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snail and slug barrier

Snail and Slug Barriers: Protection for Vulnerable Plants

One of the first things to do to protect vulnerable plants is to install snail and slug barriers.

It is sometimes said that there is no effective obstacle to fend off slugs and snails, but this is not true; there are many effective barriers!

A slug barrier can protect a raised bed: Price offer on Amazon. For worldwide distribution: Price offer on eBay

Slug Barriers

In this article, you will find seven methods to try if slugs and snails are attacking your plants:

1. Mechanic Slug Fences

2. Copper

3. Slug Collars

4. Protective Plant Covers

5. Electric Slug Fences

6. Garden Bells

7. Slug-Repellent Coating

Mechanic Slug Fences

A rustproof metal slug fence is a classic obstacle against slugs and snails, and it has been successfully used in Northern Europe for more than 30 years.

Because the edges are bent in two directions, most slugs and snails cannot climb over this barrier.

Their high effectiveness has made slug fences popular.

More information here:

Slug fence overview

Since I wanted to be sure that these fences work, I designed and conducted an experiment to test their effectiveness.

More information here:

Slug fence test

Products Slug fence

Slug Fence Set | metal Small Slug Fence | plastic Big Slug Fence Set | metal
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(North America: metal slug fence available via eBay )


Copper is said to have a repulsive effect on snails, but this is controversial. Therefore, I also tested the effects of copper, and my experiment showed that a wide strip of copper deters most slugs and snails. In the linked article below, you will find more information about the experiment.

Self-adhesive copper tape can be used in a variety of ways, particularly around raised beds, tubs, or other plant pots.

More information here:

Testing copper against snails

Copper barrier products

Copper Foil Tape Copper Anti-Slug Tape Copper Anti-Snail Tape
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Slug Collars

Slug collars are also a useful method to successfully fend off slugs and snails. Similar to metal slug fences, the edges of slug collars are also bent but only once. This is why slug collars are a little less effective than slug fences.

These collars are put over individual plants. They protect flowers and vegetables when they are most vulnerable: during their growing phase. Some plants can even be protected throughout their whole life cycle, as is true of the runner bean in the picture.

Their biggest advantage is that they are relatively cheap, making them accessible to most gardeners.

More information here:

Snail and slug collars

Slug collar products

Durable Slug Collar Cabbage Slug Collar Slug Collars x 18
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North America: Not yet available.

Protective Plant Covers

Protective plant covers secure young plants against rain, wind, and frost, as well as snails, slugs and birds.

This allows seedlings to grow undisturbed.

Once the plants have grown up, slugs and snails usually cannot damage them anymore.

More information here:

Plant covers against slugs and snails

Plant cover products

“Sunnyboy” Plant Protection Hood Protective Plant Cover Protective Sun Hat
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Electric Slug Fences

To build an electric slug fence, two parallel metal bands are installed on an enclosure and then connected to a rechargeable battery.

Once it has been turned on, critters that try to pass the fence will receive an electric shock and turn around.

If the electric fence is maintained, it can provide consistent protection against slimy invasive species.

More information here:

Electric slug fence

Garden cloche / Victorian bells

Like plant covers, nursery garden bells protect plants from snails, birds, and the weather.

Garden bells are usually larger than plant covers and can protect plants for a longer period.

Compared to plant covers, however, garden bells are much more expensive.

More information here:

Garden cloches / Victorian bells against slugs and snails

Garden bell products

Protective Plant Bell Large Garden Cloches Esschert Design Cloche
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Price offer on Amazon

Slug-Repellent Coating

Slug- and snail-repellent coatings, like Schnexagon, open up a new world of slug control possibilities.

Schnexagon can be painted on most surfaces, making many applications possible.

For example, Schnexagon can protect the entry areas of greenhouses and all types of planters and pots.

More information here:

Slug-repellent paint: Schnexagon

(For North America: Find more information on eBay)


There are a lot of possibilities to block the way of slugs and snails. Therefore, it is not necessary to use slug pellets or other baits to protect flowers and vegetables.

Alternatives to Slug Barriers

You could plant mostly slug-resistant flowers.

Slugs do not like to eat these vegetables and herbs.

You could attract enemies of slugs and snails to your garden.

Snail and Slug Barriers: Protection for Vulnerable Plants
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