Tips on combating slugs in the Seattle garden

Slugs may seem to be a spring fixture in the Northwest garden, but doesn’t despair! Here are some tried and true methods to help you thwart these critters:

  • Remove habitat. Get rid of miscellaneous plastic pots or woody debris where slugs congregate during the day. Pull and discard weeds from around your plants.
  • Go hunting. Slugs feed on cloudy, cool days or at night; you can search them out with a flashlight and toss them into the yard waste container.
  • Use slug traps. Sink empty yogurt containers into the ground and fill them halfway up with beer. Cut a hole in the cover to allow slugs to enter and to keep rain out. Or place a wooden board on an angle in the garden and collect them during the day when they are clinging to the underside of the board.
  • Shock them. Apply copper strip tape to the outside of containers you are growing in. Slugs get an electrical shock when they move across metal and will not pass over this strip.
  • Bait them. Scatter certified organic slug bait products that use iron phosphate as the active ingredient around the planting area. These baits are safe to use around pets and wildlife and are non-toxic for you to handle.  Corry’s Slug & Snail Death is the product I have used the last several years.

The bottom line is there is no magic bullet, but there are some tricks that work.


  1. Hi Charlie! I like your article on slugs, and was wondering if I may share it with my local hardware store – here on Vashon, with your name, of course. I am going to help them with non-toxic options for ridding gardens of pests, and slugs are pest number one for many of us in the Seattle area!
    Kind regards,

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