When dealing with the inevitable slug infestation every gardener experienced, many opt to use traditional slug pellets, but chemicals hurt the environment and other wildlife. So why not consider trapping slugs with beer? But, do slugs like beer or will it attract more?
Yes, slugs like beer. This is why it is perfect to use as the liquid element in a slug trap to attract them.
Beer contains yeasty smells, which slugs love. If you face slug problems, it would be wise to collect slugs via slug traps and then dispose of them. It’s a safe approach to take that won’t harm other wildlife like slug pellets and is a fairly cheap way to get rid of slugs.
Does Beer Keep Slugs Away?
For a beer to keep slugs away, they would have to be repelled by it. However, it is the opposite as slugs like the yeasty tones present in beer.
That’s why beer is used to create slug traps. These slug traps are placed in the soil overnight to attract slugs. To reach for the beer, the slugs enter the traps and drown. Even if the slugs do not drown, you will find a bunch of them in the morning, collected near the traps.
You can dispose of the slugs in any way you want. Most people prefer to take the slugs and place them in soapy water to kill them.
So, beer does not keep slugs away, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great way of collecting them in one place to then get rid of them.
Do Slugs Drink Beer?
Slugs are attracted to beer because of the malty and yeasty odours it releases. Slugs have an incredibly strong sense of smell so will smell it from afar.
As soon as they pick up the scent of beer, these slimy pests will go straight to the beer traps to then drink it up.
Are Beer Traps Effective for Slugs?
Unfortunately, many people do not have faith in any other way to deter slugs besides pellets. However, natural methods like beer traps can be effective against the slugs in your garden.
If you are facing a slug infestation, we highly recommend using beer traps. There are several reasons why:
You can create your beer traps fairly cheaply using rubbish you have lying around at home such as the end of a plastic bottle. You can instantly see the results of your slug trap overnight. And it’s a safe way to get rid of slugs.
There are some ways you can make your beer traps more effective. Beer traps will work best in an environment that favours slugs. Slugs like being in dark and damp places so make sure your slug trap meets these conditions and that it is not in direct sunlight.
It is important to use slug traps in places where you know there are no slug predators. If slug predators are lurking about, it will discourage slugs from coming near the beer trap. You must ensure that the slug traps are well-hidden from predators.
How to Make Beer Trap for Slugs
You can either get your hands on beer traps directly from your local hardware shop or you can make your own.
It is quite easy to make beer traps, and it requires no effort. To make an effective beer trap, you need a few plastic containers with caps. Yoghurt or butter pots work particularly well here. You will also want to pick containers that are at least 2 inches deep.
Besides the containers, you only require one additional ingredient: Beer, of course.
Next, you need to bury the containers at least one inch deep in the soil. You can put the containers all over the garden and in places where you find the most slugs.
Fill the containers about halfway up with beer and wait for the magic to happen. The slugs will come out from their hiding places all over the garden to the beer traps.
On the next morning, you can check to see if slugs have drowned or collected near the slug traps. Some slugs will drown in the beer, and most of them will congregate near it.
Can You Put Something Else in Beer Traps?
If you are out of beer or do not wish to put it in your beer traps, you can opt for other things. Slugs are attracted to a lot more than beer, and you can use that to your advantage.
You can make your slug trap appealing to them by putting things in which they are known to love such as green leaves such as spinach and cabbage.
You can even put your kitchen leftovers in your slug traps to attract slugs. However, if you live in an urban area then this can lead to rats so it’s worth rethinking this.
A final suggestion is to use grapefruit juice which is also known to attract slugs. It’s not quite as effective as beer but will still work.
One of the ways you can protect your garden from slugs is through beer traps. Slugs are attracted to beer because of the yeast tones in them.
You can make your own beer traps by using yoghurt containers filled with beer. To make the beer traps more effective, you should place them in shady, dark places in your garden.
Other than beer, you can put leaves or lettuce in the trap, which attracts slugs. However, avoid putting any other foods in the slug traps as it may attract rats.
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