Get Rid of Slugs in the House

Eliminate Slugs Inside the House

Slugs in the house can drive you absolutely crazy. Their trails usually appear overnight across floors, cabinets and carpets – even up the walls. And just ask a child who has stepped on one oozing its way across the kitchen floor – that slime sticks like glue! But you can stop them. Follow the steps below to get rid of every slug in your house.

An older home can be especially attractive to slugs and snails – there are plenty of cracks and crevices and underneath it’s dark, cool and often moist.

From our friend Collin: “We live in an old farmhouse in the heart of a rainy, wet valley. It’s beautiful and green but there are slugs everywhere. We’ve learned to deal with them outside but when they started to appear in the kitchen we (meaning my wife) had a problem.”

Kim (a city girl who used to live on the 37th floor in downtown Chicago): “These enormous slugs would show up, usually in the morning, or we would see their slimy trails around the cat food dish – it was disgusting! I would die if someone else saw them! But then Collin followed their trails and sealed every hole. It only took a couple of hours but we haven’t seen a slug inside for months – it’s brilliant!”

Why are they attracted?

Slugs have a good sense of smell and are often attracted to pet food, kitchens or pantries. Just try leaving the dog’s food on an outdoor porch on a rainy spring night – if slugs are in the neighborhood they’ll come running! (So to speak)

How do they get in?

Having no bones, or even the hard shell of an insect, means that slugs can squeeze through amazingly tiny cracks. They can also climb a vertical surface and even travel upside-down. Common entry points include the spaces under doors, holes drilled in the floor for water or gas pipes, joints along walls, cut-outs for furnace and dryer ducts and holes for electrical wiring.

This slug has just squeezed through a crack about half as large as itself

How to stop every slimy, slithering slug and keep them OUT


  • Use a torch/flashlight in a darkened room to spot the dried trails from last nights’ invasion then follow them back to any entry points.
  • Check for joints, holes and gaps along walls, around doors, pipes, vents and under cabinets.
  • Seal gaps using expanding foam for larger gaps or silicone sealant for smaller cracks.
  • Pellets in a dish under the fridge won’t increase the number of slugs coming in – there are already enough delicious smells in your house for any slug to investigate.
  • Arm yourself with the supplies below and go forth to conquer the slimy menace!

Sealing cracks

For larger gaps we highly recommend polyurethane foam in a can. This material expands as it cures and fills up every void with a durable, pest-proof, waterproof barrier. Also seals out the winter wind, noise and pesky rodents. Pay particular attention around any pipes or ducting, joints and spaces around doors or the edges of baseboard trim.

Wear gloves and old clothes when using foam because it will stick to absolutely everything including your hands, hair, clothes, children and passing motorists. But seriously, there is absolutely no better, easier way to fill large gaps than with expanding foam. Put down newspapers or plastic sheeting and carry a rag to catch any foam oozing out of the nozzle. Hardened foam will block the nozzle so it’s best to use up the can while it’s fresh.

After the foam hardens you can easily trim off any excess with a serrated knife or hack saw blade. In a visible location it can then be plastered over or painted. A flexible nozzle is supplied with the can.

Copper tape

We really wish we could recommend this product but our experience and tests have shown that copper tape is just not as effective as we would like. Copper tape seems like an ideal solution – it lasts a long time and studies show that in some situations it works. But in real life it just doesn’t work very well – most of the time slugs and snails will slide right across without much hesitation. Check out these videos at one of our favorite garden sites. There are thousands of websites that will try and sell you this product but it just doesn’t work well enough for us to recommend it.


For smaller gaps (anything smaller than a pencil), silicone sealant works better than foam. Just squeeze a bit in any suspicious holes and fill up any spaces between floor and wall, around door trim, baseboards or the joints between timbers. Sealant in a squeeze tube is much easier to use in tight spaces than a large cartridge and gun.

Slug bait

Pellets applied where slugs are likely to hide is the very best way to control slugs and snails. The new generation of slug baits is effective, tasty to slugs and best of all not toxic to children, pets and wildlife. Baits developed in the last few years are based on iron phosphate, a compound not really toxic to anything except slugs and snails. Once they eat this bait slugs will stop feeding and then crawl away to die a few days later.

Old-style baits contain metaldehyde, a chemical toxic to dogs, cats, wildlife and people. Dogs will seek out bait pellets even if scattered across the garden. Some metaldehyde baits are coated with ‘animal repellent’ – this is an improvement but we have all seen the things a dog will eat – to us it’s just not worth the risk. Please buy baits formulated only with iron phosphate and labeled “pet and wildlife safe”. The dogs, cats, hedgehogs, snakes, birds, toads and children will thank you!

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Door Seals

Of course a substantial gap under any exterior door means that slugs can waltz right in looking for a tasty meal. This seal may look a little odd but it does the job and it’s easy to install – just slide it under the door. It’s not recommended over carpet but a few strips of duct tape on the bottom will help it to slide smoothly. Cuts down on draughts/drafts and noise too! Easily cut to size, the inner and outer sections can even be trimmed to different lengths.

Eliminate those hiding spots!

Control the slugs outside and not as many will come inside. Try our 6 step plan to get rid of slugs around your house and garden.

Other methods

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of a single-celled algae called the diatom. Millions of these tiny fossils are collected over time and form deposits similar to limestone. This material can be sprinkled directly on slugs or used as a barrier. If you live in a dry environment diatomaceous earth is a very effective slug and insect killer. However, diatomaceous earth is not effective once it gets wet so most people will have better luck using one of the methods above.


Ducks are fabulous slug eaters and will seek out these tasty morsels all around your garden. They will also happily eat your lettuce seedlings so keep them fenced out until plants are larger. Plus, is there anything cuter than baby ducks? OK, maybe kittens…


Salt will definitely kill slugs and a band of salt across a doorway will keep them out but we don’t recommend this method. Salt will also kill nearby plants and constantly stepping over a line of salt just doesn’t seem practical. In addition, salt poured on a slug will create an orange slimy mess and it just seems cruel.

Gardening in the Pacific Northwest?

Nothing says cool, damp and sluggy like the Pacific Northwest. This area is famous for its native resident, and mascot of the University of California at Santa Cruz, the Pacific Banana Slug. This lowly, (wink wink) but beloved gastropod, is the second largest terrestrial slug in the world, sometimes growing to nearly 10″ (25 cm) long.

Ranging from nearly black (like that week old banana you forgot in the fruit bowl) through bright yellow to nearly white depending on moisture, light exposure and diet. many are a dull yellow with blackish spots.

In their rainforest home Banana slugs perform the valuable function of consuming leaves, animal waste, and dead plant material. Excreting a rich nitrogen fertilizer slugs contribute to the nutrient cycle of the forest. Slugs themselves are sometimes eaten by raccoons, snakes waterfowl and salamanders.

Banana slugs are not usually a problem in the garden, preferring the forest floor instead. Of course, there are many species of slugs who would love nothing better than to mow down your recently planted seedlings. If you garden in the Pacific Northwest we can highly recommend our friends at My Northwest Garden – they are good people dedicated to helping you grow a fabulous garden. Tell them we said “Hi”.

Thanks for Helping!

If you buy something by clicking on one of our links we get a few pennies from Amazon to put into more research on slugs and snails. It doesn’t change the price for you at all but helps us a bit. Fortunately, slugs aren’t picky so we don’t need that expensive ‘Royal Complete Duck & Rabbit Senior Slug Mix’

Thanks again, we really appreciate the support!

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How to deal with a slug infestation in the house

Read on to find out why you have slugs in the house and how to get rid of them.

Updated 8 April 2020


Key steps

  • Follow slug trails in your house to find entry points.
  • Use expanding foam to fill larger cracks.
  • Use a silicone sealant to fill smaller cracks.

Finding slug trails in your house or your kitchen? Though it might seem strange, a slug infestation in the house is fairly common. This article will explain why slugs are entering your home and offer tips on keeping your slimy new friends out of the house. If it’s not slugs but woodlice creeping around your home, click here to find out how to get rid of them, too!

Use a torch to follow the slug trails in your house, and seal off their entrances. Next, use Cif to clean up the trails and leave the surfaces sparkling.


Why do slugs come inside?

If you’re wondering why you keep finding slugs in the house, it’s because they have an amazing sense of smell. They may be attracted to food in your kitchen, pantry or even pet food.

Where do slugs come from?

Slugs have no bones. In fact, they don’t even have a hard shell like an insect. This means they are capable of squeezing through tiny cracks up to half its size. They can also travel up vertical walls and surfaces and upside down. This allows them to get in through holes drilled for water, gas pipes, electric wiring, joints along walls, dryer ducts and more.

How to prevent slugs in your house

  1. If you’ve found slugs in kitchen cupboards or trails on pantry shelves, you can use these tips to get rid of slugs in the house and prevent a future slug infestation.
  2. Wear old clothes and gloves when doing this type of work.
  3. Follow the slug trails to find their entry points. Check joints, holes and gaps along walls, door frames, pipes and under cabinets.
  4. Keep children and pets out of the way when filling the holes.
  5. Place plastic tarpaulin, old newspapers or an old sheet below the area you are working.
  6. Use an old rag to catch any excess filler which might ooze out of the nozzle as you work.
  7. For larger cracks, use expanding foam.
  • You can buy polyurethane foam in a can, which makes it easier to use.
  • This won’t just keep out slugs; it keeps out the wind, noise and rodents, too!
  • Use up the can while it is fresh as once it begins to harden, it will block the nozzle.
  • Once the foam has hardened in the crack, trim off any excess with a serrated knife or hack saw.
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If the entry point is a smaller crack or opening, use silicone sealant.

  • Purchase a squeeze tube as this will be much easier to use.
  • Simply squeeze a bit of sealant into any holes you find where slugs can enter.
  • You can also use it to fill in spaces between floorboards, door frames and timber joints.

How to get rid of slugs in your house

Once you’ve sealed their entrances, you’ll want to get rid of any slugs which are already in your house. Here are a couple of tips for getting rid of these slimy pests.

  • Use slug bait. These are a great way to get snails and slugs alike to come out of their hiding places so you can get rid of them. Most baits are developed to be tasty to slugs and non-toxic to pets and children, but always check the manufacturer’s details on the label.
  • Lay out some salt.Salt is an easy way to kill off slugs, but it isn’t the most humane way of getting rid of them! Be aware if you are laying out a line of salt it could also affect nearby plants.

With these top tips you will not only be able to get rid of slugs but also prevent a future slug infestation in your house.

How to get rid of slugs on cabbage, pepper and other vegetables, as well as berries?

In high season, gardeners and gardeners have to deal with many different problemsstarting from weeding and removing the ubiquitous weeds and ending with the fight against various pests.

And some of them can be called a disaster, because because of their voracity and insatiability, they able to harm many commercial crops.

One of them is a slug, a clam, whose «diet» includes more than a hundred cultivated plants. He is always willing to eat stalks, buds, leaves and the fruits of many vegetables, so every self-respecting gardener should know: how to get rid of this annoying and unwanted «neighbor.»

general information

The first sign of the presence of slugs in the garden are small holes with traces of silver color appearing on the leaves of vegetable and fruit crops. In nature, there are many types of slugs.

At the same time, these pests give the greatest preference to plants with large juicy leaves, for example, cabbage or beets, eating not only their green part, but also the fruits themselves.

In addition, slugs are very fond of ripe strawberries and strawberries, and even tomatoes and potatoes that are not very attractive for many other pests. You can fight them with chemical and folk remedies.

How to fight?

On cabbage

Cabbage slugs and caterpillars can be a real disaster for the gardener. Cabbage pests can be viewed on the photo. So, slugs on cabbage: how to deal with them? You can poison them such ways:

  1. Metaldehyde. The granules of this pesticide must be scattered in the beds with vegetables and berry bushes. Slugs eat it and soon die from acute intestinal poisoning. This tool is considered the most effective.
  2. Slaked lime and copper sulfate in powder form. After watering or rain they pollinate the cabbage spacing. Caustic substances, hitting the clam’s belly, cause severe burns on his tender skin, causing the slug to die. Such treatments are best performed during the period of high activity of slugs, falling in the evening.
  3. Oven ash and bleach.
  4. Tobacco dust, etc.

What the slugs look like on cabbage, see photo below.

Folk ways:
How to treat cabbage from slugs?

    Exhausted beer. To do this, near the heads you need to place plastic cups, half filled with beer, dug them into the ground for stability.
    As early as the morning after such an operation, you will see dead pests who regale a frothy drink.

The procedure must be repeated two or three times, and slugs can be safely forgotten until the end of the season;
Rind of grapefruit. In half of the skin, removed from an exotic fruit, make small holes-entrances and place them throughout the site.

The slugs lured in by their pleasant scent will climb into such traps, but they will not be able to get out of them. So in the morning it will be necessary only to collect them and destroy;

  • If cabbage is eaten by slugs: what to do? You can use roofing material, trim boards and pieces of burlap. These traps must be placed on vegetable beds and leave for a day. When the slugs crawl there for the «night», you need to collect them and destroy.
  • On pepper

    Often the slug eats leaves of sweet bell pepper, eating huge holes in them, which causes great damage to plants and negatively affects their development and yield. Thus, the slugs on the peppers cause great damage to the gardener.

    Protection is as follows:

    1. Preparations based on metaldehyde («Thunderstorm», «Meta»). Such a «treat» will attract the mollusks and lead them to inevitable death. In addition, metaldehyde-based chemicals have low toxicity. and do not harm the environment, including earthworms that inhabit the beds.
    2. Superphosphate. To achieve the desired effect, the peppers should be powdered with this fertilizer, taking it at a rate of 30-40 mg / m3.

    Slugs on pepper: how to deal with them in folk ways?

    • A solution of white vinegar. To prepare the working solution is taken ½ cup of vinegar per 10-liter bucket of water. Spray the plants themselves and the soil beneath them. It is best to do this in the evening when the pests go to feed;
    • Boiling water. The soft, tender body of slugs is very afraid of fever. Moreover, even 40 degrees Celsius that are harmless to many plants can be destructive for them. So, in order to remove the slugs from bell peppers, they simply need to be poured with water brought to a temperature of +60 degrees Celsius;
    • Eggshell. Another good way to get rid of the «annoying neighbor» in our garden: scatter broken eggshells on the beds, the sharp edges of which injure the delicate skin of mollusks, leaving deep cuts on it. Thus, they will be destroyed in a short time.
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    On cucumbers

    One of the most popular crops, grown on many summer cottages are cucumbers. However, their slugs are not avoided, spoiling the quantity and quality of the future harvest. In most cases, they choose young fruits, hence the question arises: How to protect yourself from slugs on young cucumbers?

    And they feel completely at ease not only in the open field, but also in greenhouses and greenhouses.

    That is, gardeners are faced with a rather serious problem: how to preserve and protect vegetables, to get a good crop of cucumbers in the shortest possible time?

    This requires the following measures:

    1. Regular inspection of plants and cleanliness in the greenhouse. It should not contain plant waste, pieces of covering material and other debris. Thus, it is possible to prevent the appearance of slugs and other pests in it.
    2. The construction of obstacles to the advancement of mollusks. A good option: clean river sand, which will make their movements even slower and more difficult.
    3. Creating shelter traps from old rags, burdocks, boards and pieces of cardboard.

    In difficult cases, chemical treatment is recommended, with using preparations with metaldehyde.

    On tomatoes

    Tomatoes are also one of the favorite «dishes» of slugs, which they eat with great appetite and hunting.

    Therefore, the most important task of any gardener is the prompt and competent decision of the question: How to remove these unpleasant creatures from your site?

    You can do this as follows:

    • spreading dried nettles under tomato plants, which these pests fear like fire. Such a simple manipulation will discourage them from trying to «attempt» on these plants;
    • making for the slugs «obstacle strip» of ash and slaked lime;
    • watering garden crops infusion of garlic or onions, which the mollusks cannot bear «to the spirit»;
    • prevent thickening landings. The optimal landing scheme: 60×70 and 70×70 cm.

    On potatoes

    The ubiquitous and almost omnivorous slugs do not bypass the side and another vegetable, enjoying great love and respect of many gardeners. This is, of course, potatoes, foliage and tubers which they eat, causing great harm to plants.

    That is, it is very important to know how to protect this agricultural crop and, if necessary, quickly remove from it a voracious pest.

    To remove a slug on potatoes, you can use one of the simple but effective ways, for example:

    1. Sprinkle potato tops with tincture of wormwood.
    2. Placing between bushes leaves and roots of horseradish, which will scare away the pests.
    3. Scattered on the beds finely crushed river shells.

    When fighting a shellfish in this way, it’s necessary to keep an eye on so that in the “rough obstacle” no loopholes were formed, along which the pest can easily penetrate to potatoes and other plants.

    On strawberry

    If slug treats potatoes and tomatoes rather cool and eats them in fairly rare cases, he eats juicy, ripe strawberries with great pleasure, see the photo on the right.

    Often on the pitted and deformed fruits, The pests that appeared on the beds after a night hunt are familiar enough to almost every gardener.

    What to do in such cases? Of course, fight. Moreover, there are very simple ways that allow you to get rid of slugs on strawberries quickly and efficiently.

    • land mulching between berry bushes with conifer needles (best spruce). Despite their voracity, these mollusks will not risk getting to them by the prickly «pine carpet» and your landing will be safe;
    • seating around the perimeter of strawberry beds and in the center of parsley, which is an excellent deterrent to the pest;
    • processing of berry bushes with a strong solution of table salt.

    On cherry

    Fight Cherry Slugs You can use the so-called «sweet traps» made from jars or boxes of sour cream or yogurt, filled with kvass, fruit juice or juice, and fixed around the trunk of a tree.

    Climbing into such traps they can’t get out of there so they will only need to collect and destroy. Update traps need to do every day, in the morning.

    Useful tips

    The favorite habitat of slugs are soils with strong moisture, overgrown with thick grass in which they hide from the sun’s rays. So, their appearance in the garden can be prevented by diverting standing water from the backyard plot and removing excess vegetation from it.

    That is, the best prevention of combating these pests will be regular weeding and mowing grass on the edges of the site. It is also necessary to clean household and construction debris into it in a timely manner, since slugs like to settle on its heaps.

    Good help in the fight against annoying clams their natural enemies can render: animals eating them with great pleasure.

    Want to know how to get slugs out of the lot once and for all? Settle a hedgehog, gray or green toads on it, and this question will be solved by itself.

    In addition, garden crops can be planted with collecting plants that the pest does not like. These include mint, wormwood, lemon balm and tansy.


    In a word, fight with slugs on the plotor in the basement, it will be sufficiently effective provided regular and high-quality care for him.

    If the «cunning villain» still managed to penetrate your garden, you can get rid of him without much difficulty with one of the popular methods of the people.

    Almost all of them are quite simple, safe and effective. Well, in severely neglected cases, you can use chemicals that contain metaldehyde. And you can forget about unpleasant neighbors once and for all.

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