If you’re in the garden and come across a slug, you might opt to pick it up and throw it in the bin. However, there have been speculations about whether slugs can be dangerous to touch and cause harm to humans. So, are slugs dangerous to touch or not?
No, touching a slug will not be dangerous to humans, but caution should be taken to wash your hands as they can carry parasites.
While slugs may appear harmless and can be touched, they carry many parasites. However, not all slugs will be infected. However, if you touch an infected slug, it can pass parasites on to you.
Most common cases include slugs passing ringworm infections to humans. It is always best to take preventative measures and wear gloves if you must handle slugs.
Are Slugs Poisonous to Humans?
While slugs are slimy and cause damage to plants, they are not poisonous to humans. These small pests carry diseases and parasites; however, garden slugs will cause no harm.
Slugs are not dangerous because they feed on plants so touching them is unlikely to cause harm. You will find slugs on leaves, eating them and causing damage to your garden. The only real threat that slugs pose is to your garden and not to you.
What Happens if a Slug Gets on You?
There may be times when you are working in your garden or outside, and you encounter a slug. Naturally, if a slimy pest gets on you, you will freak out.
Slugs carry diseases and parasites; however, they are not dangerous or poisonous to humans. Therefore, it is best to stay calm during this situation even if you are uncomfortable or scared.
It is important to remove the slug from your body by picking it off and throwing it away. It would be best if you washed the slime off. Slugs can pass diseases to you; therefore, it is essential to clean the area and watch out for any symptoms.
However, most diseases transfer because of ingesting slugs. Therefore, if a slug gets on you, you do not need to worry about any diseases.
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Are Slugs Dangerous?
While slugs are not toxic to humans, they are still dangerous. This is because slugs carry diseases, one dangerous one in particular known as the rat lungworm disease. The parasite rat lungworm is a parasite that is found in rodents and infects slugs.
Establishing skin contact with the slug is of no worry. However, if you ingest a slug and have rat lungworm disease, it can lead to serious issues.
While the disease is quite harmful, most adults have no symptoms, while some may have mild symptoms. Suppose you suspect that you have this disease lookout for symptoms like a headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Therefore, it is best to keep track of your symptoms in the days following you consuming a slug.
People who consume slugs infected with this parasite are at risk of contracting the disease. Children can sometimes eat slugs as they are curious.
Fortunately, there are some preventative measures that you can take to avoid contracting this disease. It is best to supervise children if they are around slugs.
Also, it is important to wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming them. After you are finished gardening or dealing with slugs, you must wash your hands to clear any traces of slugs.
Slugs in the house are not dangerous, but they’re also not something you want to see. They’ll leave slime trails everywhere, and it can be simply unappealing seeing them in the house.
How Do You Remove Slug Slime from Skin?
If you have touched a slug or one has accidentally landed on you, you will be aware of the slime. So naturally, the first thing you would do when your skin feels slimy is to wash it with water.
However, when encountering a slug, you must wait for the slime to dry before washing it off.
When the mucus dries, you must scrape it with your hand and remove most of it. Afterwards, the leftover mucus must be washed away with soap and water.
There can be times when it may become difficult to remove the dried mucous. However, you can easily remove the mucous using towel.
Sometimes, the slime along with your skin can also get on your clothes, and in this case, you can use vinegar to get it off.
Although slug slime may carry some parasites, it is unlikely to cause you any harm. Just ensure you wash the slime off as soon as possible.
Got more questions? Then check these FAQs out:
Although there have been cases where ingesting slugs has been lethal, touching them is unlikely to cause any harm, and the chance of a slug killing a human is close to nil.
No, slugs are not toxic. You can touch a slug without it harming you. Of course, were you to ingest them or lick the slime, then this could make you sick… But, why would you?
Slugs are small garden pests that cause damage to plants. Slugs eat plants away and leave behind slimy trails. While these small pests pose a threat to gardens, they can also be harmful to humans.
However, slugs are safe to touch and will not cause harm unless you ingest them. In addition, while slugs carry parasites, they will not harm you unless they are infected themselves.
One of the most dangerous diseases which slugs carry is rat lungworm disease.
Below are some of the sources of information we used to put this article together:
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden