Get Rid of Garden Slugs
Two years ago, I mentioned my battle against our backyard slug population. You responded with dozens of great ideas. One of them was using copper strips around planting areas which delivers an electrical shock to the slimy pests when they ooze over it. The idea of sending a “You aren’t welcome here” message without using toxic chemicals definitely appealed to me.
My husband read that zinc strips have been proven effective as well. Since zinc is significantly cheaper than copper, we decided to give it a shot. My husband picked up some rolls (nails are included) at our local home improvement store. It was priced at $25 for 50′. We used a 10%-off coupon, of course, so that helped lower the price a bit.
From what I have read, it is best to fix the strips vertically to prevent debris from getting on them. When the vertical strips are bent down at the top to create flanges, they are 95% effective at repelling slugs. They are also 100% effective at cutting your legs. We are rebels at heart, with small, injury-prone children running around, so we opted to wrap the tops of our raised beds with the zinc strips instead. We are putting down gravel to create paths in between our raised beds. I think this will also help deter slugs from climbing into bed with our vegetable plants.
We have high hopes that these zinc ledges will create a barrier between our garden pests and plants. Even if they don’t work, we are really happy with how the finished beds look. Also, it was an easy way to cover the tops of our raised beds so soil doesn’t fall between the plastic and the lumber. Have any of you had success with copper, zinc, or other non-toxic slug solutions?
How To Create a Slug Barrier for your Raised Bed
- Run a bead of adhesive along the top of your raised bed or garden containers. Roll the zinc or copper strip along the adhesive, nailing in place every 2-3′.
- Cut the strip at the corner. My husband used metal snips, but the zinc was thin enough that regular scissors would also work.
- Secure each zinc strip corner to each other and the raised bed post using a single nail. Snip the edges and fold down to create a neat corner.
- Step back to admire your work. Make sure you keep the horizontal surface clean of debris and try not to let plants hang over the side for the best results.
For an even easier application, you can purchase products like Corry’s Slug & Snail Copper Tape Barrier (Amazon) that would look nice both as a garden accent and as a slug deterrent. This would work well for smaller pots or containers. However, the price tag is higher, and the life span would be shorter. Does anyone have experience using the tape products?
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