Does Chilli Powder Deter Slugs?

One of the most annoying pests you can find in your garden is slugs. Slugs can be hard to detect in gardens because they usually come out when the sun is not out to cause endless damage. So, can you use kitchen cupboard ingredients to get rid of them? Does chilli powder deter slugs, for example?

Yes, chilli powder does deter slugs. They dislike the texture of the powder which sticks to the body. They also dislike the smell.

It may come as a shock to you that chilli powder could ever deter slugs. However, these slimy pests will refrain from crossing any substance or barrier with a dry, powdery consistency—the obvious reason being that the chilli powder sticks to the slug’s body.

Moreover, the strong smell of the chilli powder also deters slugs. 

What Other Spices Deter Slugs?

You may be surprised to know that there are ingredients in your kitchen that you can use to deter the slugs in your garden. This is an economical way to deter slugs, which is natural and does not involve using chemicals like slug pellets that could harm your plants.

Here are a few spices you can use to deter slugs from your garden: 

Cayenne Pepper 

Cayenne pepper works to deter slugs. As with chilli powder, cayenne pepper has a strong smell which makes it unappealing to slugs.

Slugs do not like powerful smells and tend to stay away from such spices and plants. Moreover, cayenne pepper creates an uncomfortable, dry barrier, which slugs do not like. 

Dry Mustard

One of the most effective ways to deter slugs is by using dry mustard in your garden. Not only slugs but other kinds of insects and pests can also be deterred. Dry mustard works as pest control, but it also serves its purpose as a fertilizer. 

You can use mustard powder in your garden by sprinkling it on the soil near the plants you wish to protect. The slugs will be sure to avoid the area due to the smell and dry texture of the mustard powder.

However, while using mustard powder, you need to be wary of the wind or rain as it can wash it away which does mean you’ll need to regularly reapply.

Black Pepper

Another aromatic spice that can deter slugs is simple. It’s black pepper. We all know how much of a strong smell black pepper can have for humans. Slugs find the smell of this spice to be even worse.

You can use black pepper in your garden the same way you would use any other spice, by sprinkling the powder on the soil. Black pepper is sometimes coarse as well, which gives the slugs a painful experience if they try to cross the boundary. 

However, as with other spices, you need to be careful about the rain and wind, as they could lead to the pepper being washed away. 


We all have heard of salt and how it deters slugs. Not only does salt deter slugs, but it also kills them. Slugs rely on their mucous production for survival as it helps them glide and move. By doing so, slugs look for food in their garden and shelter. 

When salt interacts with the slug’s body, it dries them out. Hence, the slugs tend to shrivel and die because of the salt. However, for this to work, you may be required to use a lot more salt, and it can increase salinity levels in your garden.

Is Chilli Powder Safe to Use in the Garden?

Our top priority as gardeners is to ensure that whichever practices we adopt do not cause harm to our plants and garden. One would always wonder about the use of chilli powder in the garden and whether it negatively affects the plants and garden.

Fortunately, one of the benefits of using chilli powder in your garden is that it is non-toxic. While we want to kill pests, we wish to maintain the garden as a great place for our plants. Chilli powder on plants and in the soil will not hurt any plants. 

You can use chilli powder in your garden by sprinkling it near the plants you want to protect. You can also create a barrier using the chilli powder at the entrance of your garden. It is important to stay clear of rain or the wind that could wash the powder away. 

Another way you can safely use chilli powder in your garden is by spraying it on the plants. You can create a mixture using chilli powder and water and spray it on plants and areas where you notice slugs the most. 

Does Fresh Chilli Deter Slugs?

The idea behind using chilli to deter slugs is by using it in a powder form. Slugs will avoid any areas and barriers which use powdered spices because they do not want the dryness.

However, using fresh chilli in your garden to deter slugs will not be helpful because the slugs can simply avoid the chilli and move forward. The fresh chilli will not be in powdered, dry form, which slugs hate. Hence, it is best to resort to using dry spices in your garden to deter slugs. 


A surprising way to keep your plants safe against slug attacks is by using spices. You can use spices in their dry form by sprinkling them in your garden, on the soil near plants you wish to protect.

Moreover, you can also form a border at the entrance of your garden to keep the slugs out. There are different kinds of spices that can deter slugs, including salt, black pepper, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper. 

Using chilli powder in your garden will not cause harm to the plants there. If you decide to use fresh chilli instead of powdered form in your garden, it will not be effective. It is best to resort to powdered spices.

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