Finding slugs in your house can be a bit revolting. They look creepy and leave dirty lines of slime wherever they go. Even though typical garden slugs aren’t directly harmful, they are an eyesore and an inconvenience, especially if you have an infestation.
What Causes a Slug Infestation
Slugs are natural in the garden during warm wet seasons. That’s why you see most of them during spring, summer, and autumn.
They are common in farmhouses or homes with an elaborate backyard or front yard garden. They will be feeding on the leaves in the garden and eventually come into the house searching for more food and shelter.
To them, the house provides shade from the sun and warmth. Moreover, algae, mold, food leftovers, pet foods, and compost is also a yummy meal that will attract them, especially if the conditions outdoors are getting tougher.
Slugs and snails will also stay indoors for longer if you have damp surfaces that will keep them hydrated and comfortable for days on end.
Check this too: Decorating Your Pool Area on a Budget: Top Decor Items
Slug infestations are exacerbated by:
Unkempt Gardens and Yards
Thick gardens and yards provide a perfect breeding environment for all kinds of insects and mollusks.
For snails and slugs, they offer an ample supply of food, shade, and shelter from direct wind and rain. This makes it easier for the slugs to reproduce and thrive faster than in a scantily populated garden.
This isn’t bad because slugs and snails help break down fallen leaves and plant matter, adding humus to the soil making it more fertile. They are a symbol of the perfect organic garden.
Many Cover Plants
Even if your garden is well kempt and scantily populated, you can still have more slugs. Cover plants that create a dense cover over the garden’s flow produce conducive hotspots for snails and slugs.
Again, this is not bad news and is actually good for your garden. It reduces soil erosion and keeps the soil humid, decreasing how often you have to water your plants.
Bushy Potted Plants Reaching into the Garden
The slugs in the garden and backyard will get into your house faster if you have potted plants and creepers reaching into the house or from the house to the garden.
These plants will provide the perfect ‘walkway’ to transport slugs from the outside into your house. They will also give them transient hiding sports from where they can spread and infect your entire home.
4 Sure Ways to Get Rid of Slugs
First things first. Slugs are not bad. They are as crucial to your garden as earthworms. However, having too many of them can be bad. Some bit of control will keep them at bay without exterminating them.
Here are some practical ways to get rid of slugs in the house. Choose an appropriate method depending on what you want to accomplish.
Throw them Back Outside
Throwing the slugs back outside is the most humane and eco-friendly thing to do, especially if you are dealing with just one or two.
Use a broom or stick to roll them onto a dustpan or piece of cardboard and set them free outside. Since they move so slowly, they might not bother coming back in, or a predator will get to them before they do.
Attract Natural Predators
If you are dealing with very many slugs, attracting natural predators would be an excellent way around the problem.
Luckily, most infestations happen where attracting birds or rearing some poultry isn’t inconceivable.
Chickens hunt and eat slugs. That’s why you never see slug infestations out in farms with chicken or any poultry.
Suppose you can’t keep poultry. Set up a birdhouse and other attractions to encourage a few birds to linger around your garden and house. Attracting the right birds will give you a natural and unpaid cleanup crew that will feast on slugs before they get into your home.
Slug Proof Your Home
In addition to the above active approaches to getting rid of slugs, you could opt to make it harder for the slugs to get into your house. This isn’t as hard as it sounds. Here are some things you can do to deter an infestation.
Keep a Clear and Clean Pavement Around Your Hose
Don’t let grass, creepers, or plants overgrow and cover your pavements and walls. Keep your pavements clean and exposed at all times.
This not only protects your walls from raising dampness but also makes it harder for slugs to cross over and get into your house.
Slugs move slowly and might not make it across a pavement unless the sky is very overcast and low temperatures.
While they can still cross over at night or when it is raining, this will reduce the number of times they successfully cross over.
Keep Your Garden and Potted Plants Well Kempt
Weeding your garden and trimming plants in the garden or your potted plants is a great way to keep slugs in check.
Select your plants carefully to avoid dense canopies that hide the slugs. For the potted plants, ensure that they are not neglected. Lift and move them occasionally as slugs can hide under or between them.
Get Rid of Any Moss, Algae, and Mold Close to the House
Apart from trimming back the plants, it would help to scrap off any moss and algae growing on pavements on your walls.
Slugs will follow the algae while feeding and use it to transition into the house. If the walls are bare, nothing will attract them close to your house to start with.
Ensure Your Doors and Windows Closed Tight
Regardless of what attracted them to your outside walls, slugs will need a crevice, vent, or open window to crawl into the house.
Vents without grill covers are prime entrances. Constantly open windows and doors will also provide perfect ingress points.
Since slugs don’t have shells, they can squeeze in through even the tiniest openings. If your windows and doors are weatherproof, then they should be good enough to keep most of the slugs away.
Use Some Garden Copper Tape
Copper tape is a fantastic deterrent for slugs. Slugs naturally avoid copper, and the scraggy edges on the copper tape can hurt their soft bodies.
The tape is a natural solution that repels slugs without killing them. This will keep them out in the garden and out of the house.
- Wrap the tap around planters, pots, and tubs
- Put the tape across common ingress points like doors and windows next to gardens.
Copper tape is safe and harmless to the rest of animals, insects, and your family. You can leave it in place for years, and it should protect you for up to three years unless mud and grime cover it.
How to Kill Slugs
Sometimes, you might be fed up and just want to kill the slugs and be over with it. While this might not be humane or eco-friendly, some options are on the table.
ProTip: We don’t encourage or support killing slugs. Relocating them to the outdoors should be good enough.
Poke Them Dead With a Stick
Slugs have soft bodies. Poking them with a stick is a perfect way to kill a couple of them. After poking them, you will still have to remove and throw them away.
How about throwing them away when they are still alive? You can throw them a bit further from a house to make it harder for them to re-invade your home.
Pour Some Salt On Them
Salt melts slugs and snails, leaving them in messy grey puddles. You then have to scrape the puddles and throw them away, which can be messier than throwing away the live slugs to start with.
What Does it Mean When Slugs are in Your House?
It means that the weather is conducive for slugs. It is wet, rainy and the area surrounding your home is organic enough to support slugs. It could be that your garden is healthy or overgrown.
The slugs could also be coming from your neighbor’s garden or a neighboring field if you live out in the open.
There has to be an opening in your vents, doors, and windows allowing the slugs into your house. Follow the slime trails to see where the slugs enter your house, then find a way to block the cracks or crevices, making it harder for them to get into your home.
Do Slugs in the House Mean Damp
Not necessarily. However, slugs thrive in moist and dark areas. If they venture into a clean and dry house, they will die of dehydration and probably lack food.
So, if you see many slugs in your house, chances are there’s a place where the conditions are conducively damp and perhaps have some mold and algae to feed the slugs. Check your waterproofing or run a dehumidifier more often in the affected rooms.