How to Use Slug Barrier Tape

Slug damage is one of the major problems gardeners have to deal with. The problem is you cannot always tell you have slugs in your garden until you see the damage and then… It’s too late! You can protect your plants against slugs by making a barrier out of tape. So, here’s how to use slug barrier tape.

You can use slug barrier tape around your pot plants to protect them from slugs. You can also use them around the edges of raised containers. 

You can get your hands on some copper tape which is used to create a barrier against slugs. The idea is that the copper reacts with the slug slime and gives it a kind of electrical shock.

This prevents the slugs from climbing onto the plants and will prevent them from getting close to them in the future. 

Where Do You Put Slug Tape?

You can put slug tape around plant pots, tubs and planters. This tape is self-adhesive and is easy to apply to pots. You can also apply this tape on raised beds which are prone to slug attacks. 

It would be better to use a wide copper tape which is at least 2 inches thick; however, if you have a narrow tape or prefer to use that, you can stick a couple of pieces together to ensure that the barrier is wide.

The broader the copper tape, the more effective it will be. 

In addition, it is important to understand that the longevity of the copper tape depends on the kind of surface it sticks to. Since slug tape is self-adhesive, it does not stick well on some surfaces.

In this scenario, it would help if you first use a double-sided mounting tape on the surface and then proceed to use the slug tape. 

You can also attach the tape with the help of copper nails. If you wish to attach the tape on a wooden surface, it can be a problem since it does not stick well – especially on raised beds which can be damp.

Does Slug Tape Work?

Before using slug tape, which is essentially known as copper tape, many gardeners are concerned about whether it will even work. Fortunately, slug tape works efficiently against slugs. 

It would be more helpful if you understood how slug tape works in the first place and what it does to slugs:

Firstly, the copper in the tape gives the slugs an electrical jolt as it tries to cross it. This is because the copper reacts with the slug slime. This can cause discomfort for the slug – even though they don’t feel pain in the same way as us.

Other sources have revealed that the copper found in the tape is toxic to gastropods. The copper oxidizes, which affects slugs as they cross the tape.

Finally, the copper tape used to keep slugs away has sharp edges, which deters slugs and prevents them from gliding over. 

When deciding to use slug tape to deter slugs, you should keep a few things in mind. This method may not always work 100% of the time, unfortunately.

There can still be slugs that cross the copper tape, especially larger ones.

In addition, to ensure that the slug tape is effective, you need to ensure that the barrier is wide enough. This will also work well against bigger slugs. 

What Other Barriers Can You Use to Deter Slugs?

There are many other ways to deter slugs other than slug tape barriers. Since slug tape barriers are made from copper, you can actually use any other copper items to deter slugs.

If you do not wish to use copper tape, or you cannot seem to find it, you can also get some copper mesh which is specially made to deter slugs. When deciding to buy a copper mesh, you must ensure that it has high levels of copper and is of good quality. 

Any plants which are vulnerable and you wish to protect, you can add a copper mesh around them. The mesh should be placed at enough height that it does not allow the slugs to enter by crawling under it.

In addition, you should ensure that the copper mesh is not buried too deep in the ground. The moist soil will cause the copper to be ineffective against slugs. 

If you have individual plants, you need to target them, and you can get copper bracelets for them. As the plant matures and grows, the copper bracelet will expand with it. 

Other than this, you can also make barriers out of broken eggshells, which will be uncomfortable for slugs.

Other than this, some rough terrain like gravel or sharp sand would be better to use instead of regular mulch, which helps slugs hide. The sharp materials will hurt the slugs and lead them to go back instead of harming plants. 


One of the ways you can deter slugs from gardens is by adding barriers. You can use slug tape as a barrier, which is essentially made from copper.

The copper tape can be added to plant pots, tubs, or raised beds. The copper reacts with the slug slime and gives them an electric jolt. It is best to use thick copper tape to ensure its effectiveness and work well against bigger slugs. 

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