Want to get rid of slugs and stop insects from eating your plants?
As a gardener, there’s nothing more frustrating than discovering that slugs, snails, bugs, and other insect pests are destroying your plants.
And to make things worse, using toxic pesticides to get rid of slugs and bugs will give you more problems than benefits in the long run.
So, it’s not surprising that many gardeners prefer organic alternatives instead, like natural bug repellents and slug killers.
Unlike harsh chemicals, natural bug repellents won’t cause health risks, kill beneficial insects, or affect the environment!
If you’d like to learn how to get rid of bugs and slugs in your garden without using pesticides, keep reading to find the best natural slug repellents and organic bug killers to protect your plants from being eaten!
15 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Slugs and Bugs Naturally
While it might be tempting to use pesticides to kill bugs and slugs, you don’t need to rely on toxic chemicals for pest control.
Fortunately, there are many effective ways to get rid of slugs and bugs naturally!
Here are some of the best natural bug repellents and slug killers:
Use Clean and Organic Soil
The first thing you should do to keep bugs and slugs away is to use soil rich in organic matter.
If your plants are healthy, they will be less likely to be affected by garden insect pests.
You should also pull out weak plants because they’ll be more susceptible to pest attacks and pass the problem on to healthy plants.
Attract Beneficial Insects
Since you shouldn’t really be using synthetic pesticides in your garden, you could get some help from beneficial insects to get rid of bugs on plants organically.
You can create an attractive habitat for good bugs, like ladybirds, green lacewings, praying mantises, and others.
Good bugs are safer than chemicals and as effective as the natural bug repellents we’ll mention in a moment.
Some of them can be purchased, but you’ll still need to establish the right conditions in your garden for them.
It’s important to select native species that would be there anyway, you don’t want to cause more problems in your garden!
Allow Natural Predators to Thrive
Want to keep the slug population down? Natural predators can help you.
The most eco-friendly and natural way to get rid of slugs is to encourage native predators to inhabit your garden.
Some natural slug killers include chickens, ducks, hedgehogs, beetles, birds, toads, frogs, and others.
Make sure to remove potential slug shelters, like large logs and furniture. This way, it will be easier for natural slug killers to find them.
Opt for Plants that Slugs and Bugs Hate
A natural way to get rid of slugs and bugs is to select a few plants they hate and plant them near the ones they love.
This is also known as “companion planting”.
Additionally, you can plant these natural bug repellents in areas where slugs and insect pests are persistent in your garden.
Usually, fragrant plants act as natural pesticides, so they can help you keep slugs and bugs at bay.
For instance, garden slugs dislike chives, garlic, fennel, foxgloves, rosemary, and geranium.
Many aromatic herbs, like mint, fennel, basil, lemongrass, and citronella are great natural bug repellents too.
Employ Grapefruit Halves
Grapefruit halves can be a natural solution to catch slugs and get rid of them.
Once you’ve eaten your grapefruit halves, don’t throw the empty peels away.
Place them open side down near affected plants to attract snails and slugs.
The result: Slugs and other garden pests will take cover in the empty shells.
Now that you know they will be there, what can you do next?
Find the hiding slugs and feed them to the birds the next morning!
Alternatively, you can lay down a damp newspaper on a hot day.
This will also make it easier to collect and get rid of garden slugs at the end of the day.
Make a Natural Bug Repellent with Vinegar
Using vinegar to make a natural pesticide can help you get rid of bugs on plants organically.
You just need to mix 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of liquid soap with 3 cups of water. Then, add this natural bug repellent to a spray bottle.
Once you have your natural bug repellent, spray this solution onto affected plants to keep bugs away.
This natural method to control bugs can kill or repel fruit flies, aphids, caterpillars, stink bugs, and other garden insect pests.
Sprinkle Sand Around Plants
A natural way to get rid of slugs without killing or harming them is to sprinkle sand or gravel around your plants.
This easy solution will make it harder for the slugs to reach and attack your plants.
Besides, this natural slug repellent will keep your garden free from slug damage while helping your soil retain moisture!
Use Neem Oil
Neem oil is one of the most effective natural bug repellents you can use.
This natural alternative to pesticides can repel or kill bugs, such as caterpillars, squash bugs, leaf miners, mealybugs, beetles, aphids, and many others.
To make this natural bug repellent, fill a spray bottle with warm water, and add 3 teaspoons of neem oil and 1 teaspoon of Castile soap.
Shake well and spray your natural bug repellent onto affected plants!
Use Broken Eggshells
Another natural repellent to prevent slug damage is to use broken eggshells to create barriers around some of your plants.
Since slugs and snails are soft-bodied molluscs, the sharp edges of the crushed eggshells will stop them from eating your plants.
This organic method will help you get rid of slugs and improve your soil’s calcium levels over time!
Sprinkle Salt on Slugs
If you don’t mind killing slugs, you can sprinkle table salt on these garden pests.
Salt draws the water out of their skin, so slugs and snails will die within minutes of dehydration.
As a result, salt acts as a natural slug killer.
Even though this is a natural way to get rid of garden slugs, keep in mind that sprinkling too much salt can affect your garden soil and plants too.
So, make sure to use this natural slug repellent far away from your plants.
Make Homemade Garlic Slug Repellent Spray
Since garlic has a strong smell, it’s a wonderful ingredient to make organic and homemade slug spray.
Here’s an easy way to make a natural bug repellent with garlic:
- Several cloves of garlic (around 10 cloves)
- 1 quart (4 cups) of water
- A blender or food processor
- A fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- A spray bottle
1. Prepare the garlic: Peel and crush or chop the garlic cloves to release their oils and make them easier to blend.
2. Blend the garlic: Place the crushed garlic into a blender or food processor.
3. Add water: Pour the water into the blender with the garlic.
4. Blend: Blend the mixture on high speed for about 1-2 minutes until you have a well-mixed, pulpy consistency.
5. Strain: Place a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth over a bowl or pitcher and pour the garlic mixture through it. This will help separate the liquid garlic extract from any solid particles.
6. Dilute: Transfer the strained garlic extract into a clean container, and dilute it with more water. A common dilution ratio is 1 part garlic extract to 10 parts water, but you can adjust this based on the potency you desire.
7. Mix well: Stir or shake the diluted mixture thoroughly to ensure it’s well-mixed.
8. Fill the spray bottle: Carefully pour the garlic spray into a clean spray bottle. Use a funnel if needed to avoid spills.
9. Store: Store any leftover garlic spray in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, for future use. Label the bottle to avoid confusion.
10. Application: To use the garlic spray, apply it generously to areas in your garden where slugs are active. Spray the soil around plants, the leaves, and any potential hiding spots for slugs.
11. Timing: It’s best to apply the garlic spray in the late afternoon or early evening when slugs are most active. Reapply after rain or heavy watering for continued protection.
By following these steps, you can create your homemade garlic spray to effectively deter slugs from your garden, naturally and organically.
Besides keeping bugs at bay, this natural bug repellent also works as an organic fungicide!
Set Up a Beer Trap
For those who are desperate and want to learn how to get rid of slugs quickly, setting up a beer trap can solve their problem.
To create a beer trap, bury an open container near affected areas and half fill it with beer.
If you want to avoid catching other animals, keep the rim of the container 2-3 cm above the ground.
How do beer traps work?
Slugs are attracted to the scent of the beer, so they will end up slithering into the container.
They will then get stuck and ultimately drown.
Check the trap each morning and get rid of slugs naturally.
Use Soap and Water
Soap and water are the only ingredients you need to make the easiest natural bug repellent.
This homemade and organic insecticide is super effective to protect indoor and outdoor plants because it can kill a wide variety of pests!
To make this easy natural bug repellent, mix 5 tablespoons of liquid soap with a gallon of water.
Then, pour your natural bug repellent into a spray bottle to start repelling and killing bugs!
Lay Down Copper Tape in Your Garden
If you’re wondering how to get rid of slugs in potted plants, wrap some copper tape around the top of the pots, just under the rim and this will keep slugs away!
The reason is simple:
Copper reacts with slug slime, so it will give a mild electric shock to these animals each time they come into contact with the tape.
You can also lay down copper tape around susceptible plants.
Want to keep slugs and snails out of raised beds?
Attach copper tape for a natural slug repellent around the top of the bed’s frame!
Recycle Used Coffee Grounds
While most people love the smell of ground coffee, that’s not the case for slugs, snails, bugs, ants, and other garden insect pests.
You can put coffee grounds around your plants to get rid of slugs and bugs causing problems in your garden.
And to make things better, this natural bug repellent will biodegrade and add organic material to the soil!
Now that you know how to get rid of slugs and bugs naturally, you don’t need to use harsh chemicals to have a healthy garden.
Try some of these organic and natural bug repellents to keep garden insect pests at bay!