Learn to control these slimy pests


slugsWhere they live
You'll find these slimers throughout North America.

Their life cycle
Adults lay eggs in moist soil, and the eggs hatch in 2 to 4 weeks. Slugs can grow for up to 2 years before reaching maturity.

Plants they attack
Slugs and snails attack any tender plants, although slugs in particular have a taste for vegetables. Snails can be a serious problem on citrus.

Why they're a problem
Both slugs and snails feed primarily on decaying plant material. But they also eat soft, tender plant tissue and make large holes in foliage, stems, and even bulbs. They may completely demolish seedlings and severely damage young shoots and plants. They may also crawl up trees and shrubs to feed. Both are most numerous and damaging in wet years and in regions that receive lots of rain.

Organic damage control

  • Garden organically so that your landscape is a welcome home for many natural enemies of slugs, including birds, garter snakes, toads, and lizards.
  • Maintain permanent walkways of clover, sod, or stone mulches to encourage predatory ground beetles.
  • Repel slugs and snails with copper strips fastened around trunks of trees or shrubs.
  • Encircle tender young seedlings with a protective barrier of crushed eggshells.