Do Nematodes Kill Slugs?

Slugs are a recurring problem in most gardens. These slimy pests make their way into gardens and can harm your plants. But before you reach for the slug pellets to kill them, maybe consider nematodes instead! But, do nematodes kill slugs as slug pellets will?

Yes, nematodes do kill slugs and are a far better option than using slug pellets in the garden. Nematodes will also kill snails.

In recent years many people have been considering shifting from using slug pellets to other ways which will not impact their plants negatively.

One way to do this is to use nematodes. These are roundworms that are found in soil. These can be used to kill slugs and other garden pests.

What Kind of Nematodes Kill Slugs

As aforementioned, slugs can be a problem in gardens. One effective way to deal with the slug population in your garden is by introducing nematodes.

The parasitic slug nematode known as Phasmarhabditis Hermaprodita has been commercialised and is used in gardens to fight slugs. 

Can Nematodes Get Rid of Slugs?

Many people are unaware of nematodes and the benefits they have for gardeners. These are roundworms that are usually found in the soil. Nematodes can be used to get rid of slugs by killing them.

These worms release bacteria in their gut, killing slugs and insects in just one or two days. 

Nematodes work by entering the slug’s body through the mouth, anus, and any other openings. They will take over the body and release bacteria. Once the bacteria is released, it multiplies and causes death due to blood poisoning.

The bacteria feed on the tissue of slugs for nutrition. After consuming all the food sources, the nematodes will leave the body and search for a new host.

Will Nematodes Kill Slugs and Snails?

Yes, nematodes will kill both slugs and snails. One of the best things you can do for your garden is to use nematodes. These roundworms are beneficial to control the slug and snail population.

Nematodes work by entering the snail and slug bodies through their openings, eventually taking them over. Then, the nematodes will release bacteria which decomposes these animals from the inside and cause them to die. 

If you have slugs and snails in your garden, it would be best to use nematodes to kill them. 

How to Use Nematodes in the Garden

It is important to know how to use nematodes correctly so you can effectively get rid of slugs or any insects in your garden.

When you buy nematodes, it will help if you follow the instructions and look at the package. There are some measurements on the back for you to follow.

If there are no measurements on the pack, you can mix one gallon of water with one teaspoon of nematodes. After you are done making the mix, it is time to apply it to your garden. You can drench any spots where you find pests.

Aftercare is quite important when it comes to nematodes. You need to keep the soil moist for some weeks to allow the nematodes to move. 

Nematodes are quite sensitive to light, so you should never apply the mix under direct sunlight. Applying nematodes during the evening or on a cloudy day is best. In addition, you must ensure that you do not apply nematodes on edible plants, as people with weak immune systems can be affected.

Will Nematodes Kill Other Insects?

A great thing about using nematodes in your garden is that you can use them to kill other pests that may cause harm. Here are a few insects you can get rid of by using nematodes:

Vine Weevils 

Vine weevils are small insects that are found in gardens. Fortunately, you do not have to worry about vine weevils as you can use nematodes to kill them. 

Leather Jackets 

Leather jackets are harmful to gardens as they damage the lawn grassroots. These are larvae of daddy longlegs and crane fly.

It is best to use nematodes when adult insects are laying eggs during autumn. This will prevent the next generation from being born, protecting your garden.


Different kinds of flies may visit your garden, including carrot root fly, fruit fly, gooseberry sawfly, and onion fly.

You can make a spray using nematodes and spray any fly you spot. In addition, you can use the nematode spray as a treatment when you are planting to avoid pests from causing harm.

Chafer Grubs 

You can tell that you have chafer grubs in your garden if you spot any patches. These are holes dug by birds and other animals who look for chafer bugs.

This will not give your garden a good look. Luckily, you can get rid of these grubs by using nematodes during August and September, when the young grubs come out.


Nematodes are a great way to kill slugs if dealing with an infestation. Many people usually resort to using slug pellets. However, nematodes are safe to use and effective against slugs. Nematodes are roundworms found in the soil.

These worms will enter the slug’s body through openings and release bacteria that eat them from the inside, killing them

Besides slugs, nematodes can also kill other insects such as ants, chafer grubs, and flies. You can make a mix using nematodes and drench any problem areas. In addition, you can also spray directly on insects. 

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