How to Get Rid of Slugs on Vegetable Plants


If you're noticing your vegetable plants being eaten and silvery slime trails are stretched across your leaves and soil, then your garden is probably being invaded by slugs. While you can't rid your garden of slugs in a day, over a period of time you can give your plants relief.

Step 1

Fill a bucket half-full with water and add about a half tsp. of dish detergent. Mix the solution well, and don't worry about creating bubbles.

Step 2

Search for the slugs just after dark with a flashlight as they are coming out to feed. Handpick any slugs you see and drop them in the soapy water.

Step 3

Look for slug eggs, which will appear as brown or gray gel-like ½-inch wide clusters on leaves or on the soil. Remove them by hand or with a spade and put them in the soapy water.

Step 4

Make a trap by setting a flower pot upside-down in your garden with room at the bottom for slugs to enter. Lift the pot in the morning, and place any slugs you find in the soapy water.

Step 5

Place copper barrier tape around the base of containers and flower pots if your potted plants are being eaten. This can also be set around the perimeter of larger plants such as zucchini or tomatoes.

Step 6

Set iron phosphate baits around the edges of your garden and near any slug hiding spots following the manufacturer's instructions. Don't let the baits touch your vegetable plants. The slugs should eat these instead of your plants and die off thereafter.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you choose to use baits, be sure you keep household pets away from them and don't ever allow them to eat the baits.

Things You'll Need

  • Gallon bucket
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Flashlight
  • Spade
  • Clay flower pot
  • Copper barrier tape
  • Iron phosphate bait


  • "Vegetable Gardening: Your Ultimate Guide;" Robert J. Dolezal; 2000
Keywords: slugs, slugs on vegetable plants, slug prevention

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.