Slugs are notoriously happy to eat pretty much everything and anything in your garden. If you have alliums in your garden, you’ll be worried that they might get destroyed too. So, do slugs eat alliums or not?
No, Slugs do not eat alliums as they’re a genus of monocotyledonous flowering plants that include many plant species, all of which deter slugs and other pests.
Alliums are a genus of monocotyledonous flowering plants with many species of plants that are slug repellents. Alliums include onions, garlic, leeks and chives. All of these plants are disliked by many garden pests, especially slugs.
All plants that are alliums have a defence compound called allicin which kills and repels slugs. Due to this fantastic defensive trait, you can use alliums to deter slugs from your garden.
This will also be an ecologically friendly method. You wouldn’t need to use chemical-based items like pesticides or slug pellets that, instead of getting rid of the slugs, turn into a hazard for your pets and the wider environment (more on slug pellets here).
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Do Alliums Deter Slugs?
Yes, all types of alliums can deter slugs as they all have a defensive compound to deter slugs, snails and other pests. Planting alliums is an excellent way to slug-proof your garden, so your plants remain safe and do not get eaten.
The defensive compound that is made by alliums is called allicin.
Many people plant alliums in their garden for the sole purpose of repelling any hungry slug that might enter their garden overnight.
All alliums make allicin, and the reason slugs and other pests hate them is their strong odour that slugs and other pests cannot bear and will avoid an area where the smell is coming from.
Unfortunately, this generally applies to edible alliums such as garlic and onions only. Ornamental alliums often don’t deter slugs effectively. An ornamental allium has been cultivated for its appearance, not its odour.
Do Slugs Like Garlic?
No, slugs do not like garlic because garlic is also an allium plant capable of deterring slugs and many other garden pests due to its strong smell.
Slugs are sensitive to strong smells, and garlic has a very pungent odour, so slugs will avoid any area where there’s garlic. Many people keep garlic in their gardens to deter slugs from their precious plants and use it in cooking.
Every edible plant in the allium family is an effective slug deterrent. Still, garlic has the most pungent smell of all the other allium plants, making it the best slug repellant allium.
Though other alliums will also deter slugs, they wouldn’t be as effective as garlic.
You can even make a slug repellant spray for a much more convenient way of using garlic to deter slugs. Garlic has no adverse effects on a plant, so you can spray it on any plant without worry.
Boil some garlic in water, put it in a spray bottle and done! You can use your spray to get rid of slugs from an infested part of your garden.
Another alternative to using garlic as a slug deterrent is simply using fresh garlic. To use fresh garlic, crush it and put it in any slug-infested area of your garden.
Crushing the garlic makes it release all the oils and strong smell, deterring any nearby slugs.
You can also use garlic powder to deter slugs from your garden plants by simply sprinkling some on your infested plants or soil. If you’re in a windy area, the powder might blow away or wash away after rain, so powdered garlic might not be the best approach.
Slugs despise garlic and all other allium plants, making these perfect slug deterrents for you to use in your garden and secure your plants.
If you still have further questions about slugs and whether or not they eat alliums, then these FAQs might help out:
No, slugs will not eat bunched alliums. However, unlike other members of the allium family, bunched alliums will not work well at deterring slugs either.
No, slugs are unlikely to eat purple sensation alliums. They are actually not fans of any ornamental alliums, thankfully.
A garden is a slug’s favourite place as it finds moisture, places to hide and lots of food. A slug infestation can be very bad for your plants, so you’ve to secure your garden from slugs before their numbers increase.
Alliums are a hugely popular bulb to plant in your garden, but the last thing you want is to attract slugs and find them eating them all before they’ve had a chance to flourish. Fortunately, slugs do not eat alliums often.
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