How to Kill Slugs & Snails With Coffee
Slugs and snails are more than just slimy, slow-moving creatures. They can suck up rows of seedlings while leaving behind a trail of slime. While you may introduce natural predators like frogs into your garden, if you want immediate results there are lots of organic substances you may use to kill slugs and snails. While salt is a popular and effective solution, it is risky because salt can damage the soil. Coffee, which is just as effective, also fertilizes your plants.
Mix 1 cup of tobacco with 4 cups of used coffee grounds. Stir them together in a disposable container. The tobacco will expedite the process that kills slugs and snails.
Sprinkle the coffee and tobacco mixture generously around plants. Create a thick barrier of this mixture—not just around the stems of plants but also around flower beds and anywhere you've seen snails or slugs or traces of them.
Go out to your yard at night with a flashlight and look for hiding places of slugs and snails in your yard. Look under boards, rocks and pots. Cover them with your tobacco-coffee mixture and dispose of them 24 hours later, once the caffeine and tobacco have taken effect.
Snails & Slugs On Pansies
Slugs and snails feed on pansy foliage and flowers, causing large, irregular holes with smooth edges. They also leave a silvery trail of dried mucus where they travel, distinguishing snail and slug activity from other pests that may feed on pansy foliage, such as caterpillars. These pests are active and feeding at night and on foggy or cloudy days, hiding in shaded, moist areas during the day. Snails and slugs are both members of the mollusk family and move by gliding on a muscular foot that constantly secretes mucus. In areas with mild winters, snails and slugs remain active year-round. Bait products generally contain metaldehyde or iron phosphate. Baits are generally most effective if sprinkled evenly around areas the snails and slugs regularly visit.
Check with coffee shops in your area to see if they give away used coffee grounds.
- "The Truth About Organic Gardening: Benefits, Drawbacks, and the Bottom Line"; Jeff Gillman; 2008
- "Rodale's Vegetable Garden Problem Solver"; Fern Marshall Bradley; 2007
- Chicagoland Gardening: Pests
- University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Snails and Slugs
- Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service: Pansy Diseases & Insect Pests
- University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Pansy, Violet—Viola spp.