Six effective ingredients to deter ‘pesky’ slugs from your garden

Six effective ingredients to deter ‘pesky’ slugs from your garden


Clodagh McKenna reveals tip for getting rid of slugs

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Autumn is one of the busiest seasons for slugs with plenty of hiding places to choose from to lay their eggs. Their long, slimy bodies are not only a sight for sore eyes, but they can be a nuisance for gardeners too – especially around fruits and vegetables. While it is almost impossible to stop slugs emerging on a cool, damp evening, there are lots of quick and effective ways to prevent precious plants from being eaten. According to pest experts, all you need is a few household ingredients to get the job done.

Slug pellets have been banned in the UK since April 1, 2022 for posing “an unnecessary” risk to birds, dogs and mammals.

While these used to be the quickest way to banish slugs from your property, gardening experts at have shared six of the best natural alternatives to get rid of “pesky” gastropods without harming waterways, or other creatures.

A spokesperson for the retailer said: “Slugs and snails probably cause the most devastation to gardens – they’ll think nothing of munching through your prettiest plants and ruining any vegetables you’ve lovingly grown. Ideally, we’d all have the time to go around plucking each one by hand, but this can take a while – plus it’s pretty gross.”

Citrus peels

The fragrant scent of citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and limes is particularly attractive to hungry slugs. For a quick and cost-effective remedy, keep the peel and rinds to use as bait rather than throwing them into your compost bin.

Simply place the rinds around vulnerable plants and flower beds to distract slugs and draw them away from your crops.

The experts at said: “In the morning, check your peels to see if any slugs or snails are on them, and remove these from your garden. Refresh with new peels as appropriate to continue your decoy operation.” 

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Rough surfaces

Slugs and snails are known for their shiny slime trails, but they’re unlikely to go on the move if you make your garden uncomfortable to crawl around.

Scratchy, rough surfaces are particularly effective when placed around the stems of plants to stop from being eaten. Cruchsed egg shells or a sand-paper collar are best remdeies to keep pests away.

This won’t kill slugs, but it will slow them down. 


According to research, slugs and snails “cannot tolerate” copper surfaces as it gives them a mild electrical shock when they crawl over it.

For this reason, copper bands or pennies placed around flowerpots or beds are effective ways to deter them from crawling up, and onto your plants. 

White vinegar

Vinegar spray is widely used as a natural pest repellent both indoors and in the garden, so it comes as no surprise that it can be used to deter slugs too.

Simply mix equal parts water and white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray liberally onto slugs in your garden. This is best done in the early hours of the evening when slugs start to emerge.

It is important to note that the acidity of vinegar is toxic to vegetation so it should only be used on slugs that haven’t yet reached your plants.


Not only are coffee grounds naturally rich in plant-boosting nitrogen, but also caffeine – a compound that slugs hate.

For this hack to work, simply place a handful of dried coffee grounds around the base of your plants to ward off slugs.

Add a fresh dose every week to keep hungry pests away.


Fragrant herbs including sage and mint are useful for more than just cooking and can be used to keep slugs away from precious plants.

The experts noted that other herbs and plants which may deter these pests include garlic, fennel and even floral geraniums.

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