Garden Protection

Solutions to invasive slugs

Its been a wonderfully warm spring so far in Europe, but beware the rains will come and with the moisture will come the invasive foreign slugs.


They will eat and destroy many of our favourite plants, the strawberrys, lettuce, tomatoes, basilikum, its all at risk when these invasive creatures are about.


The predator

The type of slug which seems to be causing the most damage is the orange slug pictured above, its known as the spanish slug or lusitania slug, (Arion vulgarise).


it's 7 - 15 cm long, and feeds on all our favourite veg and animal carcasses.


Native to Northern Spain and spreads in vegetable deliveries throughout Europe & the UK in the past 20 years.


The slugs lay hundreds of eggs, creating attacking colonies and can travel up to 50 meters in 1 night.


So what to do to get rid of these pests in an earth friendly ecological way?



Using slug pellets, is out of the question, as the poison can also pollute the fruit, herbs and vegetables ending up on our dinner table. Poisonous slug pellets are also deadly to hedghogs and birds.


Here's a list of environment friendly slug solutions:

  •  Banish any hiding places, stacks of pots, boxes, plastic sacks, anything left untidily about, becomes a safe haven for slugs, so give the garden and outdoor areas a good clean up.
  •  Slug collection, have a walk around the garden just after dusk  with a torch and collect as many slugs as possible, simply put them in a jar and walk to some waste ground or fields and set them free.     
  • Put down some artificial hiding for the slugs to shelter during the daytime such as wooden planks on the ground, or a sheet of plastic covered with leaves, the slugs will slither under the traps before the sunrise, and morning collection is then possible. 
  •  Earth friendly slug barriers... eggshells can be cleaned dried and crushed, and act as great defensive walls  constructed around the veg, also try a moat of ash mixed with cooking salt around the veg, its all a bit of a mess about but well worth it in the end.
  •  Self adhesive copper tape is also available on amazon,  the copper tape actually reacts with the slugs slime resulting in a mild electric shock.
  •  Sandpaper, create your own anti slug barriers, by cutting a piece of sandpaper into strips wrapping them around the base of plant pots to create a barrier. or stick the strips of sandpaper to long pieces of wood and lay them on the ground around the vegetable patch to create a long anti slug wall.
  • Stand plant pots containing flowers and herbs on steel wool.
  • Pine needles, fir tree needles and spruce and tannen tree needles are all great for making a prickly defensive wall system, around the vegetables.

Good luck keeping the garden slug free, its a good thing to work with life, as the old saying goes,  `the more that are killed,the more will come´.


Peter Carvello,

April 2024