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salt against slugs

Using Salt to Control Slugs and Snails | Application and Criticism

Salt against slugs: Madness, or a good idea?

Salt against slugs
How can salt be used to control slugs and snails?

Can Salt be Used to Fight Slugs and Snails?

Many people recommend using salt against slugs and snails in the garden.

But does it really help?

The answer is yes and no. It depends on the method of application.

Why does salt kill slugs?

Salt crystals bind moisture, and this makes it deadly to slugs and snails if sprinkled on them.

Some people, therefore, use table salt or road salt to kill collected slugs and snails.

But this is extremely painful for the animals and horrible to watch.

There are much more “human” ways to kill slugs and snails.

Even better, there are ways to deal with the pests without killing them.

More info here:

natural slug control

slug barriers


Slug Control for single plants

Protective Plant CoversGarden ClochesSlug Collars
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Can Salt be Used as a Barrier?

salt in the garden
Salt barriers around plants?

Does it help to scatter salt around endangered beds as a kind of protective barrier against the slimy invaders?

Again, the answer is yes and no.

Yes, slugs and snails are unable to crawl over a line of salt, so at first glance, this seems a good solution.

But this method has horrible long-term effects.

Rain or watering can cause the salt to be washed into the soil and quickly become ineffective.

As a result, the soil’s salinity will be heavily increased and beds become acidified.

Putting out the salt in the garden can have the same effect as acid rain.

salt kills slugs and snails
Salt not only kills the slugs. In the end, also the plants suffer.

Soil pH levels will decrease sharply, and plants begin to die or stop growing properly.

Sooner or later, many useful soil organisms will also die.

With continued use of salt, the garden will slowly turn into a salt desert.

Therefore, applying road salt in this way is by no means a suitable method; indeed, in most countries, this practice is prohibited by Plant Protection Acts.

Conclusion:

Never put out salt into the garden or on the soil.

However, if this has already been done, you can try to counteract the salinization of the soil with garden lime.

This can help achieve a neutral pH value again.


Slug Control with copper for raised beds, planters, and pots

Slug Repellent Copper TapeCopper Mesh FenceCopper Wire
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Could Salt Still Work?

There are also positive reports that salt can help fight slugs and snails without unintended side-effects.

salt desert
Salt desert.

To achieve this, double-sided tape is applied around flower tubs and carefully sprinkled with fine salt crystals.

This solution should successfully fend off slugs and snails, without becoming ineffective with the first rain.

I have yet to try this. I worry that rain or watering could quickly wash the salt into the ground.

But maybe slug collars could help prevent this from happening.

So, my tip is to treat this idea with caution. However, it can be tested easily and is cheap, too.

If you have any experiences with this solution, I would be glad to read about them below.

salt kitchen not garden
Salt belongs into the kitchen – not into the garden.

Conclusion

Salt does not belong in the garden and usually damages more than it helps.

Salt causes great harm not only to slugs and snails, but also plants and other, more beneficial creatures in the garden.

Killing collected slugs and snails with salt is not an appropriate method, as they die slowly and painfully.

Not only does this make for a gruesome sight, it is also highly questionable in terms of animal welfare.

However, one interesting possibility is to use salt in combination with double-sided tape to protect especially potted plants, at least for a certain time.

Alternatives to Salt Barriers

Slugs do not like to eat these vegetables and herbs.

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

Further Information

Control slugs and snails in your garden with:

Slug barriers

Slug and snail deterrent paint

Electric slug fence

Slug-resistant flowers and flowering plants: perennials and annuals

Homemade slug and snail control

Runner ducks against slugs and snails


Slug Control for larger areas and garden beds

To protect larger areas you can use for example:

  • slug fences
  • sheep wool pellets.
Slug Fence Set: SmallSlug Fence Set: For 6m²Sheep Wool Pellets
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Last update: July 3, 2018


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