9 Sure Ways to Get Rid of Snails and Slugs in Your House and Garden

1: Coffee Grounds

If you love coffee, coffee grounds might be your best bet when it comes to protecting your plants and deterring slugs and snails. Slugs and snails, unlike us, hate coffee. And coffee grounds also add nutrients to your soil. Coffee grounds are one of the best and most recommended ways to deter slugs and snails from your garden.

6. Use Killer Substances, Chemicals, and Pesticides

Salt is one of the substances that kill snails and slugs. It absorbs water from the mollusks, dehydrating and killing them. Sprinkle salt directly on them or use it to create a barrier. Warning: Salt can harm plants and other animals, so be careful when using it.

Garlic can also kill the gastropods. Mix it with water to create a solution, then spray it on the infested area.

Iron phosphate. When it comes to chemicals, this is my number-one recommendation. As mentioned earlier, this chemical is safe, so you can use it almost anywhere.

Other chemicals. Other effective chemicals include alum (aluminum sulfate), bleach (chlorine), and potassium permanganate. To use these chemicals, you only need to spray them in the infested area. Metaldehyde can also be used as a pesticide. This compound is toxic, so it may not be the best option for people with domestic animals. If you decide to use metaldehyde, you should ensure that it doesn't come into contact with people, pets, food, or beneficial animals.



If you have the stomach for it, handpicking is an effective option when practiced diligently.

To lure slugs and snails, water any infested areas at dusk. After nightfall, use a flashlight to hunt them down, pick by hand, and dispose of them – you’ll definitely want to use gloves for this option!

You’ll need to do this nightly until their numbers are decimated, after which a weekly foray should suffice.

Once caught, you can dispatch them in a bucket of soapy water or by spraying with a solution of diluted ammonia. One part ammonia mixed with 10 parts water in a spray bottle will do the trick.

What do slugs do and why getting rid of slugs, anyway?

Garden snails and slugs, just like other pests, come to the garden primarily in search for food. Finding shelter on hot sunny days is their additional motivation.

But do you really have to wonder how to get rid of snails as soon as you spot them? As for snails without shell, that is – slugs, it is recommended to act immediately. They are quite unique pests and their presence in the garden doesn’t bode well at all. Nonetheless, if you notice garden snails, you can hold for a while and observe their behaviour. Sometimes snails don’t prey on healthy plants and eat just scraps or naturally dying elements.

Interestingly enough, some snails can positively affect garden crops. They might eat weeds and their seeds. In this case, finding a way to kill snails is unnecessary.




After Snails have been eliminated from your property, ensure they don’t make a return with preventative measures. Here are some tasks we suggest:

  Start by reducing moisture around your yard sinc

  • Start by reducing moisture around your yard since snails thrive in areas with high moisture. Do your best to reduce moisture around your home and yard and you will see a significant change in the snail population.
  • Rake and dethatch your lawn to improve air circulation. You can also trim back overhanging tree branches to reduce shade and try not to over mulch.
  • Water your lawn with 1 to 1.5 inches of water once or twice a week in the morning. This will ensure your lawn gets the water it needs and gives it time to seep into the soil rather than sit on the surface.
  • Also, reduce clutter around your yard, this means picking up dead vegetation, leaf litter, wood debris, stones, bricks, and any areas that might create a hiding spot for snails.
  • Remove snails or their eggs as soon as you see them will also reduce your population. One snail can produce 430 eggs in a single year.
  • Take a flashlight and at night, visit your garden. You might be able to reduce the egg population by simply picking them off and killing them in a bucket of water and a little bit of rubbing alcohol. They will appear in clusters of 40 to 100 eggs in the form of small creamy white balls 4.25mm to 4.0mm in size.
  • Tilling the soil regularly can also target eggs hiding beneath the surface of your lawn and destroy them.

8. Sprinkle coffee grounds

You may already spread coffee grounds in your garden to add nutrients to the soil. Another benefit of sprinkling coffee grounds around your plants is that they help keep slugs and snails out of your garden.

9 Ways to Get Rid of Snails and Slugs in Your House and Garden

  1. Use bait.
  2. Use traps.
  3. Use barriers and repellents.
  4. Employ biological methods.
  5. Grow snail and slug-resistant plants.
  6. Use killing substances, chemicals, and pesticides.
  7. Kill and dispose of the mollusks manually.
  8. Change your watering schedule.
  9. Kill their eggs.

Each of these methods is described in detail below.

7. Sprinkle Sand Around Plants

If you are made uncomfortable by the feeling of sand stuck to your feet, imagine how a slug feels with those tiny shards of sand sticking into its body. Scatter it around plants in the spring; it will also help the soil retain moisture.

11. Use Companion Plants

Strategically placing complimentary plants together is one of the best things ever; Mother Nature is a genius, so why not let her help? You can place sacrificial companion plants that slugs love near your precious plants to lure them away from the plants you want to save for yourself.

Things You’ll Need

Removing Land Snails

  • Small container
  • Beer
  • Bucket
  • Old flower pot (optional)
  • Cold coffee
  • Spray bottle
  • Iron phosphate bait (optional)
  • Molluscicide containing ferric sodium EDTA (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of vegetable oil
  • 1 litre (4.2  c) of water
  • 1 teaspoon (4.9 mL) of liquid soap
  • Chicken (optional)
  • Native plants (optional)
  • Rock garden (optional)

Discouraging Snail Activity

  • Watering can
  • Drip irrigation system (optional)
  • Soak hose (optional)
  • Egg shells, diatomaceous earth, gravel, wood ash, or cedar shavings
  • Used coffee grounds
  • Copper tape, copper wire, or pennies
  • Plants

Keeping Your Aquarium Snail-Free

  • Bucket
  • 1:19 bleach-water solution
  • Fish net
  • Temporary fish tank
  • Towels
  • Water
  • Siphon (optional)
  • Gravel
  • Substrate
  • Predatory fish or snail (optional)
  • Snail trap (optional)
  • Copper sulfate (optional)

How to Get Rid of Snails in the House

Snails in your garden are one thing – snails in your house, though, are entirely another. Nobody wants to spot a snail on a wall or floorboard or – worse yet – step on one in the middle of the night.

Here are a few ways to get rid of snails in the house:

1. Seal all Gaps

The first step to stopping snails is identifying their access points. Use a flashlight to spot dried slime trails and trace them back to entry points. Seal all gaps around windows, doors, and foundations, and replace weather stripping on doors. Use caulk or silicone sealant for small cracks and expanding foam for larger cracks.

Pros: Effective, affordable, safe for kids and pets

Cons: Does not get rid of snails already in your home

2. Use Bait

For best results, fill a shallow bowl with beer and place it anywhere you’ve noticed snail activity, such as underneath a refrigerator or behind potted plants.  If you have kids or pets, make sure to place the bait someplace they can’t reach or spill it. Check the bait trap frequently, and refresh with fresh bait if needed.

Pros: Effective, affordable, non-toxic, safe for households with kids and pets

Cons: You’ll have to set bait again and again to reduce your snail population

3. Set up a Beer Container Trap

First, find a spot in the garden where you can bury a container. The container should be buried deep enough so that the rim is level with the ground. Next, find some stale, flat beer and pour it into the container (about an inch deep). The snails and slugs will be attracted to the smell of the beer and drop themselves into the trap.

Which plants do snails hate?

Not all plants are top of the Michelin Guide menu for snails. To reduce the disappointment of your latest acquisitions being gobbled up, select the plants that snails hate. 

Plant Alchemilla mollis (lady’s mantle), Anemone x hybrida (Japanese anemone), aquilegias, bergenia, Dicentra spectabilis, foxgloves and salvias.

6. Get rescue chickens

Backyard chickens are great for your garden. They provide manure for composting, lay eggs for food, turn the soil, and help control unwanted garden pests and insects. Snails, slugs, and their eggs are included in the garden pests that chickens love to dine on, which means adding a chicken coop to your yard might be the perfect solution to your snail problem. You can always purchase chicks at a local feed store, but you will get more karma points for adopting rescue chickens that need a good home.

If you live in a more rural area and have the space, geese or ducks are also options.

How to Keep Snails Away

Here are a few ways to keep the slimy invaders awa

Here are a few ways to keep the slimy invaders away from your home and garden:

  • Eliminate hideouts. Dealing with snails starts with identifying and eliminating their hideouts. Cut back tall weeds and grasses, remove loose organic debris from your garden and property, and pick up tarps, boards, and anything else that could create a dark, moist hiding place for snails.
  • Use drip irrigation. Drip irrigation reduces humidity and minimizes moist surface areas, thereby making your space less attractive for snails.
  • Plant snail-resistant vegetation. Snails tend to stay away from aromatic plants, ornamental woody plants, and ornamental grasses. They also dislike Poppy, Hydrangea, Lantana, and California Poppy.

While these tactics won’t get rid of the snails they already have, they’re effective ways to reduce future snail predation and damage to your property.

Go Snail Hunting

If it feels like you’ve got a never-ending stream of snails coming through your yard, you may be on to something: a single snail can slink into your garden and lay up to 80 tiny eggs at once! 

To protect your garden from potentially hundreds of hungry snails ready to munch on your plants, grabbing individual snails and moving their family reunion elsewhere may be the right strategy to keep your garden thriving. To make the most out of the hand-picking work, aim to catch snails in the mornings or evenings when they’re most active. It may seem laborious, but hunting them down yourself may be the most direct approach to getting rid of snails in your yard. 

5. Use Emptied Grapefruit Halves

Slice a grapefruit in half then scoop out and enjoy the grapefruit flesh. Next, place the emptied grapefruit halves near affected plants and leave them overnight. You should find plenty of slugs and snails in it the next morning.

Biological Controls

For combating gastropods, my personal weapon of choice is beneficial nematodes.

One hundred percent natural, nematodes are naturally occurring microscopic worms that are mixed with water for application.

The best times to apply nematodes are once soil temperatures have warmed up in spring, and after intense summer heat has ebbed in late summer/early fall.

They won’t kill adult snails or slugs, but when applied to the soil, nematodes enter the gastropods’ eggs. They then release bacteria that kills the eggs, then feed off the eggs and reproduce before moving on – with an effective killing rate of about 90 percent.

People, birds, pets, and helpful insects such as bees, ladybugs, and earthworms are completely resistant to these hardworking microbes.

Nematodes move swiftly through pre-moistened soil, and can be applied with a hose and sprayer or with a watering can for smaller areas.

You won’t see immediate results with nematodes, but the following year you’ll notice a significant reduction in the slimy herbivores.

For best results, make three consecutive applications – spring/fall/spring, or fall/spring/fall. After that, an application once every 18 months will keep gastropod numbers at bay.

Timing is important with this method. A package contains millions of live nematodes, and if you don’t plan on using them immediately, they need to stay refrigerated until application. In the package, they have a limited shelf life of around two weeks.

Nematodes can be purchased online through various retailers. There are different species of nematodes, so be sure that the ones that you buy are listed for slug and snail control.

Before purchasing them, ensure soil temperatures are adequate, and that you’ll have the necessary time available for application.

Read our complete guide to doing battle against creepy crawlies with nematodes here.

Getting rid of slugs in the garden – use baking soda!

You probably use baking soda in your kitchen regularly – but it has many more uses. You can clean a washing machine, descale a kettle or brighten curtains with it. It can also help you in the garden as a slug repellent.

Are you wondering whether using baking soda to get rid of snails is difficult? Some claim it’s the most effective method of getting rid of slugs. All you have to do is pour it in whatever spots you want to protect against the pests. Soda creates a barrier that repels slugs and snails – they are not able to cross it, so they give up and leave your garden.



How do I get rid of snails naturally?

To get rid of snails naturally, try these easy methods. Most are free, natural and don’t take up much time, so they’re worth a shot. A combined approach will work best.

Put out a search party. You can pick off snails at any time of day, but at night they are more likely to be found. Shine a torch on vulnerable plants and vegetables to find them and dispose of them in a hedgerow or waste ground.

Use a scratchy barrier. It’s tricky for snails to cross a prickly border to get to plants, so sharp gravel, grit, the shells from nuts, eggshells and prickly cuttings may put them off. Set out your barrier in a ring around vulnerable plants. Wool pellets andabrasive dried granulated seaweed are also worth a try.

Sow a tasty crop. Snails can’t resist munching on fresh young lettuce. Giving them what they want by planting a sacrificial row alongside your favorite plants could distract them from the ones you love.

Put up a metal barrier. A metal snail collar, sunk into the ground around a plant can stop snails in their tracks. 

Keep pots secure. Try smearing Vaseline around the rim and base of pots. Snails won’t find it easy to cross the barrier and get to your favorite plants. Alternatively, try copper barrier tape around your pots.

19: Water Your Gardens in the Evening

Slugs and snails are most active at night. This is when things are moist, and these pests need a moist environment to survive. If you water your garden in the evening you are unwittingly creating a haven for these pests and make them even more attracted to your garden and plants. You will likely see the impact of their nightly work on the leaves of your plants in the morning. If you water in the morning, the sunlight will dry your plants out before night time, making them less welcoming to slugs and snails.

It is also more difficult for snails to get around on dry soil than moist soil. So watering in the morning means you won’t have a moist environment at night.

Follow the above tips to keep your garden free of snails and slugs

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