Slugs were a very big problem with home and allotment gardeners this year. Many of asked how to control them so they don’t eat all the nice green leaves on our spinach, bok Choi, kale, lettuce etc.

Is there an effective way to control them?


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners about slugs in your garden. The only way to mostly get rid of them is to remove the thin-leaved plants that attract them (like spinach, bok choy and lettuce (except romaine)) and replace them with plants they don’t like (thick leaved, hairy, fibrous, waxy etc.). However there are ways to control them which generally fall into these categories :

  • cultural practices including watering in the morning or afternoon not in the evening and hand picking if practical
  • traps including laying 2×4’s between the rows or plants and beer/yeast and sugar solutions
  • barriers including diatomaceous earth (differing opinions on effectiveness), wood ashes and copper
  • bait in the form of pellets containing iron but not metaldehyde
  • encouraging slug predators into your garden including snakes, frogs, toads, birds and ground beetles.

There is more information about controlling slugs at the links below. The Toronto Master Gardeners get a lot of questions about slugs. Our answers to these questions are available by clicking here and then entering the word slugs in the search bar under Find it Here.

Slug Treatments that Really Work! Laidback Gardener

Warning: Eggshells Actually ATTRACT Slugs – Laidback Gardener       (included because of the broken link in the above)

How to Get Rid of Slugs and Snails in the Garden – Garden Myths

How to Get Rid of Slugs in the Garden Organically – Savvy Gardening

Hopefully this is helpful for controlling slugs in your garden next year.

Oct. 4, 2023