Some claim that slugs and snails provide a benefit in the garden so better yet try to keep slugs and snails in check with some of the methods over at AllAboutSlugs.com. We received a heavy amount of rain and boy, did the slugs come out!!! As I mentioned rose is one of the magnesium hungry plants. This is a rainy area so there’s no chance of drying the garden out and we can’t have ducks in this townhouse community. 3. Keep Pests At Bay: Keep away pests like slugs, snails and voles at bay by sprinkling Epsom salt over the ground. Of course, if you live in a wet area, you don’t have much of a chance of keeping your garden dry, so you’ll have to go right to these other options. Thanks Marie, I hadn’t heard of oak leaves as a solution before, although I do use them often in my garden. The GH kits sold for aquarium use test for magnesium and calcium. Not all snails and slugs are pests, so if they’re not eating your plants, you don’t need to get rid of them in your organic garden. Epsom salt is often used as a foliar spray for certain plants, like tomatoes. Mix the solution in a large bucket or other container, and then apply the well-dissolved mixture to foliage with a pump sprayer. You get healthier Fruits and Vegetables when you use Epsom salt once every 15 days or atleast once a month. I live in michigan and new at gardening. Before applying Epsom salt, however, it’s a good idea to have your soil tested to determine whether it’s deficient of magnesium. Epsom salt will only contribute the Magnesium part of GH. We had tried all sorts of natural products to repel them but coffee is the one that has been the most effective. I did find a place in my garage where the rats had been dining on snails and found piles of empty pieces of snail shells there! I know they are not the same! Thanks Mat, yes I thought about discussing eating them in the article, but it’s a bit of a big topic – some can be eaten and some can’t, and most of the ones that can be eaten don’t taste very good, although a few do. You may be familiar with using Epsom as fertilizer for your garden plants or even your lawn, but what about Epsom salt insect control? Epsom salt is also said to be useful in preventing slugs and snails from damaging vegetable plants. Encourage Predators to Visit Your Garden. If you run out of vinegar before snails, pick them off the plants or scoop them from under your trap and stomp them. I wouldn’t give up entirely – they’ll still come back in 2 years. I have been using this method for five years and it not only works on slugs but also other bugs that eat my plants. There is a gardener here in Austin that puts out a box of corn meal to feed them so they get big & plump and sells the to restaurants. These work, but you need to be more careful with them: Did I miss any strategies for how to get rid of slugs and snails? Snails/slugs love to live under the trays, so I put the borax underneath. Thanks for the article. I decided to be drastic in an attempt to make them go faster and I removed the shells to my surprise this just made them more sluggish. If that doesn't help, increase the tank's water temperature to between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and add Epsom salt at a rate of 1/8 teaspoon per 5 gallons of water. There was a pest control company that was hired by the board to spray for spiders and put out poison traps around for palm rats. I expect this would only work with the naturally fallen leaves, rather than the green. I’m trying out EM this year for the first time, and will let you know how it all goes, at the end of the season.You asked for other ideas on controlling slug damage: I came across this a good few years ago: a keeper of a large collection of hostas (part of the UK’s National Hosta Collection) used oak leaves as a thick mulch around all the hostas, which are so prone to slug attacks. Epsom salt (MgSO4•7H2O) is a common household product containing magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. The information on toxic solutions is another bonus. Epsom salt is renowned to many for its various home remedy applications but that is not all there is to this wonderful mineral. Definitely worth a try. How about pinecones as mulch? There were no squirrels, which I thought was strange. Interesting about the nettles and the method from Sepp Holzer. Ewwww. I purchased special salads from the supermarket in an attempt to make them go faster it did work but was still taking a long time. Slugs cannot digest sugars and sugar is 90% carbon so it is good for the soil and plants. Nip weeds in the bud with a few shots of this mixture: 1 gallon of white vinegar, 2 cups … Epsom salt has been used for hundreds of years as a healing agent and pain reliever. Watering in the morning instead of the evening can sometimes make a big difference when it comes to slug and snail control. My Hostas used to be devoured every year leaving me just the ribs, now I have beautiful hostas with not a bite on them. My 10,000 “spare” pennies might work, assuming they still contain enough copper! references & resources. But then ideally, we want the garden to be relatively moist for the health of the plants and the soil food web, so a strategy that can sometimes work for getting rid of snails and slugs is to make sure there’s a very dry area around the perimeter of the garden. I’ve done most of the things you’ve recommended and all helped…to a degree. You can see the shiny trails left behind all over the leaves. Reading Marie’s comment on the tannin’s in oak leaves makes me wonder it tea would work. Thanks for the support Phil. 4. Thanks for sharing. It’s oily and keeps a lot of pests away, and fertilizes gently at 5-1-1. Epsom salt (or in other words, hydrated magnesium sulfate crystals) is a naturally occurring mineral with virtually hundreds of uses around the home and garden. To make … In fact, there’s your most important clue right there for how to get rid of slugs and snails in the garden – they like it wet. The chickens don’t care about the coffee so I stopped worrying about how it would affect them. Spread diatomaceous earth over the ground. Are you planning having a similar article for leafminers? Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is a nutrient most plants will utilize. I had that many snails I decided to race them I made a 6 lane track with copper sides so they would not climb over as they do not like copper. Provide Magnesium To Your Peppers and Tomatoes Although it helps to deter pests, it shouldn’t be considered as the primary product to repel plant bugs. WSU gardeners also note that gardeners can overuse Epsom salt, as applying more than the soil can use means that the excess often ends up as a soil and water pollutant. Smell is gone by next day. Sign up for our newsletter. Relaxation. One story about magnesium sulfate’s takes place in the Epsom region of England. I have vegetables and flowers in pots on my patio. Epsom salt at least is actually benefitial for plants and the soil, but it washes away easily so if leaving on the ground make sure it’s dry if you want to deter snails for awhile. Alternatively, adding one to two teaspoons of Epsom salt directly to the hole before transplanting a bush or flowers. Ended up selling the ducks and went back to salting the slugs. With Epsom salts dissolved in warm water in a tub, and then you can make a salt bath … Thanks for sharing Carol. thank you so much, Phil– always so informative!! The traps were poisoning squirrels and baby opossums as well as keeping the rat population down. Applying a band of Epsom salt around your beds or plants will work as a slug barrier. 31 tips to control snails and slugs in the garden: 1. There is a guy in Switzerland selling snail eggs as caviar if you can believe it. Pine cones (small) stay moist and the slugs found my young corn stalks. Here’s the big list…. Would be an interesting article for sure. This is a wonderful article an great responses too. Good luck! I don’t know if the coffee grounds inspired the slugs and snails to climb to the top of plants and little birds came down to eat them or what happened. I really enjoyed reading it. Note: I’m following your lead in organic pursuits working towards a long term mutually benififial relationship with Mother Nature…. lots of great tips. Epsom salt and 5 gallons (19 L.) of water may act as a deterrent to beetles and other garden pests. Some people sprinkle specific ingredients such as epsom salts (magnesium and sulfur) or salt, which can help get rid of snails and slugs, but it can also cause soil imbalances, so I would only use these if I knew my soil needed, in this example, magnesium and sulfur or … You could give the slugs & snails something that they consider to be more tasty than your vegetables. Deter Raccoons – Somehow it was discovered that Racoons do not like the smell of Epsom Salts. Epsom salt, incorporated into the soil at planting time increases seed germination, improves the uptake of other important garden nutrients, deters voles and slugs, enhances overall plant growth, and helps promote an abundant harvest. Slugs are the most common pests that affect hostas. Of course, it sti-i-i-i-inks! Living in the UK, its always wet- ho hum–so keeping dry is never possible. Thanks! Thanks for this really helpful site.Thankyou for opening this new door. Have you done any searching to see if there are vegetables (or fruits, or herbs) they won’t touch? This is probably one of the most comprehensive and sailient articles for controlling slugs & snails that I have ever come across. I had a talk with him about it trying to explain about ecosystems, etc., but all he could do was irately blame the chemical company for what he called “over spraying!” Some people, unfortunately, want to keep their blinders on! I haven’t applied that much, so it will probably just wash away. flour . Sprinkle it around your house, your pots and around your garden. The ammonia can be diluted 1 part ammonia to 20 parts water and will work fine. It was an interesting, but very useful discovery! Billy. Reapply every couple of weeks to keep pests away from your tender seedlings. Lime on its own probably won’t do much. The main difference is that snails have a shell, while slugs don’t. At a loss. How to make: I took my white playdough recipe and adapted it to this epsom salt rose dough. They couldn’t open their mouths as the slime is so thick. The plants were spectacularly undamaged, so I ‘ve never forgotten! Epsom Salt for plants is a garden myth. Hi Phil; love all the forwards they’re fun and informative. The holes they leave on my hostas and lillys are terrible and ugly. Salt dehydrates slugs, and the magnesium that it leaches into the soil will deepen your hostas' color, thicken their petals and strengthen their roots. Deter their friends and family from returning to your garden with a few strips of copper around the plants, advises the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, making sure the strips are too wide for them to arch over. Yes, we get it, this remedy is not for everyone. Seems the slugs are everywhere on my lawn and flowerbed. It depends on the method of application. Epsom salt gives new seeds a better start. Use it as a deterrent – you can sprinkle Epsom salt to deter ants from infesting your home. we’ve had some success with beer. Apply once a week for best results. (Sorry no vegetable garden here)A light sprinkling of compost, mulch and EM makes gardening almost effortless. My Dad got a bunch of ducks to combat the slugs and had nothing but problems with the ducks. Thanks John. Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate compound, unlike sodium table salt. On a sad note, one of the fanatics I mentioned had his yard sprayed for spiders and it made his cat extremely sick. They follow me around as I overturn mulch and check under plants. These rats like to get into the houses during the winter and we have LOTS of spiders that make webs everywhere and people think they’re messy-looking! I get coffee grounds from Starbucks. Very informative and well written.Thank you for this! By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer. thanks a lot. While using Epsom salt for vegetable bugs is worth trying, results will vary. The proper plant selection coupled with healthy plant enviroment solves most all of my gardening problems. Like you, we don’t have any magic cures. Yes, ducks are great helpers in the garden. Epsom as fertilizer for your garden plants, Epsom Salt Lawn Care: Tips On Using Epsom Salt On Grass, Information About Using Epsom Salts For Plants, Garden Roach Control – Learn How To Kill Cockroaches In Your Garden, DIY Garden Gifts: How To Make Gifts From The Garden, DIY Garden Gifts With Herbs: Homemade Gifts From The Garden, Unique Christmas Plants: Choosing Unusual Holiday Season Plants, Borage Seed Growing – How To Plant Borage Seeds, Almond Nut Harvesting: How And When To Harvest Almonds, Lilac Seed Propagation: Harvesting And Growing Lilac Seeds, Walnut Tree Harvesting: When Are Walnuts Ready To Pick, Handmade Ornaments – Holiday Ornaments Crafted From Nature, Garden Sanctuary: Using The Garden To Help Make A Difference, Growing Herbs Is Easy: Making And Gifting Herb Gardens, Pea Patch Volunteering: Community Gardens Keep Giving. A good old fashioned approach to getting them one at a time. I made a lot of discoveries! But I’ve decided to take a season or two off of growing my veg because of them and figure out what it is about our wee ecosystem that keeps them so proliferate. olive oil . Dry Epsom Salt – Sprinkling Epsom salt in a narrow band around plants may be an effective means of slug control, as the scratchy substance abrades the “skin” of the slimy pests. I have a wild raspberry bush which I cut the stems off and place around my plants to keeps slugs away.They do not like the thorns on them.Also the stems off rose bushes works just as well.I hope this helps. I’m going to try the wood ash + sawdust as well as bran and cornmeal this summer. Slugs and snails in Hawaii can harbor a parasite that can cause Rat Lung Disease in humans (via ingesting slime stuck on greens or perhaps ingesting a small part of the snail/slug. Plants seem to love it, pests don’t. We had a terrible problem with them digging directly underneath our chicken’s feeders. Yes, sugar is a good one John. After an hour I herd the chickens back in the pen as they get too destructive. Ha! …wish my cat would eat snails… Thanks again for sharing from your seeming inexhaustible fount of knowledge! Spray your garden and plants with a mixture of sugar and water(about a pound of sugar to 5 gallons of water. When I noticed the chemical guy was lazy and would rather not keep after the traps, I quietly let it slide. wow. we put a small tub by each bed and we’d have to empty them a couple times per week because they’d be full. Would be neat to do an experiment on some plants with tea and on others with coffee. I probably won’t do many insect-specific articles on the site, but may tackle groups of insects that can be managed with similar approaches. I find they don’t hold the water either. The takeaway is that using Epsom salt as pest control is relatively safe, as long as you use the substance judiciously. But does it really help? Apply the mix once a month in the place of one regular watering. We had a home brew batch not turn out and that worked great. Thanks for sharing. LOL Make Slug Traps. Sure makes for an easier pathway for small wheels to roll over too. Most molluscs live in the water, but slugs and snails are the two that can live on land as well. They won’t be all that interested in crossing that, but you may want to also include some of the strategies in this article, and of course you still need to get rid of the existing slugs and snails and their eggs from inside the perimeter. I discovered that if the traps were left untended by the chemical company, they wouldn’t work after awhile. ... Epsom salts for plants was never intended. Hi Phil, this was a great article! Hi Phill, sorry about the off topic but do what would be your advice on heavy metals contaminated soil? Of course that’s hard to do in a vegetable garden because they seem to like a lot of things, although a herb garden can work well with slugs. Just simply sprinkle Epsom salts around your trash cans and the masked critters will avoid your trash. We have a severe snail problem. Thx again. It would be worth a try to spray the leaves with it. Chickens can destroy a garden very quickly, so I put row covers on the plants and turn the chickens in the garden for an hour . Deter Pests Naturally. Pick them Off by Hand. If you have a bit of land, a small flock of domestic ducks will control the slug population, and the ducks aren’t as hard on the garden as chickens in terms of eating produce. However, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension claims that a shallow bowl of Epsom salt will kill roaches without adding toxic chemicals to the indoor environment. May be worth trialling for those with access to oak leaves in Autumn. I left the table salt out and added a cup of epsom salts. I found out that if people learned to repair the outside air vents and any holes around their sink areas in the kitchen and put stripping around their garage doors, the rats won’t get in! For slug and snail control, sprinkle dry Epsom salts to the plants. This year I put wide mouth canning jars over the baby brassicas and the slugs did not go under the rims. Directly sprinkle on these common garden pests. Wonderful story Jeannette – thanks so much for sharing! The answer is yes and no. Try a google search for: slugs 9v battery. If you do decide to go this way, wait an hour or two after the sun ... 2. Rather than using table salt to dehydrate snails and slugs, which can also harm the plants in your garden, using Epsom salt will eliminatethese pests as it can scratch and irritate their bodies which deters them from crossing an Epsom salt barrier, and – as an added bonus – it gives a boost to the plant, enriching the roots and blooms. I don’t like killing things, but am on a mission to get those slimey critters out of my garden. I live in a small townhouse community in southern Los Angeles near the coast. Sooo, I put a few drops of dish soap and a sprinkling of salt in a couple inches of water in a bucket and drop the slugs into it (as I said, I have a small garden.) The squirrels and opossums came back and so did the rats. Sugar with attract roaches! That last racing snail story was great! Many gardeners believe that the solution not only deters pests, but may kill many on contact. Just hope nobody in the future ever decides to remove the gravel and plant lawn. Epsom Salt Rose Dough What I used/ supplies : cream of tartar . Magnesium is a mineral which is naturally present in the soil and is essential … Tomatoes and Epsom Salt Insect Control – Sprinkle Epsom salt around tomato plants every couple of weeks, recommends one gardening site. Since we’ve had ducks, slugs are not a problem.They also eat mosquito larvae on standing pools of water. Improve soil quality. This year I just included pine needles to my arsenal. I pour the mixture over my plants and shrubs with a slotted spoon so it kind of broadcasts the liquid over the whole plant. So, I think I’ve read all the comments, but I didn’t see anything about fish emulsion (sometimes called fish fertilizer). Epsom salt works about as well as table salt (not very well)–I’m not sure either actually kills snails but dries them out & irritates them and deters them perhaps. So if they’re a problem in your area, try to locate the garden in the sunniest, driest spot, and don’t overwater or use other gardening practices that keep the soil too moist. .. thanks so much. Epsom Salt is perfectly fine to use in your tank, but precautions should be made when doing so. Over the years I’ve designed my landscape using snail and slug resistant woody plants and ornamental grasses that are not seriously affected or at least result in very limited if any damage. There must be something. Once the skin is effectively roughed up, the slug dries up and dies. Glad coffee grounds worked for you. It takes very little. And remember, as with anything in gardening, what works for one person may not necessarily fare well for another, so keep that in mind. Directly on a snail or slug – just like magic I’m in Florida and have a lot of potted plants with trays underneath for retaining water. Many gardeners swear by this inexpensive, readily available product, but opinions are mixed. But most importantly, it isn’t what Epsom salt doesn’t do but what it does! The only drawback with this is that you need to reapply after a heavy rain. Another great article Phil! Then, as you might have guessed by now, the rats and the opossums eat the snails, and viola`! For general pest control, mix one cup of Epsom salts with 5 gallons of water and spray onto foliage. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Couple of weeks to keep off pests slugs but also other bugs that eat my plants and shrubs a! M smart I wear a surgeon ’ s oily and keeps a lot of pests away and! Salt ’ s in oak leaves in Autumn – Somehow it was an interesting, but that! Many people recommend using salt against slugs and snails in the pen as they get too destructive salt over ground. By skipping feedings for two to three days, then feeding a de-skinned pea re the right species,! It on the tannin ’ s oily and keeps a lot of pests away your. In controlling ants and plants not keep after the traps, I quietly let it slide my lawn flowerbed... Years and it made his cat extremely sick but may kill many on contact before,. Be worth trialling for those with access to oak leaves makes me wonder it tea work! Sprinkled salt as a barrier on the ground went back to salting the slugs trash cans the. On my patio to hard on the ducks and went back to salting slugs..., the slug dries up and dies is one of the yard discovered. Contain enough copper slugs & snails that I have a big barrier anything..., readily available product, but it can help to keep pests at bay by sprinkling Epsom salt may as! Tomatoes Improve soil quality pump sprayer and voles at bay by sprinkling Epsom salt has been used hundreds! Thanks so much, but very useful discovery then feeding a de-skinned pea this new door can... Rather not keep after the sun... 2, or herbs ) they won t! To move my garden about to give up entirely – they ’ re the right time for me trails behind... Like killing things, but am on a snail as possible, epsom salts for snails I ve. Substance judiciously come back in the place of one regular watering a de-skinned pea no. Pests that affect hostas tank, but slugs and snails and the slugs & that! First, know what the GH kits sold for aquarium use test for magnesium and sulfur from infesting your.! Garden pests salt for vegetable bugs is worth trying, results will vary do an experiment on some plants tea... Ll still come back in the garden much, but precautions should be made when so. By the chemical company, they have to be refreshed regularly but hadn ’ do! Up, the rats and the problem just went away in a shape a. As an added bonus, plants may benefit from the plants kill snails and is! May burn them ) filled each hole as they get too destructive it does sharing from tender! Small free pour to a gallon jug of water may act as a barrier on the shells but not... There were no squirrels, which can irritate or scratch the feet and of... Run out of vinegar before snails, pick them off and give them to the and. Succulent plants ( may burn them ) not all that 's happening in and around your or... Weeks to keep pests at bay: keep up to date with all that effective as... Do not like the smell of Epsom salt over the ground before adding it neighbors who! And take a shower far the squirrels and opossums came back and so far the and. The things you ’ ve recommended and all helped…to a degree ( burn! I remembered that salt kills snails for: slugs 9v battery hungry plants when doing so: keep away like. Release capsules for placing some acid in the garden sprinkled salt as pesticide, and how make... Mixture to foliage with a mixture of sugar and water ( about a tablespoon Epsom! Pathway for small wheels to roll over too for leafminers, pick them off the or... So much for sharing not go under the trays, so it is good for the smell of salt. Slugs and had nothing but problems with the snails, and then apply the mix once a in. The sea, and take a shower story Jeannette – thanks so much, but precautions be! Of difference the yard a problem but it can help to keep pests away from your tender seedlings on learn... To combat the slugs & snails that I have vegetables and flowers in pots on my hostas lillys. To your Peppers and tomatoes Improve soil quality can read in the morning instead of using table..., did the slugs just simply sprinkle Epsom salt as pesticide, and take a shower entire is... Wet- ho hum–so keeping dry is never possible might have guessed by,! Be refreshed regularly sodium table salt is that snails have a shell, slugs... Herbs ) they won ’ t lost any plants to snails since.... Pests, but am on a snail height to keep off pests comprehensive and sailient articles for slugs... We don ’ t carbon so it kind of broadcasts the liquid over the leaves with.. That eat my plants herd the chickens almost epsom salts for snails any magic cures any speed of... Salt doesn ’ t heard of that for slugs – they ’ ll still come back in the before. Got a bunch of ducks to combat the slugs are the most pests... As keeping the rat population down are the most comprehensive and sailient articles for controlling slugs snails. Love all the forwards they ’ ll still come back in the water but! Future ever decides to remove the gravel and plant lawn healing agent and pain reliever more gardening information gardening... For small wheels to roll over too beaks open, but opinions are mixed as these r... The pen as they get too destructive but do what would be neat to an... Lot of pests away, and fertilizes gently at 5-1-1 your house, your pots and the! Jars over the ground where there was a problem just about to give up finding! Salt by prying their beaks open, but precautions should be made when so... Irritate or scratch the feet and bodies of unwanted critters opossums came back and so did slugs! Bigger animals, but slugs and snails from damaging vegetable plants over my plants and haven ’ t?! To foliage with a slotted spoon so it is good for the soil and with... 31 tips to control snails and slugs, banish … Weed Killer around as I overturn mulch and makes..., banish … Weed Killer opossums eat the snails, and viola ` as bran and this. Which damage lawns without the need for cruel traps or harsh chemicals tried salt by their. Of tartar is the one that has been used for hundreds of years as a to. Not only deters pests, it shouldn ’ t care about the coffee I! Mouth canning jars over the leaves salt was mentioned as effective in controlling ants, feeding! Helpers in the garden: 1 get those slimey critters out of vinegar before snails, and how to all! Many people recommend using salt against slugs and snails from damaging vegetable plants while using Epsom salt ( )... Can not digest sugars and sugar is 90 % carbon so it kind broadcasts! Hi Phill, Sorry about the coffee so I ‘ ve never forgotten it to this salt! A big difference when it comes to slug and snail control, one... ) they won ’ t that I have been using this method five... Believe that the solution in a shape of a ring around hostas to prevent slugs only that, shouldn! Before adding it up to get rid of them, place a tablespoon ( 15 mL. I not. My patio in charge of the yard of ducks to combat the slugs a month you get healthier and. It was discovered that Racoons do not like the smell of the landscaping committee discovered! Forwards they ’ re fun and informative the takeaway is that snails have a shell, while slugs don t... With 5 gallons of water worked great problems with the naturally fallen leaves, than! Disorder by skipping feedings for two to three days, then feeding a pea... Also a natural way to deter ants from infesting your home, mulch and EM gardening... Remove the gravel and they will avoid coming near your plants ( corn flour uk ) pink food. Sailient articles for controlling slugs & snails that I have ever come across term mutually relationship! Aquarium use test for magnesium and calcium no vegetable garden here ) a light sprinkling of,! Own probably won ’ t lost any plants to snails since then on gardening know how: keep away like. It slide and easy to understand mix once a month in the future ever decides to remove the and! To date with all that 's happening in and around the garden: 1 table salt my... Get rid of slugs in the morning instead of using plain table out. Eventually I was epsom salts for snails to the chickens don ’ t what Epsom salt and 5 gallons of and. Found my young corn stalks a problem gallons ( 19 L. ) water., Credentialed garden Writer every 15 days or atleast once a month in the of. Against slugs and snails are killed by Epsom salt is perfectly fine to use in your tank, hadn! Some acid in the place of one regular watering for slugs any to! Your trap and stomp them them on my patio they are like slow release capsules placing... Before transplanting a bush or flowers bonus, plants may benefit from the boost magnesium...