You know there are slugs causing havoc in your garden simply from the damage they cause the slime they leave behind. But you often don’t see them because they hide away during the daytime. So, why do slugs come out at night mainly?
Slugs come out during the night because they do not like the sun and prefer moist, damp air which is more prevalent once the sun has set.
During the night, there is moisture in the air and the garden. Slugs rely on moisture for survival and to protect themselves from losing water.
If slugs come out during the day, especially during heatwaves, the sun will dry them out. Slugs come out during the night when there is no sun and protect themselves.
Why are there So Many Slugs at Night?
It can be startling to go into your garden at night to see so many slugs. During the day, they remain hidden and you might even assume the slug problem is over. But that’s not the case.
It’s only when you head into your garden as the evening draws in and the sun sets that you realise the problem is far from over. Slugs love the damp, moist, cool air that is more common in the evening and at night.
But you might not be helping matters!
You know that watering your garden during the hottest time of the day is not good for your plants. If you water your garden towards the end of the day to avoid this heat then you might also be attracting slugs to come out.
By watering the garden at the latter stages of the day, you moisten up the soil for those slugs who are ready and waiting.
Water Your Garden in the Morning
If you want to avoid attracting more slugs to your garden then water your plants in the morning before the sun is too hot. This means that by the nighttime, the ground will have dried up from your water.
Do Slugs Come Out in the Day?
Slugs are most active during the night when there is no sun. Slugs prefer the shade and tend to avoid the sun. During the day, you will not see slugs as they are generally nocturnal animals that hide during daylight hours.
One of the reasons gardens are a slug’s favourite spot is that they have so many hiding places. They hide under plant debris. They hide in between rocks, under logs and in cracks in walls. They hide under pots. They hide anywhere dark, damp and protected.
However, as the seasons change or when the weather turns, slugs may deem it safe to venture out in the daylight hour. If there is a drizzle in the air or low humidity then there is a low risk of the slug drying out so they’ll brave it.
So, do slugs come out in the day? Yes, they will if conditions make it safe for them.
What Causes Slug Infestations
You may wonder what brings slugs to your garden and what causes infestations in the first place?
The problem with slugs is that they are persistant. Once a slug has made a home in your garden, they’ll begin to reproduce and, before you know it, you’ve got an ongoing infestation that’s troublesome to deal with.
Slugs will lay hundreds of eggs, buried in the soil out of your sight, which will hatch into slugs in a fairly short period of time. Then the cycle continues as more and more slugs are produced.
The reason they do this is because they are attracted to your garden. Your job, is to make it less appealing. There are a number of ways you can do this but the two key approaches are to make sure there is a lack of food for them and plenty of predators.
Consider planting more that slugs are less attracted to (we’ve put a list together here). You then need to attract predators such as frogs, toads, birds and hedgehogs which can easily be done by adding some form of water to your garden. If you add water, they will come.
You may never notice slugs in your garden because they often come out during the night. Usually, people can tell that they have slugs in their garden by the damage they cause.
Slugs come out during the night as they are nocturnal and stay away from the sun which can actually lead to them drying out. Slugs prefer environments with high moisture, and therefore, nighttime is the ideal time for them.
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