Does Vinegar Kill Slugs?

Unfortunately, the go-to solution for dealing with slugs is slug pellets, but using them, in the long run, can cause damage to wildlife and your plants. So how else can you get rid of slugs? What else kills them? For example, does vinegar kill slugs?

Yes, vinegar does kill slugs. It is an incredibly effective way to kill slugs.

Using vinegar is a great choice because, along with slugs, it also kills other pests. The other obvious benefit is that you can find vinegar in your home easily, and it is available in every supermarket across the planet.

If you are looking for pocket-friendly ways of dealing with slugs, vinegar is a great choice.

What Kills Slugs Instantly?

The problem with many deterrents is that it can take time to see the impact – and that’s if it works in the first place. That’s why having access to an instantly lethal deterrent is a great weapon to have in your arsenal.

One household item that is known to kill slugs is salt.

However, you need to sprinkle in large amounts directly on the slugs for salt to be effective. Salt works through a process called osmosis. The slug’s skin is permeable, and when salt enters the slug’s body, it dehydrates it, leading it to die.

Slugs rely on hydration and water to survive; therefore, pouring salt onto their bodies kills them immediately. 

But using salt is not the best option because it can impact your garden in adverse ways. By pouring salt on the ground, you increase the soil’s salinity, rendering it useless for some plants to grow and can stunt the growth of other plants.  

What Happens When You Put Vinegar on a Slug?

While salt works to dehydrate the slugs, you can use vinegar to dissolve them – gruesome, right?

However, for vinegar to work, you must spray it directly on the slug. Once you spray the slug with vinegar, you will notice that it dissolves the slugs, and you can clean the remains off.

Although there is a chance that vinegar sprayed in your garden will deter slugs, it is not going to kill them and any wet weather will instantly wash away the effect vinegar can have.  

How to Use Vinegar to Kill Slugs 

Before you begin to use vinegar, it is important to gather the slugs in your garden in one place. Vinegar is most effective when you use it directly on the slugs that you can see in front of you. 

So first, you need to create baits (or traps) to collect the slugs in one place. There are a number of bait options:

Many people like to use wooden boards on the ground. The slugs collect underneath the wooden board where conditions are perfect for a slug (damp, moist and dark). Once you flip the board over, you’ll see it covered in slugs.

You can also use orange and lemon rinds in your garden to attract the slugs. We would advise putting the rinds out later in the evening when slugs are more active so they are as effective as possible. If you put them out too early then their scent will degrade before the slugs have had a chance to sniff them out.

Avoid Using Vinegar on Plants
Pure vinegar is quite powerful and highly acidic, therefore, diluting it will keep plants safe. Usually, one part vinegar and one part water are enough.

After collecting the slugs, you can spray them with the vinegar solution.

You can also spray any slug you spot lurking in your garden directly with the solution. However, be careful of the plants and grass around you as vinegar is also a herbicide.

This is why trapping slugs is helpful because you can move them to a safe area, away from your plant, before spraying them with vinegar to kill them off.


You know just how harmful slugs are to gardens causing severe damage if you have a substantial infestation.

Many people, unfortunately, like to use slug pellets to deal with the problem, but others prefer a more natural approach. A way you can get rid of slugs is to use vinegar.

You can create a vinegar spray by diluting some in water and then spraying it directly on the slugs. The vinegar will melt the slugs, and you can wash away the residue. 

Apart from vinegar, you can use other natural methods like coffee grounds, eggshells, growing slug-repellant plants and beer traps. The other, most natural way of getting rid of slugs is to attract predators to your garden.

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