How to Get Rid of Snails & Slugs Fast with Natural Home Remedies

What Attracts Snails to my House Yard?

If you have a snail problem, the first step is to figure out what caused it. Like any pest, snails are probably seeking two things when they appear on your property: food and shelter.

Because of their slimy, moist bodies, snails thrive in environments that shelter them from the heat of the sun. They’re active on foggy, overcast, or rainy days,  and will feed on a variety of plants in the yard or garden.


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)


As you can see, there are many ways to control snails and slugs in your home, garden, or water feature. A combination of methods might work best. Depending on your preference and other factors, you can choose the methods that suit you best.

2. Use Traps to Control the Mollusks

If you'd prefer not to use bait or poison, a trap is a good solution. Common homemade traps for snails and slugs include inverted grapefruit halves, overturned flowerpots, and boards.

  • Grapefruits have a scent that attracts the gastropods. When they crawl under the halves, they get trapped inside and die. Some great alternatives for this method are inverted melon or orange rinds and inverted cabbage leaves.
  • Overturned flowerpots work the same way: Pests move into the pots when they are tilted. Then, to trap as many pests as possible, leave the flowerpots overnight in the infested area.
  • Use a board, setting the wooden plank on the ground. The mollusks will come to hide under it after their activities at night. You can then lift the board during the daytime to kill them. A good alternative to the board is a black plastic sheet or carpet.
  • Other ways: An inverted saucer or any other vessel with lettuce leaves or other bait can also be a good trap. The pests will be attracted by the leaves or food items and get trapped inside.

Theyre in Search of Nutrition

Generally speaking, it should go without saying that animal activity is primarily motivated by survival; even though we tend to attribute individual personality traits to animals, it often says more about ourselves than it does about the species in question. It is essential to keep this in mind, as what constitutes as a minor inconvenience for us often signifies a sheer struggle for survival for them.

For snails and slugs, the story isn’t any different. Hence, their primary reason for venturing inside your home is a dedicated search for nutrition.

With over 43 000 species, snails and slugs are soft-body, nocturnal animals that roam around the lands and waters on earth. The main difference between the two is that slugs do not come equipped with a shell to protect the lurking softness underneath. On average, both animals can live up to 25 years, depending on their condition and living environment.

In general, snails and slugs are highly fond of pants and will eat almost any kind of leaves they can find. Besides plants and their decaying organic material, snails are fond of calcium, which can be readily found in green vegetables such as lettuce, zucchini, kale, spinach, and cucumbers. So beware of any leftovers in the house.

Interesting fact: Snails and slugs have a radula, which we can compare with a tongue. Their radula serves to scrap food and consists of numerous rows of tiny, regenerative teeth.

Lastly, snails and slugs are happy to eat algae and mold (a type of fungus) when possible. Mold can be found indoors, especially in damp and humid corners of the house.

Algae, however, are harder to find inside as they require a significant intake of light to thrive on. That said, algae can spread from your garden to the exterior of your house. This means that when they manage to find their way to the algae on the outside, they can more easily slip inside.

Therefore it is advised to remove the algae from y

Therefore it is advised to remove the algae from your walls, windows, doors, or roof whenever possible. The same goes for the mold you find inside the house. This can be done by using water and soap or by making use of a professional stain remover.

For more information concerning ready-made sprays, have a look at the Wet and Forget Stain Remover.

Basically, the Wet & Forget solution focuses on removing mildew, moss, and algae stains. So, even if you don’t have snails finding their way DIRECTLY onto these stains, they may be attracted to the scent and are trying to get close to it.

So, just get rid of the mold, algae, fungus, or whatever nasty things may be unpurposely growing in your home.

Quick tip: Make sure to check the ceilings and corners of your bathroom, as the steam from your shower can accelerate the growth of these stains.

How to Get Rid of Snails When They Start to Scavenge

Hand-Pick Them Out

Hand-Pick Them Out

While this method might seem primitive, hand-picking snails from your garden or crops on a daily basis can be an effective way to eliminate their numbers. When scouring your area for snails, pay close attention to any hiding spots that may allow for snail populations to grow and do your best to get rid of them.

If you’re noticing snail damage but having a tough time sourcing them, you can water your entire area by hose or sprinkler during the late afternoon – starting your snail search after the sun sets with the help of a flashlight. Each time you hand-pick snails from your yard, you can put them in an empty bucket and relocate them to areas at least 65 feet (20 meters) away. It’s thought that snails have a natural homing instinct, but if they are taken far enough away from your garden or farm, they likely won’t be able to find their way back.

Set Humane Snail Traps and Barriers

In addition to temporarily utilizing sprinkler or hose irrigation to draw out snails, you can set up humane traps that enhance your chances of snatching snails at the source. To aid in capture, you can build and place wooden traps with runners throughout your landscape to allow them to crawl underneath – checking the underside at least once a week to see if snails are attached, hand-picking them off, and then relocating them.

Additionally, snails’ mucus secretions have a chemical reaction to copper, causing misfiring in their nervous systems and delivering an electric shock if they come in contact. Copper foil, banding, or screens on or around your garden can help keep snails far away from your valuable landscaping or food.


If you’ve ever poured table salt on a rogue slug in your driveway, then you know that this simplified solution can work! Mollusks are made up of a great deal of water, and their membranes are more permeable than most animals. Therefore, salt poured on top of these critters causes osmosis to occur – a biological phenomenon in which water passes from one region of high water concentration through a semipermeable membrane to a region of lower water concentration. This means that when salt is applied to snails, large amounts of fluid from inside their membranes rush to the surface to restore equilibrium and dilute the concentration of salt.

Although salt can be a great way to take care of a few snails here and there, using large amounts of organic salt in your garden can increase the salinity of the soil and damage your plants or crops. If the level of salts in the soil water is too high, water may flow from the plant roots back into the soil – resulting in dehydration of the plant, yield decline, or even death of the plant. If using salt, make sure to use inorganic salt (without a carbon-hydrogen bond) to ward off snails without harming your landscape.

Introduce Decollate Snails

Decollate snails (Rumina decollata) are natural predators to brown garden snails. By introducing these snails to your garden or crop, they can eliminate your harmful snail infestation with minimal damage to your land. Decollate snails are easy to differentiate from brown snails, as they have conical shells and grow to about 2 to 2.5 inches long.

During the daytime, decollates live in the first few inches of moist topsoil, leaf mulch, or underneath rocks. As the sun sets, they become active and will hunt slugs and snails – feasting on all types of mollusks and their eggs. If this method isn’t controlled properly, decollate snails can cause immense damage to endangered snail species or certain plants nearby, so be sure to contact your local department of agriculture for best practices.

What Damage Can Snails Cause?

For a small creature, snails can pack a big punch. Snails have a rough,  rasp-like tongue, which they scrape across the edges of plant leaves. The result is large holes and chips across the surface area of the plant, which can damage or even kill your greenery.

But that’s not all they do.

Here are a few reasons to get rid of snails as soon as you see them:

  • Snails reduce crop yield. If you have a flower or a  vegetable garden on your property, snails will eat your plants and reduce your crop yield. They’re particularly hard on leafy vegetables.
  • They can destroy water features. Snails and slugs are parasitic and can kill fish in decorative ponds and water features. Plus, these water-loving mollusks reproduce rapidly and can short your electronics and clog pond or pool filters and pipes.
  • They spread disease. Snails carry diseases and parasitic worms (including Schistosomiasis that can be dangerous for domestic pets and people. Having them on your property may be putting your health at risk.
  • They are unsightly. Nobody wants to pick a fresh leaf of lettuce from the garden only to find a snail. Snails are unsightly and disgusting and will make your yard or garden a less enjoyable place to be.

How to get rid of slugs in the garden? Use plants!

Plants that repel the pests are the best way to get rid of slugs in garden. If you grow ecological vegetables in your garden – consider adding the following plants:

  • garlic,
  • onions,
  • mustard,
  • marjoram,
  • savory.

How about flowerbeds? Are you wondering if you can protect them from slugs naturally as well? Of course! Many different plants can enrich the flower border and protect it from pests. They are, for instance:

  • chamomile,
  • yarrow,
  • thyme,
  • sage,
  • wormwood.

Some of them are beneficial for health, so you can use them in different ways. For example, chamomile and wormwood are good stomach remedies, while sage has anti-inflammatory properties and it can be used for acne-prone skin.

It is recommended to plant slug repellent plants on the extreme edges of beds. This way, the pests will be discouraged from further penetration of the area.

What Draws Snails to My Garden?

There is rarely a garden without a snail or two because snails are part of the landscape too. The reason for that is that gardens often have a lot of things that they thrive on.

Moisture is one such thing.

As a matter of fact, snails lose as much as  8% of their body weight every hour that they crawl on trails. The reason is that they secrete mucus, and that requires some water. The less dry the environment, the less slime it needs to move around.

They rarely survive after prolonged exposure to high temperatures without water. That is why they always look for damp areas or areas with water. If your garden is full of moist, wet areas, then it will most likely be a favorite haunting place for them.

If your garden does not have any of the natural predators of these pests, then it becomes a place of refuge in that area. The kind of plants you have in your garden can also make them stay in your garden.

As a general rule, snails are attracted to the types of plants that we love to eat.

So if you grow peas, lettuce, cabbage, and citrus, you are most likely to have a problem with snails.

The kind of soil you have in your garden can also be attractive to snails.

Acidic soils are deficient in the calcium that snails need for their shells. Snails are drawn to well-limed grounds that are rich in probiotic bacteria because these bacteria aid the digestion of the decaying matter that snails love so much.

So if you have any in your garden, you can be sure that you are open to a snail infestation.

Snails often prefer to mate in the late spring and early summer after which they find a place to lay their eggs. Snails and slugs are often drawn to other snails during the mating season.

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