Slugs are pests that will eat almost anything they can in your garden. But they are not safe from predators by any means, so let’s look at what eats slugs.
The Quick Answer
What Eats Slugs?
There are many predators who will eat slugs. Some animals that eat slugs include frogs, birds, hedgehogs and beetles.
There are many different predators of slugs, and we can categorise most of them. If you are looking to bring something that may eat slugs, we’ll look at the different types of slug predators and how you may be able to attract them to your garden.
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.
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.
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.
Not all songbirds 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.
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.
What Other Wildlife Eats Slugs?
Animals that can be found in the garden are by no means the only creatures that will eat slugs. More animals can be found in the wild, which will also consume slugs as part of their diet. Here are some examples of wild slug predators.
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.
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.
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. In this case, if you think your pet has eaten a slug, then you should take them to the vets immediately.
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 many 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.
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.
To conclude everything spoken about, here are some key facts about what eats slugs. 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.