Slugs are pests that will eat almost anything that they can get their mouths on in your garden. But they are not safe from predators by any means, so let’s look at what eats slugs.
There are many predators who will eat slugs. Some animals that eat slugs include frogs, birds, hedgehogs and beetles.
What Eats Slugs in the Garden?
Many animals that you may commonly find in your garden will quite happily eat the slugs that may be infesting your plants. This is good because if you plant the right things, you can attract these creatures to your garden to control your slug population.
So what eats slugs in the garden?
Do Beetles Eat Slugs?
There are some specific species of beetles that will quite happily eat slugs. Whilst it may be tempting for people to get rid of beetles, they are actually very beneficial in your garden.
They help with your plants by eating a variety of pests, including slugs.
Do Frogs Eat Slugs?
If you have a small area of water in your garden like a tiny pond, great! You are likely to attract frogs, and there are several frogs and toad, species that eat slugs and other insect pests.
They are great to have around in your garden, and you should encourage them by making sure that any water areas you do have are suitable for frogs to visit.
The bigger the frog (or toad) the more slugs (and even snails) they’ll eat.
Do Birds Eat Slugs?
Not all birds will eat slugs, but some of the slightly bigger species, like thrushes, will do. Adding small things such as birdhouses or bird baths can easily attract these species to your garden, and then the slugs will make a great source of food for them.
What Birds Eat Slugs?
Thankfully, there are a number of common garden birds that will eat slugs. These include robins, magpies, starlings, blackbirds, gulls, jays and owls.
All these birds will eat slugs as part of a balanced diet where they will also eat other insect and plant matter as well as nuts and seeds, where possible.
Do Hedgehogs Eat Slugs?
Hedgehogs are becoming more and more vulnerable as the years go by. Having a safe space for them in your garden is really helpful for this species. They are fascinating little creatures and will quite happily eat many of the slugs you have in your garden.
Whilst having these creatures in your garden will help to keep the slug levels to a minimum, you may need to take some more serious measures if you have a particularly bad slug infestation.
Hedgehogs might eat slugs but it’s hard to rely on them. Unfortunately, spotting a hedgehog in your garden is now a rarity.
Do Slow Worms Eat Slugs?
Slow worms are inquisitive animals. They are not snakes but are, in fact, legless lizards. These reptiles are one of the few species of lizards that are native to the UK, and one part of their diet is slugs.
These lizards can often be found in woodland areas.
Do Foxes Eat Slugs?
With foxes being the size they are, you’d expect them to eat larger prey than a measly slug like a rabbit or bird. But this isn’t always the case.
Foxes are omnivores and will dine on any food they can get hold of. Whether that’s the luxury of a bird or a slug. Yes, foxes will and do eat slugs regularly as part of their varied diet.
Do Lizards Eat Slugs?
We’ve already covered slow worms in this article (which are a type of legless lizard). If you’re lucky enough to live in warmer parts of the country then perhaps you’re wondering if lizards would eat slugs up?
Well, yes, lizards do eat slugs. This does come down to the particular species of slug but there are plenty who will demolish a slug.
Do Moles Eat Slugs?
If you’ve got moles in your garden (causing havoc no less) then perhaps there is finally a benefit to moles in the garden… They eat slugs!
A mole’s main diet will consist of worms and larvae but they will sometimes feast on slugs if that’s the food they come across when digging around.
There are, however, better slug predators to consider.
Do Mice Eat Slugs?
Although some people would shriek at the sight of a mouse running around the garden, they’re not rats and can be hugely beneficial to your garden so don’t panic.
Mice will actually eat a range of garden pests, one of those being slugs (and snails).
Do Newts Eat Slugs?
Newts are not reptiles but instead amphibians. There are three different species of newts that you can find in the UK, and in the case of all three species, one of the main components of their diet on land is slugs.
All 3 species of newt found in the UK will eat slugs.
Will Pets Eat Slugs?
If you have pets, worrying about them eating things they find in the garden is natural. It is good to be aware of what your pets may try to eat and what is bad for them.
Can Dogs Eat Slugs?
Dogs, as you may know, if you have one, will eat or try to eat almost anything that seems remotely appetising in their eyes. This includes slugs.
However, slugs are very harmful if they are consumed so you need to keep an eye on your pet, especially if your garden currently has an infestation of slugs.
The reason they are so harmful is that they contain parasites that can be transmitted to dogs. In the worst cases, they can transmit lungworm to your pet which is a fatal disease. It can cause respiratory problems and haemorrhaging inside your pet.
It is incredibly painful and harmful and can lead to death in some cases. So, whilst it may not be anything serious, you should always take your pet to a vet to be safe if you think they have eaten a slug.
Can Cats Eat Slugs?
Similar to dogs, cats can also be exposed to lungworm if they accidentally consume a slug. This means that like with your dog, you should take your cat to a vet to be checked out if you think that they have eaten a slug.
It is a bit more difficult to keep your eye on what your cat eats as they are roamers. There are symptoms of lungworm which include lethargy, difficulty breathing and rapid weight loss.
If you see these signs, then you should take your cat to a vet as soon as you can so that the cause can be identified and treated.
Garden wildlife such as beetles, songbirds, frogs and hedgehogs will commonly eat slugs and are beneficial to attract to your garden.
Other wildlife that you may see in woodland areas that eat slugs include slow worms and newts.
It is possible that your pet may accidentally swallow a slug. If you think that they have swallowed a slug take them to the vet immediately as they have a risk of being exposed to lungworm if they have eaten a slug.
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