Is Copper Tape Effective Against Slugs?

When you hear about slugs, you immediately think about the damage they cause to gardens. Deterring them is not easy, especially if you want to avoid using slug pellets. Copper is often touted as a solution. But is copper tape effective against slugs or not?

Copper tape works effectively against slugs, but this largely depends on how you use it. 

Many gardeners have talked about using copper tape against slugs. Copper tape can be used on garden pots, tubs, and raised beds.

You need to use wide copper tape to make this method more effective against slugs. This will also ensure that you tackle the larger slugs in your garden. The tape should be at least 2 inches wide.

How Does Copper Tape Work?

Many people have questioned copper working against slugs. There are a few reasons why copper tape works against slugs.

Electrical Jolt

Copper tape is effective against slugs because it interacts with slug slime and gives them an electrical jolt. This ensures that the slug will not crawl further and turn back. 

Dries Slime

Copper can dry out slugs and slow their slime production down. Slugs have to rely on slime because it enables them to glide and move around.

Since copper dries out the slugs, they will not move forward. Therefore, slugs will be in one place, not move around, and eventually, die.

Copper Absorption

By absorbing copper, slugs also tend to lose their appetite. The slugs which have absorbed copper suffer from a stressed digestive tract. The affected slugs have some difficulty digesting food; hence, they will not be able to produce enough energy from consuming food.

Since slugs move slowly, they spend a lot of time on the copper, absorbing plenty of it. 

How Long Does Copper Tape Take to Work?

Copper tape has no time frame for how quickly it becomes effective. Copper does not work to kill slugs immediately. Instead, it is a slow process. 

The copper tape will work whenever a slug interacts with it, giving it an electrical jolt. However, it takes time to determine copper absorption and its long-term effects.

It may take a few months until the slug population in your garden is completely reduced. This is one of the downsides of using natural ways to deter slugs. Slug pellets might be awful for the environment, but they do work. 

Will Copper Pipe Work to Deter Slugs?

You can use copper in different forms against slugs. One of the ways you can use copper is by using copper pipes.

You can use copper pipes to create a barrier to protect any vulnerable plants in your garden.

If you have any climbing plants in your garden, you can use copper pipes for them to climb. This will ensure that the plants have a way to climb, and the slugs will not damage them when compared to bamboo canes.

How Else Does Copper Work to Deter Slugs?

Other than using copper tape, you can use different forms of copper to deter slugs. One of the ways includes using copper mesh.

There is a commercially available copper mesh made especially for slugs.

When purchasing copper mesh, you must ensure it is of good quality to get the job done. You can add the copper mesh on plants, so slugs avoid those and are redirected elsewhere. 

It is important to use the mesh correctly. Otherwise, it will not be effective. For instance, you must ensure not to leave any gap between the copper mesh and the soil, so slugs do not have space to crawl in.

Moreover, keep the mesh from getting too deep inside the soil, or the moisture will render it useless.

There are also copper barriers available for individual plants. If you have vulnerable plants in your garden, a great idea would be to use copper bracelets to add around stems.

As the plant grows in size with time, so will the bracelet. You do not need to worry about the plant suffering from stunted growth.

As you can see, there are multiple ways you can use copper in your garden, from copper tape, mesh and bracelets. It would be best to try these methods and find one which works best for your garden and the kind of plants you like to grow.

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Summary 

One of the many ways to deter slugs includes using copper tape. Copper tape can be effective against slugs, given how you use it.

Using a wider tape will help you tackle bigger slugs and more of them. However, there is no guarantee that copper tape will always work. The copper interacts with the slug slime, giving them an electric jolt. But, there are also other theories available. 

You can use copper in different forms depending on your garden and the plants which grow. For instance, you can make a barrier from copper pipes and use copper mesh or bracelets.

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