Slugs seem to come out of nowhere with one purpose in life: To ruin your garden. So, what attracts slugs to your garden? And can you do anything to make your garden less appealing to them?
There are three main things that attract slugs: Moisture, food sources and smells.
Slugs rely heavily on moisture for survival as they need it to produce slime. Therefore, gardens prove to be the ideal place where slugs can thrive. Gardens have moisture and provide plenty of warmth for slugs.
There are plenty of shady places where slugs can hide during the day. Gardens also have plants, foliage, fruits and vegetables, which slugs love eat – as you well know!
What Conditions Attract Slugs?
Slugs don’t like to sun themselves and don’t like dry arid ground. So, if your garden has plenty of shade and areas of moisture then these are the conditions that will attract slugs.
Shaded areas don’t need to be large. A suitable shaded area can be beneath a pot, under a window ledge, in the gaps of a tree or in the cracks of a rock.
What Smells Attract Slugs?
Slugs can smell things they like from a distance. This is one of the reasons they are attracted to gardens because they can smell the food using their intricate noses. It is best to avoid using scents or growing plants that slugs love and are attracted to.
However, knowing what smells attract slugs can also be used to your advantage. If you know what smells they like then you can use these scents to lure them away from tender plants:
One of the scents which slugs are attracted to is citrus. You can use citrus in a way to trap slugs. Using citrus against slugs is a cheap and effective solutions – especially when the peel is often a by-product from the kitchen.
You can place the citrus rinds in your garden on the soil overnight. The next morning, you will see that the slugs have been drawn to the citrus rinds will be on it or near it. Therefore, you can collect these slugs and get rid of them.
A famous way of trapping slugs is by using beer traps. Slugs are attracted to the smell of beer; therefore, many people use it in beer traps to capture them.
You can make a beer trap by using a plastic container, making a hole big enough for a slug to pass through and filling it with beer. To capture the slugs, you can leave the trap overnight. The slugs will be drawn because of the beer and drown in it.
One of the major reasons slugs are attracted to gardens is food. Slugs feed on all sorts of plants and flowers. One of the plants includes hostas that grow in the shade, further attracting slugs.
In addition, slugs are keen on eating flowers like dahlias, sunflowers and marigolds. Moreover, vegetables also make a delicious snack for slugs. Slugs love to consume greens like lettuce, cabbage and broccoli. Also, slugs like to consume root vegetables.
You can also use vegetables when making your slug traps. For instance, you can put cabbage or lettuce leaves inside plastic cups if you do not wish to use beer.
What Do Slugs Dislike?
Slugs have a good sense of smell, and if they can get attracted to certain smells, they can also be repulsed by some. There are a few ways you can incorporate certain smells in your garden to repel slugs.
You can start by growing plants or getting those that have a strong smell that slugs hate. You can use these plants or herbs in your garden to then make a boundary with them, so slugs do not cross over.
The herbs that slugs do not like are lavender and rosemary. Both of these herbs have powerful fragrant scents which keep slugs away.
While humans love the smell of coffee, slugs beg to differ. Coffee grounds have a strong scent that drives slugs away. You can sprinkle some coffee grounds on the soil or create a coffee spray using water.
Coffee grounds are a cheap way to not only repel slugs but also provide nourishment to your soil.
One of the reasons why slugs are attracted to gardens is because of moisture and food. Slugs rely heavily on moisture because it helps them produce slime. In addition to moisture, gardens provide slugs with plenty of hiding places from the sun.
Some smells attract slugs, and you can use them to your advantage to trap them. For instance, slugs like the smell of citrus, so you can use citrus rinds in the soil to attract them. After they collect near the citrus rinds, you can dispose of the slugs.
Other smells which slug-like are of beer and plants like marigolds.
On the contrary, some smells repel slugs like pet hair, coffee grounds and herbs like rosemary and lavender.
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Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden