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Slug Collars Protect Vulnerable Plants | Test, Tips and Tricks

Slug collars protect plants from being eaten by slugs and snails.

They are made of plastic and sometimes of metal.

Their edges are bent like those of a slug fence pointing outward – similar to a collar.

Slugs and snails are irritated by this edge and have difficulties overcoming the barrier.

They lose their orientation and therefore turn around or fall down – as seen in the test video below.

Slug collars are commonly used to protect plants that are particularly vulnerable.

Slug Collars Field Test

slug collar

The effectiveness of slug collars is controversial.

That’s why I carried out an experiment.

For this, I placed marigolds inside a slug collar and put some freshly collected slugs and snails around it.

Video: Slug Collar Test

The video shows a time-lapse over 32 minutes:

While some snails tried to get to the marigolds – one of their favorite dishes – none of them succeeded.

Slugs and snails are confused by the collar because it means they would have to take a detour to get to their food.

The sharp-pointed outer edge is also a problem for them. Its effect is similar to the edge of metal slug fences.

Metal slug collars

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The test showed that slug collars are an effective way to protect plants from slugs and snails.

But long-term tests showed that the collars are not able to stop all pests.

Some snails might still find a way in – but most are repelled.

This helps endangered and especially young plants to survive during critical phases.

In the above pictures, you can see runner beans and parsley, which probably would not have survived without their collars.


Slug Collar Products

Slug Collars with LidSlug Collars x 18
Check prices on Amazon (Europe)Check prices on Amazon (Europe)

In North America slug collars are not yet available.

Slug Collar Application

The application is simple and self-explanatory.

The slug collars are slipped over the plants and pressed slightly into the ground.

For large plants, you can carefully unravel the collar.

Then you can put it around plants that are too big for it to slip over.

If it is still cold, the collar can be combined with a plant protection bell (Victorian bell).

Together they become a small greenhouse in which plants can thrive protected from slugs, snails, wind, and weather.

Another way to improve the effectiveness is to close the opening of the collar with mosquito or fruit tree nets.

Then the plants are protected not only from slugs but also, for example, from the cabbage white butterfly and similar pests.

This is recommended especially for homemade slug collars – as can be seen in the following video.

Video: Homemade slug collars

If you do not understand German just copy what you can see and use generated subtitles for more detailed information:

DIY- Make Slug Collars Yourself

As the video shows, old plastic buckets can easily be transformed into slug collars – especially handy if they come with a lid.

This helps to save money and is fun to do.

Just take big yogurt/to-go coffee cups or plastic buckets – the best are those with a wide edge.

Homemade Slug Collar Control
The perfect slug collar has a lid.

Remove the bottom of the cup/bucket, and you have your homemade slug collar.

Unfortunately, these homemade models are usually less effective because their edges are not wide enough.

A small drawback to making them yourself is also that these buckets or pails are not usually transparent and can therefore cast a shadow over the plants.

For small plants, non-transparent models are not ideal, but for larger plants, this is not a problem.

If possible, try to use transparent cups/buckets.

You can also try to find models that come with a lid.

As long as the plants are still small, a cover gives additional protection – especially at night.

If your cups do not come with a lid, it is also possible to make some yourself.

A piece of wood, plastic or cardboard can be cut to shape a lid that fits in or on top of the collar’s opening.

This will enhance the level of protection as a lid also protects against frost, hail, birds, rabbits, and so on.

Click on the link for more ideas to create homemade slug and snail protection tools.

Disadvantages weaknesses of this slug controlDisadvantages of Slug Collars

The main downside is that slug/snail collars offer protection only to a few plants.

Therefore, it can become difficult and expensive to secure a large garden with many plants. Then a slug fence would be a better solution.

Another problem is that it is quite difficult to protect tall and big plants.

They grow over the edge more quickly and bridges can form, which slugs could use to get through the barrier.

Since the collars are not deeply embedded in the soil (only a couple of inches/centimeters), they are not able to protect the plants against slugs that live and move underground; for example, grey field slugs.

Moreover, some collars are not very robust and can break by being pushed deep into the ground.

You need to handle them carefully.

Another drawback is that the plastic rings might be regarded as unaesthetic in the garden.

advantages strengths of this slug controlAdvantages

A snail collar also works well and safely against Spanish slugs.

Salads or cabbages, for example, can be protected quickly and easily.

This method is humane. No slug or snail will be injured and yet the plants are protected.

Another advantage is that the collars help to water the plants more efficiently.

The collar serves as slug protection and as a pouring ring at the same time.

Perhaps their biggest advantage is that it is possible to combine them with garden cloches and/or mosquito nets.

This offers many possibilities and makes slug collars especially attractive for protecting young plants in spring.

plus minusConclusion

Slug collars provide good protection that defends plants against slugs and snails.

In combination with garden cloches, they even become mini-greenhouses.

Their price (around 1 to 2 dollars/pounds/euros each) is affordable, considering that they can be used again and again for many years.

Slug collars will make your garden a more peaceful place with no need to kill slugs and snails.

Since they are useful and at the same time harmless, they are a basic means of effective and sustainable slug control.

Products and Prices

Slug and snail collars usually have a height of about 12cm/8 inches.

The diameter at the bottom is about 14cm/9 inches and at the top about 20cm/12 inches.

The dimensions vary a little, depending on the manufacturer.

They cost around 1 to 2 dollars/pounds/euros each.

Prices depend on quality and quantity.

You can usually buy them in sets of 6 to 18 pieces.

Cheaper models are usually more fragile and not as durable as the more expensive ones.

Slug Collar Products

Slug Collars with LidSlug Collars x 18
Check prices on Amazon (Europe)Check prices on Amazon (Europe)

Alternatives to Slug Collars

Other slug control methods that might interest you:

Attract natural enemies of slugs to your garden.

Slug barriers overview

Slug deterrent paint

Copper against slugs

Slug-resistant vegetables and herbs

Slug-resistant flowers: perennials and annuals

Homemade electric slug fence

Slug control recommendations

Slug Repellent Copper TapeSlug Fence Set: For 6m²Sheep Wool Pellets
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Last update: July 15, 2019

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Alexander Boeckmann

Gardening in harmony with nature.

2 thoughts to “Slug Collars Protect Vulnerable Plants | Test, Tips and Tricks”

  1. Great website and research. I am in US and slugs are my enemy number 1!

    Love the slug collar design but frustrated that only available which will not ship to me. i went direct to comapny website, Garden Selections and found a much better price anyway. I purchased through paypal which applied the appropriate currency and had them shipped to a new found friend in the UK. They will ship parcel to me and I can reimburse through paypal again. Should be a little over$2 each/guard once shipped. Not great but not bad if they work and they last.

    I am really interested in the slug fence but didnt pursue shipping of the long pieces. I am going to attempt to bend my own with 8″ wide rolled aluminum flashing. Its easy to work with and quite pliabe, i just worry about rigidity.

    The Schnexagon paint looks incredible but appears to be no longer manufactured. Now that I have an avenue to purchase from Europe I would like to try it. Do you have contact with the company about current or future production of the paint?

    Thx much

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