Crushed Eggshells Against Slugs and Snails? | Field Test

Some people believe that crushed eggshells can be used to form snail and slug barriers.

Is this just another garden myth, or is there something to it?

In theory, crushed eggshells are so sharp that slugs and snails would hurt themselves climbing over them.

Shells scattered around the plants would therefore build defensive walls.

Critical voices argue that snails and slugs – e.g., the Spanish slug – would easily crawl over razor blades.

Why should eggshells be a problem for them?

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eggshell against slugs and snails
Does it really work?

How Might Eggshells Be Used Against Slugs and Snails?

In practice, eggshells are dried and then crumbled into very tiny, sharp-edged pieces, for example, with a rolling pin.

Some people claim that it is crucial to use only the shells from uncooked eggs.

Cooking the eggs would reduce the sharpness of the shells.

Others say that their effectiveness depends on the moon cycle.

They recommend that crushing the shells works best with a decreasing moon and that you should spread them with a waxing moon.

The following video explains the theory.

Video: The eggshell theory

You can find crushed eggshells here: For sale on Etsy.

Crushed Eggshells: Field Test

Since there is still much discussion on this topic, I carried out a simple test.

I dried and crushed the shells of uncooked eggs.

Then I placed them on a table and formed a little wall of around two inches (five centimeters) wide and put some snails and slugs in the middle.

What happened next is shown in the following time-lapse video.

Video: The eggshell field test

Unfortunately, the experiment indicated that eggshells do not really work in the battle against slugs.

The slugs were not afraid of the shells and crawled over them with little hesitation.

One snail, however, was unwilling to cross the eggshell wall.

You can see clearly that it was put off by the shells.

The same was true for the leopard slug at the beginning of the video.

But after a few attempts, it finally made its way over the barrier a few times.

plus minusConclusion

The final evaluation of this method of controlling slugs is not clear.

The slight repelling effect could have been the result of the wrong application.

Perhaps the shells were not small enough.

Or they went over them because they were left only with a small way out, so they had to take the route over the shells to escape.

It may also have been due to the influence of the moon that the results turned out to be poor. (I did not stick to the recommendations regarding the moon cycle.)

Personally, I doubt the influence of the moon could make a big difference in this matter.

In the end, I am skeptical that eggshells are an effective slug control method.

You can find crushed eggshells here: For sale on Etsy.

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If you would like to try this method, but you do not have enough eggshells, you could buy some.

There is eggshell powder on the market, which is sold as a dietary supplement for dogs. This could be used.

Find products and price information on eBay.

Similar offer on Etsy.

One good thing about this method is that if you eat eggs, you will get the shells for free.

In addition, the soil profits from the application of the shells.

The minerals they contain contribute to the improvement of soil health.


Alternatives to Eggshells

There are other mulch materials that are supposed to work as snail and slug protection.

For example, sheep wool pellets work as a slug repellent, a fertilizer, and a mulch at the same time.

A comparison of different materials, further tests, and information can be found here: mulching material against snails.

Sheep wool pellets as protection against snails & slugs

Click on the image leads to an offer on Amazon.

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Slug Control Methods

Some other slug control methods might interest you:

How to attract natural enemies of slugs

Snail and slug barriers

Slug deterrent paint

Copper against slugs

Slug-resistant vegetables and herbs

Slug-resistant flowers and flowering plants: perennials and annuals

Homemade electric slug fence

DIY slug control

Runner ducks against slugs and snails

Peaceful Slug Control & Plant Protection

Snail & Slug Repellent Copper Tape | AdhesiveAnti-Slug Fence | Protective Barrier
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Offers on eBayOffers on Etsy

Sheep Wool Pellets | Natural Snail RepellentAnti-Slug Collars | For Single Plants | Multipack
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Mindful consumption: Please only buy what you or your garden really need.

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11 thoughts on “Crushed Eggshells Against Slugs and Snails? | Field Test”

  1. Hi, I recently read this from a Guardian article from 2018 and wondered if anyone has had any luck with this approach.
    “Fortunately, nature has a simple solution. Allicin is a defence compound created by garlic bulbs which both repels and kills slugs and snails. To harness this, simply put a bulb of garlic in a litre of water and blitz it in a food processor. Leave to stand for 10 minutes for the chemical reaction that creates allicin to complete, then strain off the solids and pour the liquid into a spray bottle. OK, as you might have guessed, this stuff does have rather a strong salad dressing smell, but has proven incredibly effective for me – much more so than turning my garden blue with slug pellets. All you need to do is spray it liberally over the plants you find most susceptible just as night begins to fall.” Thanks

  2. instead of eggshell use salt as barrier this is 100% effective although the salt might melt overnight the liquid salt will still hurt them. so make sure to use something to hold the salt until it melts.

  3. I’m an organic lady and I use them every year. Just a sprinkle on top of the container or ground and I’m quite happy with the result. And yes good for the soil as is the water that you boiled them in.
    The garlic works as well along with the copper method. Also they don’t come out during the day and I’ve found them under the pots in the greenhouse on plants that have not been outside. I’m open to anything that helps except chemical sprays.

  4. My coriander stands no chance, so much so that I have stopped trying, which is a great pity because very much little pollinator insects love it. Oregano and parsley are left completely untouched. I have also given up with sage. So many wasted plants.


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