Beer, hair and newspapers - how to get rid of slugs from your garden naturally

There’s bad news for gardeners – we're about to be invaded by a slimy army of sleepy slugs. Here’s how to do battle.

As every green-fingered gardener knows, slugs are one of the biggest pests, chomping through vegetable patches and steadily slurping up seedlings.

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But don’t panic, there’s plenty of inexpensive ways to defeat these squelchy beasts – they have some rather unlikely kryptonite…

Beer

You might not fancy wasting your favourite tipple on a garden pest, but it turns out slugs like a pint just as much as we do. Build your own slug pub by half burying a plastic container in a flowerbed and filling with beer.

Unable to resist the strong scent of hops, slugs will slide up to the “bar”, fall in drunk, and drown. Hurrah!

Egg shells

When you next have an omelette, instead of binning the egg shells, line your borders with them, as the sharp edges will stop the slugs climbing in to feast on your plants. The shells also add a touch of calcium to the soil, which can help to balance out acid.

Hands

You’re going to have to steal yourself for this one, but the Press Association's gardening expert Hannah Stephenson reckons the best way to rid your garden of slugs is to physically collect up the little blighters by hand, in the early evening or after rain.

Perhaps pay your kids per slug as a way for them to earn some extra pocket money. Crucially, they can’t be just thrown down the end of the garden, you’ll need to dispose of them in your green bin so they’re taken far, far away.

Salt

The traditional dehydrating nemesis of the slug is still a favourite, although don’t get it near the plants. Either pop your collected slugs in a bucket of salty water or go out at night with a torch and sprinkle some on every slug you find.

Hair

Similar to egg shells, cut ends of hair are particularly uncomfortable for slugs to slide over and they’ll get tangled up in small bundles.

So pop a hair sieve over the plughole in your shower and start collecting your own personal slug repellent now. Hair today, gone tomorrow…

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Newspapers

The lazy gardener’s alternative to the hand collection method, a damp old newspaper will provide slugs with some shelter on hot days in the garden. Simply wait for them all to get reading yesterday’s news and then pop the paper (and slugs) in the bin.

Copper tape

Slug slime reacts with copper and gives the critters a little electric shock. Buy adhesive tape from hardware shops to stick as an attractive rim around your pots to deter slugs from getting to the juicy flowers they hold.

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