Does Epsom Salt Deter Slugs?

Some pests can be persistent in gardens, such as slugs. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to get rid of slugs, but is one of them Epsom salt? Does Epsom salt deter slugs effectively or will they simply ignore it?

Yes, Epsom salt can be used to deter slugs in the same way normal table or kosher salt can be used to deter them.

Epsom salt is a natural insecticide that can be used in gardens. Epsom salt enters the slug’s skin and causes damage to it. The salt dries out the slugs, dehydrating them and killing them eventually. Slugs rely on moisture, so killing them through dehydration works best.   

How Do You Use Epsom Salts to Deter Slugs?

Many gardeners are suffering at the hands of slugs because of the damage they entail to plants. While chemicals or using slug pellets seems like the viable option, many do not wish to risk the health of their plants or the wider environment.

A more natural approach to getting rid of slugs is to use Epsom salts. 

Epsom salts can be quite effective in getting rid of slugs, depending on how you use them. There are different methods you can use:

You can combine Epsom salts in water and create a salt mixture. After doing so, you can spray the mixture on slugs directly. Epsom salts will kill the slugs by dehydrating them.

Saltwater is already dehydrating even for humans if they drink it. The same goes for slugs. These slimy animals are dependent on their slime production, and if they get dehydrated, they will die. 

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Another way you can use Epsom salts is by making a barrier around small pot containers. If you have plants growing in pots, you can create a salt barrier at the base of the container. Any slug which decides to come close to the container will not do so because of the Epsom salts. 

Using Epsom salts in your garden is beneficial because it is safe to use and handle. However, overusing Epsom salts can damage plants and increase sulfur content in your garden. 

Can You Sprinkle Epsom Salts Around Plants?

When deciding to add anything new to your gardening routine, you may think about its viability and if it is good for your plants or not. 

It is safe to use Epsom salts around plants. This will help counter your slug problem, but it will benefit the garden too. Epsom salts comprise sulfur and magnesium, which are important nutrients for effective plant growth.

Sulfur helps in forming chlorophyll, usage of nitrogen, and helps plants resist diseases. On the other hand, magnesium enables plants to absorb nutrients. Using Epsom salts in your garden around plants will only lead to better health. 

Sometimes you may not know, but your plants can be deficient in sulfur or magnesium, especially if it is sandy or acidic soil in your garden. The soil can be devoid of these nutrients due to extra rainfall and erosion. In this case, many gardeners have used Epsom salts to provide supplements to their soil. 

However, it is important to remember that when using Epsom salts to deter slugs, you should not use a lot of them. Too much of anything can be harmful.

Is Epsom Salt Safe for Gardens?

Since we are on the topic of Epsom salts, it would be best to discuss when not to use them in your garden. When you spot slugs, your first instinct would be to go for Epsom salts, given the range of benefits.

However, it is important to check your plants and see if using Epsom salts would be the best way to go. 

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If your soil is acidic, using Epsom salts can only make the situation worse. Epsom salts have been known to scorch leaves if applied directly in some cases. You must ensure to mix the Epsom salts in water and avoid treating your plants on hot days when the sun is out. 

If your soil is calcium-deficient, it can cause the roots to rot. By using Epsom salts, the situation can get worse as calcium and magnesium will compete to get absorbed by the plant. Therefore, you need to be careful about using Epsom salts to deter slugs by examining your garden and deciding what works best. 

Summary 

One of the ways you can deter slugs in your garden is by using Epsom salts. Epsom salts work to enter the slug’s body to dehydrate it. Since slugs rely on their slime production for survival, dehydrating them would be the best way to eliminate them.

There are several ways you can use Epsom salts in your garden. You can choose to create a border, spraying them on your plants or adding them to plant pots. 

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