Will epsom salt kill slugs?


Can a Laxative, Crappy Beer, and Cheap Mouthwash Keep Bugs Away?

Keeps bugs away. Or all life forms?

It’s summer, the time of year when “alternatives” to chemicals make the rounds. Of course, the alternatives are also chemicals, but while some alternatives are designed to promote chemophobia, many are just clever home brews.(1)

One home brew in particular is using beer to make … bug spray.

Sound too good to be true? Maybe, but in chemistry sometimes things are too weird to be false.(2)

One that has been popular since 2005 involves stale beer, epsom salt and Listerine to repel bugs. I hate both beer and Listerine, they certainly repel me, so without even looking at the compounds the idea that they might kill bugs does not surprise me.

Some obvious questions: Why stale beer? As the website doityourself correctly notes, alcohol is known to be an insect repellent, but by the time the bubbles have evaporated, the alcohol might be gone too (see note 2 below again.) They also mention that using “recycled beer” works just fine. They can’t mean what I’m thinking, right? Anyway, a biologist would have to explain if there is a special biological pathway for stale beer over fresh beer, or expensive beer over cheap.

Then there is Listerine. Not just any mouthwash, specifically Listerine? Did Johnson & Johnson marketing come up with that idea?

The primary active ingredient in Listerine is eucalyptol, and that can be derived from eucalyptus oil, which does repel insects – but Listerine has just over 1% of the eucalyptol needed so that is not it, even if you pour it on your skin. It sure isn’t working on window sills.

In my research I couldn’t find a reason why this would work, nor could Mosquito Myth Busters in experiments. Is it the smell? I know it isn’t the chemicals.

Finally, there are the epsom salts (magnesium sulfate), and here I thought I was onto something – but it turns out this is the chemical least likely to be a factor.

A 1967 review (3) discusses the function of magnesium and notes magnesium ions play a part in the regulation of insect actomyosin, a protein complex that is responsible for muscle contraction. The best layperson explanation for the utility of magnesium dates back to 1937, when Time Magazine published “Salt v. Insect,” by Dr. Vernon Raymond Haber of Penn State. Haber described the ability of magnesium to kill certain beetles.

It is quite a stretch to link complex insect physiology to the repellent properties of a little magnesium on your roses and it may not be that magnesium is anything special. Other salts, boric acid, and diatomaceous earth have all been used as insecticides and repellents, and they seem to work by forming a powdery physical barrier that insects find abrasive and irritating.(4)

Final report card:

  1. It’s not obvious why beer should work. The alcohol probably isn’t doing anything for more than a few minutes.
  2. The magnesium might work, but so would a number of other salts

So maybe it is the mouthwash, especially if you use Listerine. The smell of that stuff will keep more than bugs away, it will repel all of your dates.


(1) A scientist kindly corrected one such recipe for non-chemical weed killer – it also has epsom salt.

(2) Some sample comments about the supernatural power of this recipe:

“Mosquitoes gone from that area for apprx. 80 days.”

Okay, you might doubt a nuclear bomb would keep bugs away for 80 days but as I noted, alcohol is an insect repellent. However, its boiling point is 173ºF, so it evaporates much faster than water. If something is working for 80 days, it’s not the alcohol, which might last 80 minutes on a cold day. Instead it might be that people like this are scaring off bugs:

“Go out and sit in underwear all time at nite and never get bit.”

As intriguing as this visual is, the author has not conducted a proper clinical trial. We don’t know whether the stuff works a) if you are not wearing underwear; b) if you are wearing more than underwear.

(3) “Effects of magnesium and calcium ions on the adenosine triphosphatase activity of insect actomyosin at low ionic strength” – enjoy!

(4) Bonus: Magnesium is a powerful laxative. Milk of Magnesia was first patented in 1818. Magnesium citrate is one of the bowel preparations used prior to colonoscopies.

WrethaOffGrid | Community, Self-Sufficiency | June 3, 2016

Is Zika a real problem, is it a man made disease, or is it just a smokescreen to deflect our attention somewhere else? I don’t know, what I do know is mosquitoes are a problem, even where I live in the high (and dry) desert. I don’t like using chemicals if I don’t have to, recently I ran across a recipe on Facebook that claims to keep mosquitoes away for up to 80 days, and of course we all know that if it’s found on Facebook that is must be true, right? I shared the recipe to keep it on my timeline, a friend of mine tried it and said it worked for her, so with high hopes I struck out to town today with a short list.

The ingredients are :
3 cans of stale beer
3 cups Epsom salt
1 large bottle of cheap blue mouthwash

Mix all ingredients together until Epsom salt is dissolved, put in a spray bottle and spray the area where you don’t want the mosquitoes, it’s not supposed to hurt plants, it’s not toxic.

OK, I got a 24 ounce can of beer, since I don’t drink beer I didn’t want a 6 pack, and it wasn’t going to be stale, I didn’t think the mosquitoes would mind… I used 2 cups of Epsom salt because of the smaller amount of beer going into the recipe, I mixed the salt & beer together in a saucepan over heat just to quicken the process. Once I couldn’t detect the salt granules, I split the mixture between 2 large spray bottles, then I topped it off with cheap green mouthwash, again I didn’t think the mosquitoes would care if it was spearmint or peppermint.

I took this outside and liberally sprayed the trees and grass in little tree nook where I sit outside. In the past few evenings, sitting outside has been a trial, my arms and legs have lots of itchy mosquito bites. This evening, I have seen exactly 1 mosquito, just 1, I am pretty impressed. I have doubts as to whether or not one spraying will last for 70 or 80 days, but if it lasts for even a few days or a week, I’ll be happy with it. I’ll keep a spray bottle down by the road, that’s where we hang with friends, and the other in my tree nook.

Now for a second DIY product that uses cheap mouthwash. Remember my
https://www.off-grid.net/keeping-it-clean/? Well I have a better formula, this will be Pit Spray II, the original used half witch hazel and half water with just a few drops of liquid soap. You use this on your stinky parts to clean without having to rinse. I decided to replace the witch hazel & soap with original flavored cheap mouthwash, I did cut it with half water, I chose the original flavor just because I didn’t want to smell minty fresh down there (LOL). Bottom line, it works, just as well if not better than those feminine wash products and you don’t have to rinse this either. Yes, you guys can use it too, and no, you will not smell “mediciny” down there either. This is great for limited water camping or living, when you want to freshen up and such.

Sitting outside, the sun has gone down, there is a choir of crickets chirping, I have detected another couple of mosquitoes, but nothing like I would have otherwise. I’ll try the mosquito spray in a few more situations and report back as to how it works. If you dear reader tries either of these, let me know what you think.

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5 Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches the Natural Way

  • Photo from
    Cockroaches are a menace to every household. While store-bought insecticides are effective in killing these pesky pests, they have chemicals that can be harmful to you and the kids. Opt for homemade alternatives instead that are cheaper and far less toxic. These 5 natural remedies should do the trick.
    1. Soap and water
    Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of soap and water, and spray whenever you spot a cockroach. Like most insects, cockroaches don’t have lungs. Instead they breathe through openings in their skin. The soapy solution will clog these openings.
    2. Fabric softener and water
    Like soap and water, a mixture of fabric softener and water sprayed on a cockroach will kill it. Make the solution on the thick side, and it will be noticeably more effective than the soap and water mix. The problem with this solution, however, is that it will be harder to clean off of surfaces it’s sprayed on. Go for a natural and organic fabric softener, too.


    More from Smart Parenting

    3. Coffee grounds
    Coffee won’t kill the cockroaches but it will keep them away. The nasty bugs are repelled by the acidity in the coffee, whether you use old or new grounds. Because you wouldn’t want your house to smell like a dirty café, the best place to scatter the repellent is in the garden or around the house in areas where you think cockroaches come and go.
    4. Epsom salt and cloves
    Place a dish of cloves with a handful of Epsom salt in the roaches’ favorite hangout spots like under the sink, fridge and washing machine. The magnesium in the Epsom salt will upset the biological system of a cockroach and will prevent it from feeding. And cockroaches hate cloves so it’s a great repellent.
    5. Borax and sugar
    Even exterminators recommend borax as a cockroach killer. Borax kills roaches by very effectively drying out their exoskeleton. Mix 3 parts borax with 1 part sugar (which acts as bait) and sprinkle in strategic locations that wil be out of reach for kids and pets.
    Sources: University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Huffington Post, HomeLife


Epsom Salt Pest Control Mixture

Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Epsom salt, the same product that helps to exfoliate your skin and soothe sore muscles, may also provide benefits for your plants. The white crystal-like substance contains magnesium sulfate. Many gardeners swear that giving their plants a good dose of Epsom salt helps them to grow big, beautiful flowers and a bountiful harvest. Despite a lack of scientific evidence, some gardeners insist Epsom salt also keeps some pests at bay.


Create an Epsom salt solution and spray it on your plants, vegetable crop or lawn to deter pests. Add 1 cup of Epsom salt to 5 gallons of water and dissolve thoroughly; pour the solution into a pump sprayer and apply it to plant foliage. The solution helps keep slugs, which are burned by the salt, out of your garden and banish pests like beetles from your rose bushes. You can also handpick bugs and drown them in a bucket of the Epsom salt and water mixture.

Salt Sprinkle

Sprinkle Epsom salt around the base of plants to provide a pest control barrier and a nutritional boost. For roses, tomatoes and other flowering plants apply 1 tbsp. of Epsom salt for each foot of plant height; reapply every two weeks. Add Epsom salt in the row when planting vegetable seeds to deter voles, potato bugs and other burrowing pests. Use Epsom salt to repel pests in your yard by applying 3 pounds of the mineral for every 1,250 square feet of lawn.

Bait Bowl

If you are having problems indoors with pests like roaches create a bait bowl. Set out a saucer or shallow bowl full of Epsom salt. Ensure the roaches have access to the dish by placing wooden strips like craft sticks from the floor to the edge of the dish. The roaches will climb the sticks and eat the Epsom salt, which is toxic to those pests. The magnesium sulfate disturbs their system, keeps them from eating and eventually kills them.

Healthy Plants

Give your plants a dose of Epsom salt even if they are not bothered by pests. The magnesium sulfate will help your plants grow up strong and stay healthy so they can ward off insects; healthy plants are less likely to suffer severe damage when attacked by garden pests. Epsom salt provides a nutritional boost for seed starting, so add it to the rows when planting. Application of Epsom salt may also prevent some plant diseases, such as blight.

Top 25 Remedies For Natural Pest Control

Natural Organic Pest Control Remedies For Cockroaches, Ants and Mice

A pest infestation in your home can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to ruin your life. There are many DIY natural solutions that you can try which are eco-friendly. The following is a list of the top 25 natural pest control techniques and remedies you can try in your own home. Test them out before you call a pest control company, or you can use them to manage infestations in between visits. If the pests are stubborn you may need stronger chemicals, Pro Pest Control Brisbane uses pesticides which offer a 100% removal guarantee.


  1. Table Salt

Table salt is an inexpensive remedy for cockroaches. You can use it as more of a repellent than a destroyer. To use salt, you simply sprinkle it wherever you don’t want the pest to go. You can use as much or as little as you like. The cockroaches will crawl away from it.

  1. Peppermint

Peppermint is wonderful for us, but it can be deadly for a pest. Cockroaches breathe through their skin, so a shot of peppermint is like an acid bath to them. Use the peppermint in a way that makes you comfortable. You can create a spray that you can hit them with when you see them. You can spread peppermint oil on the walls, or you can burn it so that the smell of your home disturbs the intruders.

  1. Pest Drought

Cockroaches need water to survive, which is why you will always find them in places like the kitchen and bathroom. Finding creative ways to cut them off from all sources of water is a great way to rid yourself of the issue.

  1. Soap and Water

A dish soap and water mix can quickly destroy the cockroach’s little pest body and breathing mechanism. All you need to do is put the elements in a spray bottle and spray away.

  1. Eucalyptus

You can have a lot of fun using eucalyptus to kill cockroaches. All things that are in the “menthol” family can hurt them. Try some of these ideas:

  • Pour Epsom salt on the floor
  • Spread eucalyptus oil on the walls
  • Put eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle
  1. Baking soda

Baking soda costs about $.50 in the store. Just put some on the floor and wait for the pest to eat it. It will die. You can mix some sugar into it if you want to increase the likelihood of its digestion.

  1. Boric Acid

Boric acid is straight-up poison to the pest. There’s no trickery needed at first. Just pour it in the:

  • Cracks
  • Crevices
  • Floors
  • Area underneath doors
  1. Death by Cocoa

If your cockroaches are especially annoying, you can give them a cocoa death treat. Mix flour, cocoa powder and boric acid. Leave it out so that they will smell it and think that they are in cockroach heaven. Allow them to feast upon the tasty cocoa acid. You’ll see the results within days.


  1. White Vinegar

Both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar are destructive to ants. All you need to do to rid yourself of ants is put it in a spray bottle and spray the pest. You can mix the solution with water if you want to use it on your baseboards and such.

  1. Tainted Syrup

Boric acid isn’t just for cockroaches. It kills ants, as well. The best way to get ants to come so that you can kill them is to leave a little piece of tainted food. Leave your ant family a nice piece of a waffle with syrup, but put a special boric acid topping on it for them.

  1. Tainted Bread

A piece of bread works just like a waffle. Dress it up for the ants with a sprinkle of death.

  1. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is great for burning a pest, and it works for a number of intruders. Leaving it in the corners of your floors will run off ants and cockroaches alike.

  1. Meticulousness

Being tidy and meticulous can keep the pest away. After all, ants come looking for food. Don’t leave any food for them to get. Vacuum relentlessly, clean with bleach and remove trash from the home frequently.

  1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is tasty to people, but it’s dangerous to the ant. If you’re having an issue with ants, you can sprinkle some cinnamon in their secret dwelling places.

  1. Charcoal

Powered charcoal is one of the best pest repellents. Buy some and watch how quickly it works.

  1. Turmeric

You can buy some turmeric at the local Walmart for less than $3 and get rid of your pest in a spicy way. Many people say that it works.

  1. Garlic

Garlic doesn’t just kill vampires. It hurts ants, too. You can use garlic in any of these forms:

  • Garlic salt
  • Minced garlic
  • Raw garlic

You can make a garlic spray, but it’s probably better if you just leave pieces of garlic where the pest dwells. Be careful not to leave it out so long that it rots, however.


  1. A Cat

The cat is one the best removers of mice that you can buy. Created to rid the world of pests, the cat will not only kill the mouse but will also proudly drag its carcass over to you so that you can see the wonderful thing that she has done. Additionally, your cat will naturally slay other pest species such as cockroaches and perhaps ants.

  1. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil works for mice the same way it works for roaches and ants. You have a creative license to use it however you like.

  1. Mothballs

Good old-fashioned mothballs will repel many pests, including mice. You can find them at your local convenience store, pharmacy or department store.

  1. Instant Potatoes

Experimenters say that instant potatoes will expand in the mouse’s stomach and kill it. Invest in an instant potato pest meal today.

  1. Steel Wool Treats

This may not kill the pest, but it will hurt its teeth and make it not want to return. You can try leaving little pieces around where you think the mice enter.

  1. Onions

Onions do a little bit more to mice than simply make them cry. Rid yourself of this unwelcome pest by cutting some onions and serving them on a platter.

  1. Peanut Butter

Mice love peanut butter, so you have to use it in conjunction with a mouse trap that will snap shut on it as soon as it tries to eat the peanut butter.

  1. Balsam Fir Essential Oil

Mice will absolutely hate the smell of balsam fir essential. Therefore, you’ll want to burn it every chance you get as a pest repellent.

Wrap Up

Now you know some of the top remedies that you can use to eliminate pests in your home. Try some of them today and see if the quality of your life improves.

Let us know wat other DIY pest treatment remedies that work for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Published by Nick Favreau.

Recipe For Homemade Paul Harvey Mosquito Spray

I can’t trace this back to him other than people say he talked about it, they claim this homemade recipe can get rid of the pests for 60-80 days.

The best I could find is the recipe is about 20 years by the most homeowners in the USA. Homemade mosquito yard spray is intended for outdoor use and says it can keep the creeps away for 2-3 months. Some people make the claim it keeps other bugs away and it has a nice odor.

This recipe and applications are from MyHousePests.com. They also give Paul Harvey Credit.

1 bottle of blue mint mouthwash (you can buy any big bottle of mouthwash you like, no matter how cheap it is. For example, “Equate Blue Mint Mouthrinse”)
3 bottles (per 12 oz) of stale beer (take the cheapest – it works as well)
3 cups of Epsom salt

How to prepare homemade spray against mosquitoes

Pour beer and mouthwash into a container (an old saucepan, a bucket), stir and add the salt. Mix up the stuff properly until salt is dissolved. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Shake well before use.

Application directions of Paul Harvey anti-mosquito spray

Spray your backyard areas where you sit or spend lots of time outside: on decks, in patios and in alcoves around benches, on and around front porches, around pools, ponds, and fountains. If you are camping out, spray directly on the lawn grass, around and on the tents. It won’t do any harm to children, pets, flowers and vegetable plants. Do not allow anybody in the treated area until the spray is dried out. This mosquito repellent wipes out blood-sucking insects from sprayed areas for about 60-80 days.

I checked whether this is a hoax or not and snopes.com says it works

Epsom Salt and Garden Pests – How To Use Epsom Salt For Pest Control

Epsom salt (or in other words, hydrated magnesium sulfate crystals) is a naturally occurring mineral with virtually hundreds of uses around the home and garden. Many gardeners swear by this inexpensive, readily available product, but opinions are mixed. Read on to learn more about using Epsom salt as pesticide, and how to use Epsom salt for pest control in gardens.

Epsom Salt and Garden Pests

You may be familiar with using Epsom as fertilizer for your garden plants or even your lawn, but what about Epsom salt insect control? Here are a few ideas for using Epsom salt as pesticide:

Epsom Salt Solution Insect Control – A mixture of 1 cup Epsom salt and 5 gallons of water may act as a deterrent to beetles and other garden pests. Mix the solution in a large bucket or other container, and then apply the well-dissolved mixture to foliage with a pump sprayer. Many gardeners believe that the solution not only deters pests, but may kill many on contact.

Dry Epsom Salt – Sprinkling Epsom salt in a narrow band around plants may be an effective means of slug control, as the scratchy substance abrades the “skin” of the slimy pests. Once the skin is effectively roughed up, the slug dries up and dies.

Epsom Salt for Vegetable Bugs – Some popular gardening websites claim that you can safely sprinkle a thin line of dry Epsom salt directly in, or alongside, the row when you plant vegetable seeds. Reapply every couple of weeks to keep pests away from your tender seedlings. As an added bonus, plants may benefit from the boost of magnesium and sulfur.

Tomatoes and Epsom Salt Insect Control – Sprinkle Epsom salt around tomato plants every couple of weeks, recommends one gardening site. Apply the substance at a rate of about a tablespoon for every foot of tomato plant height to keep pests at bay.

What Experts Say about Epsom Salt Pest Control

Master Gardeners at Washington State University Extension cite studies claiming that Epsom salt is of little use against slugs and other garden pests, and that reports of miraculous results are largely myth. WSU gardeners also note that gardeners can overuse Epsom salt, as applying more than the soil can use means that the excess often ends up as a soil and water pollutant.

However, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension claims that a shallow bowl of Epsom salt will kill roaches without adding toxic chemicals to the indoor environment.

The takeaway is that using Epsom salt as pest control is relatively safe, as long as you use the substance judiciously. And remember, as with anything in gardening, what works for one person may not necessarily fare well for another, so keep in mind that while using Epsom salt for vegetable bugs is worth trying, results will vary.

How to Make a Homemade Mosquito Spray for Your Yard

Mosquitoes find many different natural plants and even consumable goods unpleasant and will not go near them or any area which has been treated with that product. The internet is full of recipes for homemade DIY insect and mosquito sprays, lotions, and other products, but many of them do not seem to work as well as claimed by their authors. For that reason, in this article, I have gathered some of those homemade mosquito yard spray recipes which have been proven to be efficient and seem to actually keep mosquitoes away.

Mouthwash and beer mosquito repellent

This insect repellent is an interesting combination of ingredients. Since these ingredients can be found in most households and their combination has been effective at deterring mosquitoes, I would give it a shot. You can spray this mouthwash and beer mosquito repellent throughout the yard. Some claim that it will last about two and a half months before you will need to re-apply. However, alcohol (present in beer and most mouthwashes) evaporates faster even than water, so this concoction may have less residual effectiveness than claimed.

You will need:

  • One 16 oz. bottle mint-flavored mouthwash
  • 3 cups Epsom salt
  • 3 stale 12 oz. beer

Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together with a spoon until the Epsom salt has dissolved completely. Use a funnel to pour the mixture into a spray bottle. You are now ready to treat your backyard with this homemade insect repellent.

When choosing your ingredients, you might want to go for a mint-flavored mouthwash which is also organic. It is advisable to buy an Epsom salt that is lavender– or eucalyptus-scented. Better yet, look for one that is both. When choosing your beer, go for whichever is the cheapest as any beer will work fine in this recipe. However, it must be stale. Carbon dioxide, present in fizzy beverages like beer, is attractive to mosquitoes. They use it to locate people or other animals to feed on.

It’s unclear why this mixture works and it doesn’t work for everyone (like many other mosquito repellents). While mint is known to repel mosquitoes and other insects, the efficacy of Epsom salts as an insect repellent has not been tested, and beer consumption makes humans more attractive to mosquitoes, not less. In an informal test, beer even worked as a mosquito trap. Eucalyptus oil repels mosquitoes and is present in mouthwash. However, its concentration is so low (less than 1%) that it’s probably not doing anything for mosquitoes.

Apple cider vinegar mosquito repellent

A very simple but efficient recipe for a yard spray is this apple cider vinegar mosquito repellent. Even though the effect will fade quickly, it will be efficient and may keep the mosquitoes from coming into your backyard.

You will need:

  • 2 oz. water (normal or distilled)
  • 2 oz. apple cider vinegar
  • 20-55 drops of Bug Off Oil (depending on the level of protection you need)

Mix all of the ingredients together and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. The residual efficiency of this repellent is unknown, but once you notice an increase in the number of pests again, you can re-apply without hesitation. As the mixture is completely safe and natural, it will not harm humans or the environment.

The effectiveness of this repellent is mostly due to the effects of the essential oils in the Bug Off Oil. Apple cider vinegar alone does not repel mosquitoes. If you can get your hands on some wood vinegar, though, you may have better results.

Essential oil mosquito repellent

There are many plants that naturally deter insects, including mosquitoes. That is why the essential oils that are extracted from them are widely used in the production of insect repellent products. But you can also use the same essential oils when creating homemade insect repellents.

Several essential oils have been tested and shown to repel mosquitoes on their own, but they are often more effective in combination.

Below, we list the essential oils that have known mosquito repellent properties. Mix them with a carrier (e.g., soybean or olive oil, witch hazel, or water) if you plan to use them on your skin. Essential oils can irritate the skin. Carriers reduce the chances of irritation.


Mosquito-repellent oils:

  • Lemon eucalyptus
  • Clove (be careful not to get it on your skin, as it is corrosive)
  • Citronella (though its effectiveness has recently been called into question)
  • Patchouli
  • Soybean
  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon (skin corrosive)
  • Cedar
  • Lemongrass
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme (skin corrosive)
  • Catnip
  • Garlic
  • Neem
  • Tea tree
  • Anise
  • Basil
  • Lemon verbena
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Lavender

Because essential oils are very concentrated, you should mix 10-20 drops of oil to 2 oz distilled water and 2 oz white vinegar in a spray bottle and shake to combine. You can experiment with different oils in various amounts. Vanillin, an extract from the vanilla bean, is considered an effective mosquito repellent, so you may consider adding it. Citrus oils should be avoided. While they are often repellent to insects, some can damage plants. Though if you’re after an herbicide as well, you can control two problems at once.

Even though your recipe might change a bit, the core idea of using natural essential oils from mosquito repelling plants remains.

Be careful of using any insect repellents around children. Don’t let them handle any of the products. The effects of lemon eucalyptus oil specifically have not been tested on children under three.

Mosquito yard control methods include both natural and chemical treatment. Homeowners, who are aware of pros and cons of non-organic insecticides, tend to apply eco-friendly bio-pesticides, which are less hazardous to pets, humans and plants. To mix homemade mosquito yard spray is a cheap and effective way to get rid of mosquitoes around home.

The active ingredients in natural mosquito spray for yard diy can be extracted oils and vegetables, such as garlic and onion. Homemade pest control products kill mosquitoes on contact and create an invisible barrier that these annoying insects won’t penetrate for a week up to three months.

Application of homemade mosquito yard spray is as good as professional yard treatments. Though, due to that mosquito outdoor products diy don’t contain any preservatives, they have a shorter “shelf life” to compare with professional pest control methods. Homemade backyard sprays should be applied regularly during the mosquito season.

DIY mosquito spray for yard, garden and camping

Biological mosquito control is the best way to keep mosquitoes away. In fact, mosquitoes avoid the scent that tomato tops, garlic, onion, and flowers of geranium, citronella grass, catmint and catnip, lavender, clove, mint, spearmint, lemon grass give off. You can use the essential oils and vegetables mentioned above for spray mixing diy with essential oils. This natural treatment is less toxic to pets, plants and kids than chemical pesticides . Outdoor organic anti-mosquito spray acts as a biological barrier, that deters blood-feeding insects, prevents their bites and control mosquito infestation and attacks.

Paul Harvey diy recipe: Homemade mosquito yard spray

This recipe of Paul Harvey has been used for about 20 years by the most homeowners in the USA. It really works. Homemade mosquito yard spray is intended for outdoor application and keeps mosquitoes away for about 2-3 months. Not only mosquitoes, but also other bugs and insects keep off the yard and stay away from home as well. It is amazing, they just avoid areas treated with the stuff. Moreover, it has a nice mint smell, that doesn’t deter humans. Just mix and spray, than enjoy sitting on the air at night without mosquitoes’ annoying sounds and attacks.

Homemade mosquito yard spray of Paul Harvey is easy to DIY, very cheap and highly effective in keeping blood-feeding insects away. It has a nice scent for people, though, it is repellent to mosquitoes. Mint spray diy for outdoor application really works due to the comments and reviews over the internet. Myhousepests.com/Freeimages.com

Ingredients that you need for diy mosquito spray for yard:

1 bottle of blue mint mouthwash (you can buy any big bottle of mouthwash you like, no matter how cheap it is. For example, “Equate Blue Mint Mouthrinse”)
3 bottles (per 12 oz) of stale beer (take the cheapest – it works as well)
3 cups of Epsom salt

How to prepare homemade spray against mosquitoes

Pour beer and mouthwash into a container (an old saucepan, a bucket), stir and add the salt. Mix up the stuff properly until salt is dissolved. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Shake well before use.

Application directions of Paul Harvey anti mosquito spray

Spray your backyard areas where you sit or spend lots of time outside: on decks, in patios and in alcoves around benches, on and around front porches, around pools, ponds and fountains. If you are camping out, spray directly on the lawn grass, around and on the tents. The stuff won’t do any harm to children, pets, flowers and vegetable plants. Do not allow anybody in the treated area until the spray is dried out. Homemade mosquito repellent wipes out blood-sucking insects from sprayed areas for about 60-80 days. In tropics and subtropics, where mosquito season is longer, it is required to spray twice a summer.

Old sturbridge village recipe: DIY mosquito lawn repellent spray

This anti mosquito spray for yards, lawns and gardens has been used for ages. You are likely to have heard about this stuff from your granny. This spray is applied outdoors to keep mosquitoes off for about a month.

Ingredients for homemade mosquito yard spray:

1 gallon of water
1 onion

How to mix ingredients for mosquito repellent spray

Chop onion and put into a container (an old saucepan, a bucket), top with a gallon of water, stir the mixture and cover. Leave the stuff under the sun or in a warm place for 3-5 days. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Shake well before use.

Application of mosquito onion spray diy

Spray the infused mixture over grass, plants and flowers, around benches, on and around front porches, around pools in your yard and lawns where you like to stay. This spray is eco-friendly and non-toxic, it is safe to plants, pets and children. Homemade onion spray repellent against mosquitoes outdoors keep blood-sucking insects off from treated areas for about a month. The only drawback of onion mosquito spray is its smell.

Old granny recipe: Garlic mosquito spray for lawn and yard

Homemade mosquito yard spray with garlic is an old recipe that has been used for ages. I have heard about this repellant from my granny. This spray is applied outdoors in lawns, yards and gardens to keep mosquitoes off for about three hours – a week. Though, it has three drawbacks: the garlic disgusting smell, regular reapplication and high toxicity to cats.

Homemade concentrate of garlic mosquito spray for lawns and yards is an effective organic repellant. You can combine garlic with hot pepper for additional strength and staying power. Avoid contact of garlic – pepper mosquito repellant with your eyes and don’t apply it if you have a cat. Myhousepests.com/Freeimages.com

Ingredients for DIY garlic mosquito spray for yards:

1 gallon of water
3 garlic bulbs

For additional strength of spray use a modified recipe:

1 gallon of water
2 garlic bulbs
2 hot peppers (jalapeños or habaneros)
2 tbsp. of vegetable oil

How to mix ingredients for backyard mosquito repellent spray:

Break bulbs of garlic into cloves. Peel them off and place in a blender, fill with water so it is 1/2 to 2/3 full. Blend the mixture for a minute. Strain the chunks of garlic out and put them aside. Then place the strained garlic stuff into a container (a 1 – gallon jug) and pour water until the jug is full. The prepared mixture is a concentrate. Keep the stuff in a cool, dry place (in a refrigerator). Use only diluted! 1/4 cup of concentrate per 1 gallon of water.

Application of homemade garlic mosquito spray

Pour the 1/4 cup of mixture into a spray bottle and add 1 gallon of water. Shake well before use. For whole-yard treatment, you can fill a garden sprayer with the diluted solution as well. Spray the areas where you want to wipe out mosquitoes: over lawn grass, plants and flowers, around benches, on and around front porches in your yard. Pay attention to areas with standing water, where mosquitoes breed and congregate. This spray is eco-friendly and non-toxic, it is safe to plants, dogs and children. Pay attention that garlic is toxic to cats! Homemade garlic – pepper outdoor repellant against mosquitoes shows maximum protection for about 2-6 hours.

Homemade mosquito yard spray from essential oils

As it has been mentioned above, mosquitoes avoid the scent that is given off by plants such as basil, geranium, citronella grass, catmint and catnip, lavender, clove, mint, spearmint, lemon grass and eucalyptus. The smell of oils, that are extracted from these flowers, deters blood-feeding insects, protects from their bites and control mosquito attacks. For organic mosquito control you can use outdoor mosquito repellent spray diy with essential oils. This natural treatment is safe to pets, animals, plants and children.

Essential oils of plants mosquito repellent can be used for homemade mosquito yard spray. It is economic and effective. Freeimages.com/Alvaro Prieto

Easy recipe of organic mosquito spray for backyards

For natural mosquito repellent treatment you can use a homemade spray with essential oil of lavender (or any other oil that is mosquito repellant). It is safe to pets, vegetable plants, pregnant women and children. Organic anti mosquito spray acts as a biological barrier and keeps blood-feeding females away to prevent vector-borne bites and control mosquito infestation.

Products for easy mixing of mosquito spray for yard:

For 2 oz mixed solution take

1/4 cup of squeezed lemon juice
4 tbsp. vanilla extract
20 drops of lavender oil

Instead, you can use extracted oils of citronella, geranium, patchouli and others, that are taken in the following mixing ratio:

5 drops Citronella Oil + 5 drops Lemon Eucalyptus + 5 drops Lavender Oil+5 drops Patchouli Oil
10 drops Lavender Oil+ 10 drops Citronella Oil (or 10 drops Lemon Eucalyptus oil)
10 drops Catmint/ Spearmint /Mint Oil + 10 drops Patchouli Oil
10 drops Lavender Oil + 5 Cedar Wood Oil+5 drops Geranium Oil
5 drops Citronella Oil + 5 drops Geranium Oil+ 5 drops Lavender Oil + 5 drops Patchouli Oil

How to mix ingredients for mosquito repellant

Pour squeezed lemon juice, vanilla extract and 20 drops of natural oil (lavender, citronella, geranium, catmint, eucalyptus) into a container (a bowl), stir and mix up the ingredients properly. Add the mixture to a 2-oz spray bottle and fill the water to full. Shake well before use.

How to apply homemade natural mosquito spray

Spray the areas where you want to get rid of mosquitoes: around benches, on and around front porches in your yard, over lawn grass, plants and flowers. Pay attention to areas with excess and still water, as mosquitoes breed and congregate there. This spray is eco-friendly and non-toxic to plants, dogs and children.

You can find more information about essential oils for mosquito repellent recipes here.

Not all snails and slugs are pests, so if they’re not eating your plants, you don’t need to get rid of them in your organic garden.

Slugs and snails are closely related.

The main difference is that snails have a shell, while slugs don’t.

Most molluscs live in the water, but slugs and snails are the two that can live on land as well.

In fact, there’s your most important clue right there for how to get rid of slugs and snails in the garden – they like it wet.

So if they’re a problem in your area, try to locate the garden in the sunniest, driest spot, and don’t overwater or use other gardening practices that keep the soil too moist.

Watering in the morning instead of the evening can sometimes make a big difference when it comes to slug and snail control.

But then ideally, we want the garden to be relatively moist for the health of the plants and the soil food web, so a strategy that can sometimes work for getting rid of snails and slugs is to make sure there’s a very dry area around the perimeter of the garden.

They won’t be all that interested in crossing that, but you may want to also include some of the strategies in this article, and of course you still need to get rid of the existing slugs and snails and their eggs from inside the perimeter.

Of course, if you live in a wet area, you don’t have much of a chance of keeping your garden dry, so you’ll have to go right to these other options.

So, how to get rid of slugs in the garden? And snails too? Here’s the big list…

My Favorite Strategies

Unsurprisingly for my regular readers, my favorite strategies for how to get rid of slugs and snails in the garden center around fixing the root cause of the problem instead of using ingredients that annoy or kill the offenders:

  • Water. In case you skipped the intro above, go back and read it – that’s the most important step. In summary: if possible, keep your garden on the dry side.
  • Wildlife. There are many animals that eat slugs and snails, so invite them into the garden by providing them with various sources of water, food and habitat. Frogs, toads, snakes, birds, lizards, hedgehogs and ground beetles are examples of slug eaters. If you keep a cover crop of a legume or grass or both, you’ll provide safety for those ground beetles – unfortunately, you’ll provide safety for the snails and slugs too, so it’s a bit of a compromise.
  • Pets. If you don’t have enough wildlife around, ducks are the best at getting rid of slugs and snails, and chickens are okay, so they’ll take care of your visitors for you – but each of these birds may eat certain plants, so you need to learn how to manage them properly.
  • Perennials. Grow more perennial plants, which often have bigger branches and root systems than annuals so they have the jump on slugs and snails in the spring. That includes fruit trees and shrubs, herbs, perennial greens and others. A few of them still may need protection, but they’ll often be stronger than plants that have just come up from seed.
  • Transplants. If you still want to grow annuals such as tomatoes and most vegetables, start your plants inside first (or buy them) and grow them to a few inches tall before planting. That can give them a head start on the predators.

Organic Matter

Slugs and snails love organic matter, so:

  • Remove the mulch. If you keep a nice, thick mulch of leaves or some other organic material for all of the benefits it brings, you may want to rake that away from the beds in spring to remove the moist habitat that snails and slugs love. Of course, many beneficial insects love it too, and it’s great for smothering weeds and so on, so removing it is a compromise, but if slugs or snails are winning the battle, it may make sense to remove it. Leave it in a pile and bring it back when the rain decreases and the sun increases.
  • Compost. Keep it away from the garden. Slugs and snails like compost a lot, too.
  • Strategize with the mulch. Rake the mulch into a long row beside the garden, compacting it to give a perfect place for snails and slugs to lay their eggs. Then, on an occasional sunny day, move the row over a couple of feet to expose the eggs to the sun, which will kill them. Here’s how permaculturist Sepp Holzer does it (from his book Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture): Slugs and snails lay their eggs in dark, moist places. If you provide them with an ideal habitat to lay their eggs, you can regulate their population. To do this I make rows of freshly cut grass and leaves in the garden. They should be piled higher and compacted more than mulch, and should be kept as moist as possible, so that they provide the best conditions for egg laying. Slugs and snails will travel great distances to use places like these. On a particularly sunny day I then go into the garden and turn over the rows of grass with a gardening fork. Whole clusters of eggs will have adhered to the rotting grass. If you turn the rows of grass over at midday when it is at its sunniest, the eggs will rapidly be destroyed by the heat of the sun and the UV rays.
  • Seaweed. Speaking of mulch, when I lived on the west coast, fresh seaweed worked well to keep slugs away from the garden, partially because of the salt, but also because when it dried out, the roughness was difficult for the slugs to navigate over. I imagine the roughness depends on the type of seaweed.

Things To Spray

The following are products that need to be purchased, but they all generally provide other benefits too:

  • Effective Microorganisms (EM). I don’t imagine this will always work, but in one garden I used to maintain, I sprayed effective microorganisms and it dissuaded the slugs from eating. I left a corner of the garden unsprayed and they still ate plants in that corner. I’m not sure if the EM just improved plant health to the point that slugs didn’t find the plants attractive, but it was very cool – I still saw the slugs around, but they didn’t eat as much.
  • Nematodes. Many people have heard of spraying nematodes on the soil to control grubs. Turns out there’s another species of nematodes that can control slugs: Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita. I haven’t seen them available for purchase in North America as of this writing, but maybe some day.
  • Yucca. I bought some yucca extract once because I was considering selling it as a compost tea ingredient and spreader/sticker for foliar fertilizing. It turns out that mixing it 50:50 with water deters slugs and snails from eating. Just like with the EM, they’re still there, but they don’t cause near as much destruction.
  • Neem oil. Some people have had success using neem oil on plants to deter slugs and snails, but it doesn’t appear to be the most effective option. I’ve seen it work on other slug-like insects such as pear slugs, but those aren’t true slugs.

Things To Put On The Soil

There are many things you can put on the soil. Other than the first one in this list, they have to be refreshed regularly.

  • Boards and other hiding spots. As mentioned up above in the mulch section, during the day, slugs and snails hide in damp, dark places at or just below soil level. If you place some wooden boards such as 2×6’s on your soil, the molluscs will hide there. Go out every day, lift the boards, and do whatever you want with the them.
  • Minerals. Some people sprinkle specific ingredients such as epsom salts (magnesium and sulfur) or salt, which can help get rid of snails and slugs, but it can also cause soil imbalances, so I would only use these if I knew my soil needed, in this example, magnesium and sulfur or salt.
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE). This is the fossilized remains of a type of algae called a diatom. It’s like a rock that’s made into what feels like a powder to us, but actually has microscopic sharp edges that cut the slugs and snails. You sprinkle it on the soil and it kills by dehydrating insects from the outside when it gets on their body, or from the inside when they breathe it in. Unfortunately, it kills many beneficials too, so use this with care. I actually stay away from it for this reason, but some gardeners love it. And be sure to buy a horticultural product that doesn’t have chemicals added – some people even opt for a food grade product, but that can get expensive.
  • Wood ash. Wood ash is a source of calcium and potassium for your soil, which is great unless of course your soil already has enough calcium or potassium, in which case you don’t want to add much more of it. But a narrow row of dry wood ash sprinkled around plants or around the perimeter of the garden can deter slugs and snails because it desiccates them (draws water out of them). Of course it does the same thing to plants, so be sure to keep it away from them. It also does the same to other soft-bodied insects, so use it sparingly.
  • Sawdust, lime, sand, etc. Like the wood ash above, there are several other inputs that snails and slugs don’t like to crawl across because it draws water out of them. Sepp Holzer uses sawdust mixed with wood ash and/or lime. Again from his book: In smaller gardens the following method is very effective in my experience: take a watering can, cut the spout to half its original length so that it is much wider. Fill the watering can with a mixture of very dry fine sawdust, ideally collected from a carpenter or joiner’s workshop. The sawdust must, of course, come from untreated natural wood and not be varnished or contain any other harmful substances. I take the sawdust from a carpenter’s workshop, because the wood there is completely dry and the sawdust is much finer than you would find in a sawmill. Moreover, sawmills mostly work with fresh wood. I mix the sawdust with one part wood ash to ten parts sawdust, or with quicklime powder (around 1:20). Alternatively, you could use both, the only important thing is that all of the ingredients are bone dry. I fill the watering can with these materials and pour a finger’s width border of the mixture around the outside of the lettuce or vegetable patch. Make sure to free the border area of vegetation first. This border of sawdust mixture should remain as dry as possible. This means that from time to time, especially after is has rained, you will have to replace it. The fine dry sawdust mixture adheres to the foot of a slug or snail the moment it tries to get to the lettuce or vegetable patch. The ash and quicklime extract moisture, which prevents them from getting into the crop. If you sit in the garden in the evening, you will be able to see how the slugs and snails turn around when they reach this barrier and go back the way they came. Successes like these will quickly take the fear out of a slug or snail invasion.

From Your Kitchen

There are several foods commonly listed for how to get rid of slugs and snails. Some work better than others:

  • Corn meal or bran. Slugs and snails love corn meal, but unfortunately for them, it also kills them. Put some in a jar and lay the jar on its side so the molluscs can get in. They’ll eat some, leave, and die. This works okay with bran too.
  • Egg shells. Some people have success with this, but it often doesn’t work. Besides, do you have enough egg shells to protect your whole garden?
  • Coffee. Fresh coffee grounds, used coffee grounds, cold coffee – all of these have worked for some people, but don’t work very well for most people. I haven’t found any controlled studies where it worked particularly well either. Apparently, it’s the caffeine that causes problems for the snails and slugs. Perhaps the concentration is what’s important, i.e. maybe most people weren’t using enough. If you have access to a lot of fresh grounds, and if your soil is low in nitrogen, you can try it – but it’s definitely not the most effective method in this list.
  • Other foods. Instead of laying down wooden boards, some people use cabbage leaves, citrus fruit peels or overturned half melons to lure slugs and snails. This makes sense for very small gardens.


These traps work well, but you need to have them fairly regularly throughout the garden, and they need to be replenished often, so they make the most sense in small gardens.

  • Beer. This is a common strategy for how to get rid of snails and slugs and it works well. Beer attracts them, so put some into a deep plastic container and bury it in the soil so the top comes up about halfway above the soil (at that height, the slugs will crawl in and die, but many beneficial insects won’t). It’s kind of gross, but it works. Unfortunately, it may still attract some beneficials, too, and you need a trap every 10 square feet or so, so it’s most feasible in a small garden.
  • Homemade. It’s the yeast that attracts them in beer, so instead of precious beer, you can use a mixture of 1 tsp flour, 1 tsp brewer’s/instant yeast, 1 tsp sugar or honey and 1 cup warm water. The measurements don’t actually matter too much. Some people put 1 tsp of salt in, too.
  • Nettle tea. Are you lucky/unlucky enough to have nettle on your property? Although it stings like crazy when you touch it, I’d love to have a ‘nettle problem’ in my yard. It’s a highly medicinal plant for humans and for the garden. And if you put some nettle in water just like we did with the beer above, slugs and snails will gravitate to it like me to chocolate cake.

Physical Barriers

  • Copper. Copper wire/tape/mesh can work well to keep snails and slugs out of the garden. It’s quite expensive, but compared to a lot of these solutions, it lasts a long time. The copper reacts with the slugs’ mucus and gives them what feels like an electric shock. You can wrap it around tree trunks or around the sides of raised beds. Just be sure to get a wide enough strip to really deter them, which could be 4-6” depending on how big the slugs are where you live, or just use multiple strips side-by-side if all you can find is 2” tape. It’s more affordable to get a copper roll at a hardware store rather than buying a product specifically branded for slugs and snails.
  • Sandpaper. It doesn’t give them a shock like the copper, but is difficult for them to climb over.
  • Lava rock or gravel. These can be difficult for them to crawl over, too, so you can make a perimeter around the garden of coarse lava rock or gravel. Test in a small area first to make sure it works for your particular trespassers, as this is obviously a more time-consuming, costly option.
  • Tilling. Thoroughly rototilling the ground in early spring when it starts to get warm will kill many slugs, snails and their eggs, but it also kills earthworms and other beneficials, along with exposing your organic matter to oxidize more quickly, and other downsides, so while tilling can be occasionally useful, I wouldn’t use it only for slug control.

More Hazardous

These work, but you need to be more careful with them:

  • Metaldehyde. This is what most slug and snail bait used to be made of. It’s quite poisonous stuff, no longer recommended.
  • Iron phosphate. These days, the goto is iron phosphate, which kills slugs and snails, but is not so bad for us. It’s marketed as being very safe, but some dogs have been poisoned, whether by the iron phosphate or the ‘inert ingredients’ I’m not sure, so I would keep it away from pets and children. I wouldn’t sprinkle it all over the whole garden, but I would put some down in strategic places and protect it from rain with a wooden board or something similar. Sluggo is a popular brand that’s now OMRI-Listed. Sluggo Plus contains Spinosad, harmful to many beneficials, so I wouldn’t use it unless you have a specific reason.
  • Sodium Ferric EDTA. This is the newer alternative to iron phosphate. Unfortunately, the EDTA is very toxic, perhaps even more so than metaldehyde, so I stay away from this one. An example of this is Safer Brand’s “Dr. T’s Slug & Snail Killer.” I’ve read that some iron phosphate products contain EDTA, so if you use one, be sure to find one that is OMRI-Listed or otherwise certified by an organic agency.
  • Ammonia. Mix with 4 parts water (1/4 cup of ammonia per cup of water) or according to Linda in the comments below, 20 parts water is fine (slightly less than 1 Tbsp per cup of water). You can spray this on snails and slugs to kill them directly. It’s caustic stuff, so just a small spray is needed. Don’t get it on yourself.

Did I miss any strategies for how to get rid of slugs and snails? Or do you have any questions? Let me know down below…

Related Posts…

  • Get rid of squirrels
  • Get rid of rabbits
  • Get rid of moles and voles


The fight against slugs and snails is a bitter one and is usually a lost cause.

Methods, including home remedies, that focus on killing slugs only fight the symptoms and do not alleviate the causes.

Such methods are not the sustainable solution desired.

An alternative way is to use means that control slugs indirectly.

They are not only more peaceful but also more effective than methods that harm them directly.

Fighting Slugs and Snails in the Garden

When slugs and snails are eating seedlings and newly planted vegetables overnight, not only are plants harmed but the gardener’s heart is also damaged.

After a period of mourning comes anger and with it the desire for compensatory justice.

Plans for revenge are forged and war on slugs is quickly declared.

Fighting seems the only solution.

Is it necessary to kill snails and slugs? Does it lead to sucess?

The Bitter Fight is Usually Lost

In my experience, most slugs and snails have a high level of perseverance.

They usually succeed in thwarting all attempts to get rid of them.

Even if all the slugs in a garden are killed, others will arrive from elsewhere to fill the gap after only a short while.

Oddly enough, they seem to be even more numerous in gardens where a tough fight against them is waged.

I have not yet heard of any gardener who has managed to eradicate slugs from his garden by force.

The slug population seems resistant to poison and able to withstand every single attack with scissors and spades.

The fight against slugs can end in despair.

The Gardener’s Despair

At worst, this war leaves gardeners feeling desperate and hopeless.

Some have even stopped cultivating vegetables.

In my opinion, this is a shame, and this is one reason why I have created this project: it is exactly these desperate people that I wish to help to find new ways of slug control.

I aspire to lead them to success by turning their violent fight against slugs into a more cautious campaign to protect their plants.

The methods of destruction presented here are the wrong approach; there are more sophisticated alternatives.

A boom in the slug population is always a sign that the natural order of things is out of kilter.

By killing snails, all you do is fight the symptoms; you leave untouched the underlying causes of the problem.

The natural equilibrium will be even more disturbed because killing slugs also harms their natural enemies.

Nonetheless, below I briefly present some of the typical methods used and try to explain why they are doomed to fail.

I go on to present effective alternatives.

How to Kill Slugs and Snails

Is there a ‘humane’ way to kill slugs and snails?

Scissors and Spades: A Quick, ‘Humane’ Death?

Cutting slugs with a pair of scissors or splitting them with a spade are perhaps the most widespread methods, apart from trampling them to death.

This quick death is considered ‘humane’ and the least painful way for the animals to die.

Not only is respect for life often forgotten, but frequently the dead slugs do not get buried.

The smell of rotting snails and slugs is a powerful attractant for all conspecifics in the neighborhood.

With this method, if slugs and snails are not buried properly, even more can find their way into the garden.

I am firmly against this and think there are much smarter ways to protect plants.

But if killing is the method of choice, at least you should give the slugs a dignified burial.

Slug pellets contain several chemicals.

Slug Baits/Pellets: A Slow, Painful Death

There are various slug and snail poisons called molluscicides.

Typical are pellets that contain metaldehyde or iron phosphate to kill the slugs.

All other pesticides have been banned because using them kills beneficial earthworms and other animals.

The poison could also be dangerous for humans and pets, and for other beneficial animals in the garden.

Using poison makes it impossible for nature to heal and for natural balances to form.

Slug Control for single plants

To protect single plants use for example:

  • plant covers
  • garden cloches
  • slug collars.
Protective Plant Covers Garden Cloches Slug Collars
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Metaldehyde is toxic to children and pets (dogs, especially, like to eat the pellets), so must be handled with great care.

The pellets should not be touched with bare hands.

Slugs and snails are attracted by substances on the blue bait.

After eating the metaldehyde, they try to flush the poison out of their body, thereby losing body fluid and drying out painfully from the inside.

This usually takes many hours and if it rains they might even survive this fight.

Slugs will usually die close to the spot in which they came into contact with the pellets.

After dying, they have to be collected, as otherwise their smell will attract more slugs from all around.

Slug Control with copper for raised beds, planters & pots

Control slugs with copper using:

  • copper-tape
  • copper-mesh
  • copper-wire.
Slug Repellent Copper Tape Copper Mesh Fence Copper Wire
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Iron phosphate

Iron(III) phosphate works differently.

After the slugs have eaten the bait, their digestive system becomes blocked, they can no longer eat, and they starve slowly. This can take several days.

During this time, they stop eating but are still able to reproduce.

The slugs retreat to a sheltered place, where they die unseen.

Their dead bodies then attract new slugs and snails into the garden.

Products with iron(III) phosphate are approved for organic farming, but their effect on beneficial earthworms can still be dangerous.

Apart from that, the slow death, the possible reproduction and the attractant effect of the dead slugs make this method highly questionable.

Slug pellet manufacturers are pleased because this is not a sustainable solution at all.

The pellets work for a short period only and have to be applied again and again – year after year.

This costs a lot of money and might lead to further despair.

I therefore recommend staying as far away as possible from slug pellets!

You might even discuss their harmful effects and better alternatives with your neighbors.

You will find more information here: Slug baits and pellets.

Salt can ruin soil and damage plants.

Salt: A Cruel Death

If you sprinkle slugs and snails with salt, it will bind their body fluids and their bodies will dissolve slowly.

This is perhaps the most unpleasant way to kill them.

Nevertheless, many gardeners still use salt in their gardens.

They either sprinkle it on all the slugs that they find in their beds or they use it to kill the slugs they have collected.

This method shows little compassion and the slugs must experience significant suffering. I cannot understand this approach.

Some gardeners use salt to create barriers for slugs and snails, which is even worse.

In most areas, applying salt in the garden is forbidden because not only does it ruin the soil and damage the slugs, but it also kills all living beings that come into contact with it, even plants.

You will find more information here: Salt against slugs and snails

Some Europeans like to eat snails.

Boiling Water: A Hot Death

An equally cruel method is to pour hot or boiling water over the collected slugs.

Supposedly, this is another ‘humane’ way of killing them, but hot water is an excruciating death for slugs.

Some people freeze slugs and snails to death.

Freezing: A Cold Death

Putting slugs and snails into a plastic bag and then into the freezer is also described as an ‘animal-friendly’ killing method.

It is believed that slugs and snails will slowly die in the freezer bags, just like they do in winter from harsh frosts.

I doubt, though, that this is a pleasant death.

Beer traps backfire.

Beer Traps: Death by Drowning

Laying beer traps is still a widespread method for controlling slugs. However, word has spread that in the end, beer attracts even more snails and slugs from far away.

In theory, this method seems to work just fine. The traps are quick and easy to set up.

The slugs come out at night, drink the beer and some of them fall into the fluid and drown.

So, this is presented as a painless way to kill slugs and is embellished as a ‘wonderful’ way to die drunk and happy.

In the end, however, only a few slugs fall for the beer, but many more are lured into the garden.

You will find more information here: Beer traps

Be careful with roundworms.

Parasites: Death from Within

Roundworms – also called nematodes – are parasites that infest snails and slugs and feed on them until they die from bacteria produced by the worms.

Nematodes live underground and are sensitive to light and dry conditions. Therefore, they only infest slugs and snails that live inside the soil.

So, nematodes can be used against field slugs, which sometimes live underground.

However, they cannot be used against slugs and snails that only live on top of the soil, such as Spanish slugs.

Being eaten from the inside is awful to imagine.

This method is not sustainable, because once the slugs are gone the nematodes also die or leave the garden.

In addition, nematodes are quite expensive and there are cheaper ways to deal with slugs and snails.

You will find more information here: Nematodes against slugs and snails

Natural enemies can keep slug and snail populations in check.

Being Eaten: A Natural Death

This is the only method of killing slugs and snails that I recommend as useful and applicable to any garden.

Attracting natural predators into the garden is a sustainable and environmentally-friendly measure that leads to long-term success.

Apart from natural enemies, there are, for example, domestic animals that eat slugs, such as chickens or runner ducks.

These animals feed on slugs and snails and look for their eggs.

Chickens, turkeys, and ducks are usually quite interested in this kind of protein snack.

Of particular importance is the insect world, because many insects eat snails. Not many people know this, or they have forgotten.

The slow and almost defenseless slugs are eaten by all kinds of predatory insects, such as ground beetles, marsh flies or harvestmen.

The sharp decline in the insect population might explain why slug booms are becoming more and more common.

So, it is important to help as many insects as possible to settle in your garden.

Many ground beetles are professional slug hunters.

Other natural enemies of slugs and snails are:

  • toads
  • frogs
  • shrews
  • moles
  • blindworms
  • lizards
  • hedgehogs
  • songbirds.

This is why it is useful to lure as many animals as possible back into the garden.

If you increase the biodiversity in your garden, you can prevent all kinds of garden pests.

In addition, you can help leopard slugs (Limax maximus) to settle in the garden.

These are predatory slugs that also kill other slugs and snails; for example, the Spanish slug.

You will find more information here:

Helping hedgehogs settle in your garden Attracting birds to your backyard

Is It Necessary to Kill Slugs and Snails?

In my opinion, it is not necessary to kill slugs and snails using any of the methods described above.

There are much wiser ways to deal with the pests.

You do not need to fight them directly.

It is enough to ward them off passively; for example, with barriers against slugs and snails.

Alternative Methods

Snail and Slug Stops

Common Obstacles Are:

Slug fence test Slug and snail collars
Plant covers and garden cloches Copper tape against slugs and snails
Slug deterring paint/coating Electric slug fences

Choose Resistant Plant Varieties

One intelligent way is to select flowers and vegetables in which slugs and snails show little or no interest.

Some vegetables that you do not want to miss are on the list of favorite foods for slugs and snails.

However, there are also many flowers, vegetables and herbs that they do not like to eat.

You will find more information here:

Slug-resistant flowers: perennials and annuals Slug-resistant vegetables and herbs

There is also an entirely different approach.

Plant a Sacrificial Bed

You can create a sacrificial bed to distract slugs and snails from the plants you want to save.

This could, for example, be a dedicated bed on the edge of your garden with all the flowers and vegetables that slugs like a lot:

  • dahlias
  • delphiniums
  • tagetes
  • zinnias
  • asters
  • lettuce
  • buckwheat
  • mustard
  • sunflowers
  • lupins
  • lentils
  • dill
  • cress.

Their greed is best met with generosity. They can then be found in these beds and collected easily.

Although this may be difficult in small gardens, it could contribute to successful slug control overall.

You will find more information here:

Which plants do slugs like?

Blackbirds eat earthworms and slugs.

Collect and Relocate

The method that helps immediately is to collect and relocate the pests.

It is best to use snail and slug traps in which they are caught alive.

The world is big enough for snails, slugs and humans.

There are many places in the environment where they will not disturb anyone. Nature does not recognize discrimination.

However, it is reasonable to be concerned about local ecosystems being disrupted when slugs are relocated.

So, you should only put them in spots where they already exist and in places with high biodiversity.

That way, there is no danger of spreading them all around and nature will take care of them.

It is not enough, however, to throw the collected slugs just over your garden fence.

They can travel up to 25 yards (22 meters) per day. This is why they might come back if they are not put far away.

I recommend putting them at least one mile (1500m) or, even better, a couple of miles (kilometers) away.

This snail was probably killed by a beetle.

Can Slugs and Snails Suffer?

When thinking about killing slugs, one question inevitably arises: To what extent do they suffer?

Slugs and snails should be treated with dignity and respect, but this is too often ignored.

It is easy to put yourself in the position of other mammals and realize that they can and do suffer.

They scream and squeal when in pain and can even whine, just like humans do.

Slugs and snails do not make comparable sounds. They seem to endure everything quietly.

This makes it harder to recognize their pain and to treat them with compassion.

However, if you observe slugs more closely, you soon realize that they can experience suffering.

For example, the video about electric slug fences shows how sensitive they are to pain.

Video: Electric Slug Fence

Many gardeners, therefore, try to kill them in a ‘humane’ way that makes them suffer as little as possible (scissors or freezer).

Unfortunately, some gardeners are unwilling to give up killing entirely, unaware that there are other, better, options.

My wish is that in the long term there will be a rethink; I have already observed the first signs of this.

Perhaps there will come a time when even mollusks will be granted personal dignity and the right to live.

Slug Control for larger areas and garden beds

To protect larger areas you can use for example:

  • slug fences
  • sheep wool pellets.
Slug Fence Set: Small Slug Fence Set: For 6m² Sheep Wool Pellets
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Last update: July 12, 2018

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