How to Prevent Slug and Snail Damage to Plants

Slugs and snails have a voracious appetite for plants and if you do not take a proactive approach you may lose a plant completely or have one damaged to impact the looks and growth of your plants.

Here is a picture of a Hosta plant that has been attacked by snails and the damage they can cause to your garden.

How to Prevent Slug and Snail Damage to Plants to Help You in your Garden


One way to rid your garden of these pests is to gather the slugs and snails in the morning or evening when they are most active and dispose of them.

You can also place stale beer in a container around the garden, slugs and snails love beer and will drink the beer and drown in it.  Take a small container and fill it with about 1-2 inches of beer in the container.  Place anywhere you have seen slugs and snails.  Each morning you will need to empty the container of dead snails and slugs that have drowned.

Use a Pet safe chemical called Sluggo that attacks the slugs and snails and when eaten kills them.

The best way to get ahead of these pests is to attack them early in the year after winter and again in late fall to reduce their population.

Remove all containers in the garden at the end of the year to eliminate breeding places for the slugs and snails.

If you have chickens or ducks they will eat the slugs and snails to help keep your garden free of these pests.

New Information on How to Prevent Slug and Snail Damage to Plants

Rory McDonnell at Oregon State University has been studying how to safely control snails without using pesticides since 2016.  One of the studies was understanding how snails were attracted to beer and if that was correct the smell of the yeast in bread could do the same.

He used bread dough with several different varieties of snails to see if it was successful in attracting them and found it was very successful.

Slugs and snails cause an estimated $60 million dollars in damage to the grass seed industry and this does not include the damage to farms and to all of you home gardeners that see their destruction to your garden.

In his tests, he placed bread dough out in several locations from Oregon to Hawaii and Montana to see if he had the same results as he found in the lab.  This proved to be the case attracting hundreds of slugs and snails of different varieties.

McDonnell found the dough to last in the field attracting the pests for 8 days.

Now the work is to develop the scent in baits that can be used so that chemicals can be avoided to destroy the snail and slug populations.

I will keep you posted on news and updates on this valuable tool to eliminate snails and slugs in your garden.  I will also make some bread dough to test this in my own backyard and I will provide you with the results.

I hope this post was helpful to show you How to Prevent Slug and Snail Damage to Plants in your garden.

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