‘Inexpensive and easy’ way to avoid slugs causing ‘devastation’ in gardens – ‘traps them’

Monty Don shares ways to stop slugs eating young plants

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There’s nothing worse than spending time and effort perfecting the garden, only for stunning flowers and plants to get munched by slugs. If you don’t like the idea of putting down pesticides, try these natural methods to persuade the pests to go elsewhere. With May still forecasting showers, it’s likely gardeners will spot slugs slithering around their gardens.

Gardening experts at The English Garden have shared their top ways to get rid of slugs while protecting plants.

They said: “To avoid slugs causing devastation in your garden, one inexpensive and easy way to get rid of slugs is a beer trap.

“Create one by burying half a container near vulnerable plants and half filling it with beer.”

Alternatively, gardeners can look out for purpose-made beer traps.

The experts continued: “The scent of the beer will lure slugs, which then fall in and traps them so they get stuck. 

“Keep the rim of the container two to three centimetres above the ground to avoid catching slug-eating ground beetles.”

Slugs are attracted to the yeasty odours found in beer.

Other traps that can be used are eggshells as slugs are soft-bodied molluscs so “sharp, prickly barriers” are a “great way” to deter them from precious plants.

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The gardening experts suggested: “Use crushed egg shells, pine needles or thorny cuttings to create barriers and recycle unwanted leftovers and foliage.

“Another great material to use is sharp sand.

“Just check whatever you’re using won’t alter the soil quality.

“Salt can also be used on pesky slugs to kill them, but avoid sprinkling it too much as plants are also adversely affected by an excess of salt. 

“It’s therefore best used when far away from valuable plants.”

When wondering how to get rid of slugs, a “gentle method” is to use plants which “deter them” and act as a “natural pesticide”, according to the gardening pros.

They said: “This way, you can keep slugs at bay without chemicals. 

“Astrantia gives off a scent that repels slugs. 

“Other plants which deter slugs include wormwood, rue, fennel, anise and rosemary.”

Slugs will seek out cover under bricks, garden furniture and large logs.

So it can be useful to remove potential slug shelters to expose them to natural predators.

The gardening gurus explained: “By making your garden an unsuitable habitat for slugs to survive in, the problem will naturally decline. 

“Encourage natural predators such as toads, newts, hedgehogs and song thrushes to take care of the problem.”

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