There are many natural ways of deterring slugs that gardeners have developed and found work. One method that people have tried is by using eggshells. But do eggshells deter slugs successfully, or is it just a myth?
The Quick Answer
Do Eggshells Deter Slugs?
Eggs can deter slugs thanks to their sharp, jagged edges that make it difficult and uncomfortable for slugs to travel across.
Do Eggshells Repel Slugs?
Eggshells do not repel slugs because of their smell, but they certainly can help to keep slugs at bay. Because of the sharp edges of eggshells, slugs struggle to travel over them and therefore will not be able to reach any plants that are surrounded by eggshells.
Now, let’s have a look at how to utilise eggshells in the battle against slugs:
How to use Eggshells to Deter Slugs
Using eggshells to deter slugs is an easy process. All you need is, well, some cooked eggs and their shells. There is a trick to making the eggshells more effective as a repellent, however.
They need to be clean and dry to retain their sharp and brittle edges. Removing the inner membrane of the egg also helps you to make the eggs more effective as a deterrent.
After gathering up your clean and dry eggshells, sprinkle them on top of the soil of plants that you want to protect. It is better to place the eggshells in soil rather than on the hard ground as they are less likely to be blown away by any wind.
Also, as mentioned before, eggshells will lose their effectiveness as a deterrent if they get wet. So, after it rains, you will need to replace the eggshells otherwise your plants will not be protected from the slugs.
Do Eggshells Deter Any Other Pests?
The best thing about finding an effective deterrent is when you find that it also deters other pests. Eggshells have been known to repel other creatures as well as slugs. Here is a short list of other pests that you may repel by using eggshells.
Snails travel in the same way as slugs so, just like for a slug, the sharp edges of eggshells are very uncomfortable and sometimes harmful for snails. Snails can be a problem as they eat your plants so eggshells will help protect you from two major garden pests.
Cutworms are a type of caterpillar, they become moths but whilst in their caterpillar state they will live beneath the soil and feed on plant roots and stems. Mixing eggshells in with your soil will make that a very uncomfortable environment for the cutworms and they will not stay in that soil and feast on your plants.
Whilst many gardeners have stated the success that they have had with using eggshells, others have found that they are not 100% effective. This is likely due to the fact that using them in soil may often cause them to become damp, meaning that their edges are no longer so sharp, so they are less repellent.
For this reason, it is always a good idea to use multiple methods of slug repellent rather than to simply rely on one method.
What Else Deters Slugs?
As we have mentioned, eggshells work to repel slugs because of their rough texture. There are actually many different types of terrain that work similarly to eggshells to help deter slugs.
Here is a list of some other terrains that you can utilise around your garden to help keep the slugs away from your plants:
Mulch is a mixture of plant matter that can be added to soil to make it healthier for plants. In mulch, you may find dried leaves, bark, wood shavings and sometimes possibly eggshells themselves. This mixture therefore contains a lot of sharp and rough materials.
Sprinkling it on top of plant pots and flower beds therefore not only helps your plants to grow, but it also works to deter slugs as its rough consistency makes it a difficult and uncomfortable terrain for slugs to cross.
There are many different types of gravel and almost all of them can be used to help drive slugs away. This is because the terrain of gravel is cold, hard and very sharp. Gravel being formed of small pieces of stone works very well because it means that slugs cannot travel over it safely and therefore will avoid it.
As well as using gravel in plant pots, people have also used a gravel perimeter around their garden to keep slugs from entering in the first place.
Slate is very similar to gravel in terms of how it works. Slugs are put off by slate flagging because of its cold and hard nature. It makes it difficult and uncomfortable for them to cross and they will avoid doing so unless it is absolutely necessary.
Whilst all of these methods are effective against slugs, there are some instances where sheer willpower will win out.
If a slug is desperate for food, then they might just risk crossing the uncomfortable terrain. Using repellent smells as well as repellent terrain is a good way to try and enforce this.
To summarise what we have learnt, slugs do not like eggshells, and they can be deterred by them. They do not like eggshells because they are sharp, making it difficult terrain for slugs to cross.
Eggshells also help to deter other garden pests, including snails and cutworms. Other examples of terrain that can be used to help repel slugs include gravel, slate and mulch which may sometimes contain eggshells themselves.