What Are the Treatments for Slugs on Flowers?

Slugs are soft-bodied mollusks that lay trails of slime on which they glide about. Slugs and their relatives, garden snails, chew unsightly holes in plant leaves and blossoms and can kill young plants. Active mostly at night, they hide during the day, the only signs of their presence are the shiny slime trails and the damage they leave behind. Once plants are damaged by slugs, the only solution is to eliminate the slugs to prevent further damage.

Reduce Hiding Places

The first step in getting rid of slugs and the damage they cause is to eliminate or reduce the places where they can hide. Remove unused flower pots, bricks and rocks from the flower garden. Regularly move potted flowers and destroy any slugs you find beneath them.

Melon Rinds

Trap slugs in inverted melon rinds. Slugs are drawn to the sugary remains of the melon flesh and will crawl into the bowls of rinds and be unable to get out. Drown or crush any slugs you capture this way.


Slugs like beer, so some gardeners set out shallow dishes of beer nightly and collect the drowned slugs in the morning. You can also use fruit juice or sugar water.


Slugs and snails can't cross a copper barrier. The chemical composition of the slime on which they travel reacts with the copper, causing an electrical shock-like reaction. Partially bury copper flashing all around your flower garden as a barrier against slugs.


Toads eat snails and slugs, so encourage their presence in your garden by setting out a toad house for them to live in.

Keywords: soft-bodied mollusks, slime trails, slugs and snails

About this Author

Cynthia James is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from Modern Bride to Popular Mechanics. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has a degree in economics. Before turning to freelancing full time, James worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.