing over paths with sharp edges to get to their dinner, some gardeners swear by this method!

Simply apply a layer (or two) of crushed or broken eggshells to the soil surrounding the plant. The key here is to make the area of eggshells as sharp and jagged as possible.

It is very likely that the snail or slug will find it too cumbersome to cross over the roughness of the crushed or broken eggshells and turn right around and leave.

3. Copper

The mucous (or slime) of a snail or slug does not mix with copper and when they cross copper they will get a mild shock.

Wide copper barriers up to 6 inches are recommended as some snails and slugs can be quite large. Copper mesh or flat pieces of copper will work best for this deterrent method.

Tip: Copper can tarnish over time which will make it lose its effectiveness to deter these pests. Cleaning the copper or replacing it when it does become tarnished is highly recommended.

RELATED: Beneficial Insects For Garden Pest Control

4. Pistachio Nut Shells

These shells have two qualities that snails and slugs hate – they are sharp and salty!

Simply place a thick layer of pistachio nut shells on the soil surrounding the plant. You do not have to replace the shells.


They will rot down into the soil over time which will greatly benefit the soil and, of course, the plant. Add more shells as needed.

5. Sand

Due to its dry and barren texture, sand is another substance snails and slugs do not like.


Put an ¼ inch barrier of fine sand around the edges of garden beds and at the base of plants to protect them from these pests.

6. Sawdust

The denseness of sawdust is extremely unappealing to snails and slugs, and they will not cross this barrier. Simply place a ¼ to ½ inch barrier around the edges of potted plants or garden beds.

7. Pick Them by Hand

Please do not use your bare hands, as the slime of these pests does not come off easily. Wearing disposable plastic gloves is highly recommended.

The best time to do this is dusk or early morning, especially in damp conditions. When you spot one, it is best to scoop them up with a spoon.

The next step is totally up to you, of course. You can release them in an area where you know they will not be a pest and cause damage.

To instantly kill snails or slugs, sprinkle them with a good amount of salt or squirt them with ammonia. These substances are great for slug control.

Check out this video from GrowVeg on how to deal with slugs and snails in your garden:

These tips should be good enough to prevent snails and slugs from doing damage to your garden. They're slow but they can be a real pain in the neck if you're serious about taking care of your plants.

Simply pick one of these easy methods and watch your garden bloom nicely.

What do you use to keep away snails and slugs? Tell us in the comments section below!

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Quick Tips For Keeping Snails And Slugs Out Of Your Garden | Survival Gardening | https://survivallife.com/snails-and-slugs-away-survival-gardening/

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 1, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

5 Responses to :
7 Quick Tips For Keeping Snails And Slugs Out Of Your Garden | Survival Gardening

  1. Rusty Fox says:

    Another very simple and extremely effective way to kill slugs and snails, not just deter them, is to place small containers with at least an inch of beer around your garden. Slugs and snails are irresistibly drawn to the smell of the beer, and they’ll get drunk and drown. Empty the containers into your compost heap when there are dead vermin in them and refill with beer. What beer? The cheapest you can find. And yes, stale leftovers are just as good as fresh beer.

    I’m retired in the Philippines and have used this method at home in Australia, in Ukraine, China and India, and now here in the Philippines – it seems that all snails love beer, even the Giant African Snail the has overrun the Philippines. These snails can grow to 18″ long, with a shell exceeding 12″ long. The biggest I’ve seen in my garden had a shell 4″ long and the snail was 6″ from head to tail!

    1. RL57 says:

      What do you get for those snails a keg? Lol.

  2. Ninna says:

    Very simple and easy tricks for keeping the snails and slugs away! Thanks for sharing, this post was very helpful!

  3. Eleanor says:

    Another solution, at least for those in our garden (Tuscany, Italy), which are those tiny, tiny, tiny, somewhat sea-shell-shaped mini-snails that cover plants in their hundreds of thousands: remove them by hand and place ash around the base of the trees and plants

  4. richard beierle says:

    Mysterious Low Frequency, High Amplitude Vibratory noise “Infra sound” seemingly from local brodcast towers that resemble cell phone towers, is now and has been racking the urban countryside near south west of Castle Rock Washington since April of 2018 – it consists of humming, buzzing, booming, hammering , gasping and other arcane sounds and goes on day and night, stronger at night, disturbing sleep for humans and animals – it has caused many thousands of migratory waterfowl to completely avoid a multi square mile area in the middle of their flyway – deer, elk, crows, cats and most birds are gone or hiding, rats are becoming aggressive and slugs, both native species and European have disappeared from this damp area known as “Slug Central” USA – – YES!! Infra Sound Vibration DOES irradicate Slugs and it forces people to evacuate embassies such as the US embassy in Cuba several years ago – – But the PRICE is ENORMOUS in terms of Animal and Human health both Mental and Physical – the weak and infirm deteriorate and DIE due to Heart stress and the healthy are deformed – it appears to work as a birth control method, for slugs at least – the Sherrifs Department tells complainers that the noise is “Not Unlawfill” !! – What is It?

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