How to Make a Slug Repellent Spray

Slugs are a complete pain. They cause havoc across gardens, eating anything in their path. But before you reach for the slug pellets (which can do more harm than good). Why not consider making a spray?

So, here’s how to make a slug repellent spray that actually works:

You can make a slug repellant spray by using ingredients with powerful smells such as essential oils of rosemary, vinegar or coffee and then combining them in water.

The best thing about using a slug repellant spray is that it is easy to make and convenient to use. Slug repellant sprays do not require much effort and, chances are, you’ll have the necessary ingredients sitting in your kitchen cupboard.

You only need a few ingredients, and the spray is ready. You can use natural ingredients like garlic or lavender to keep slugs away. Because they’re natural, they can also be used on and around plants (and pets) unlike slug pellets.

How to Make a Spray

Here are our steps to make a quick and easy slug repellent spray that you can safely use around your garden to deter slugs:

  1. Get a Spray Bottle
    Before you do anything, you’ll need to get yorself a spray bottle which evenly disperse a decent mist of spray in your garden. This can be picked up cheaply at any local DIY stores.
  2. Make Spray
    Fill your spray bottle 75% of the way with water then add in either 10 drops of lavender oil, 10 drops of rosemary oil or 10 drops of coffee essence. You could also use a combination of oils.
  3. Shake
    Secure the lid and then give the bottle a good shake to mix the solution fully.
  4. Spray
    Finally, get spraying. You’ll want to spray it where you often see slugs such as on particular plants they have become fond of or up the sides of plant pots.

Unfortunately, no spray will be 100% effective so you’ll need to experiment with different mixtures. Slugs are put off by strong scents so feel to try other oils. You can also try strong ingredients such as grated garlic, lemon juice or vinegar.

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What Scents Keep Slugs Away?

You may not know this, but slugs have an incredibly strong sense of smell. As a gardener looking to deter slugs, you can use this knowledge of their strong sense of smell to banish them from your garden.

So what smells do slugs hate?

Strong Herbs

One of the easiest ways to keep slugs away is to go down the natural route. You do not have to go through the hassle of doing anything extra except getting a few additional plants in the garden.

Slugs do not like the strong scents of herbs. You can take this knowledge to create a herb border that protects other plants. Herbs such as rosemary, lavender, and rue work particularly well at keeping slugs at bay.

Pet Hair

Another scent that slugs do not like is that of pet hair. If you have pets, slugs will likely avoid coming into your garden. Slugs smelling your pet’s scent gives them the illusion of enemies.

You can leave clumps of your pet’s hair in your garden to keep slugs away. However, using pet hair is not the most effective option because you need lots of it. Even if you have a large hairy pet to provide you with hair, the wind will blow it away. 


One of the scents which slugs do not like is that of coffee. While humans love coffee, slugs cannot stand the bitterness.

You can sprinkle used coffee grounds on the soil, and slugs will be sure to avoid them.

You can also make a coffee spray using an equal mix of water and coffee. You can spray the plants with the coffee spray, and it will keep slugs away and not harm the plants.

Does Vinegar Deter Slugs?

Vinegar has a strong smell which is excellent in repelling insects. Vinegar does not repel slugs, however, but it does kill them when it slugs come into contact with it – much like salt.

Using chemicals can be too harsh, so some gardeners rightly prefer to use natural methods. The first thing you can do is collect all the slugs in your garden. You can trap the slugs using baits.

Next, you can take the slugs you have collected and spray them with vinegar spray. You can create the vinegar spray by using equal part water and vinegar.

You can also spray the vinegar solution on any slugs you may see around. However, the downside to using vinegar spray to kill slugs is that it can still negatively impact your plants. Vinegar is a strong solution, and it is a known herbicide.


Slugs are a common garden pest that are known to destroy plants overnight. One of the ways you can repel slugs is to make a slug repellant spray. You can use powerful ingredients like coffee and garlic to make the spray and keep the slugs away. 

There are certain smells that slugs dislike, such as strong herbs like rosemary or lavender. In addition, you can also use vinegar in your garden not to repel but kill slugs.

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