How can you get rid of slugs naturally? Slugs can eat everything in sight. Diatomaceous earth can help get rid of slugs permanently.

How to Get Rid of Slugs Naturally

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Slugs! A large population of slugs can decimate a crop in a few days there’s nothing they don’t want to eat. How can you get rid of slugs naturally? Diatomaceous earth can help get rid of slugs permanently. If you are a beginning gardener, check this out.

Slug on a celery plant in the garden

With all the rain we’ve been having in Oklahoma they are flourishing like a giant mob of tiny monsters taking over the garden. They are sliming the lettuce, chomping the strawberries, mangling the seedlings, and being a general menace! Other than squash bugs, I hate slugs the most!

My Little Sprouts and I worked too hard toiling over planting this yummy food just to feed it all to the nasty slugs! UGH!

slug on parsley

That’s where diatomaceous earth comes in. It’s a great natural product which is actually made of ground up ocean fossils! Diatomaceous earth works when you sprinkle it around your garden surfaces in a fine layer. When pests crawl over it, it cuts the waxy coating on their underbellies and causes them to dehydrate and die. 

Diatomaceous earth for slugs

tiny slug on lettuce leaf

How to get rid of slugs in the garden

Diatomaceous earth will help you get rid of slugs in the garden as well as several other pests including slugs and the nymphs or babies of the squash bug. It is even effective against roaches. When you use diatomaceous earth, sprinkle it on in a superfine layer like the dust on your furniture for the most effectiveness.

Here’s a link to a great vegetable garden planner you can print right out and use at home! So cute!

Wanna garden but you need the basics?

Diatomaceous earth does not work instantly, it handles the problem over time. It takes several days for the pests to dry out. Diatomaceous earth must be applied to dry surfaces in order to be effective. Once it rains, you need to reapply it. It helps stop slugs in the garden more quickly than other pests because it dries them out. 

It’s also good to try to sprinkle it on the underside of your leaves as well as the tops. If you want to read more about other uses for Diatomaceous earth, click here.

Diatomaceous earth for gardens, bottle of DE and strawberry garden bed with DE applied

This photo courtesy of Erica Mueller

Another great thing about diatomaceous earth is it is safe for human consumption. You can sprinkle it right on your food crops and it will not harm you in the least if you ingest it.

I make sure to use food-grade diatomaceous earth so I don’t have to worry about its residue being on my food. In fact, many people take it regularly for their health. 

Using diatomaceous earth in your garden for pest control keeps it natural and chemical-free. When you wash your produce as you normally would, the diatomaceous earth is rinsed away.

Be careful not to rub your eyes with diatomaceous earth on your hands because it can scratch them. You also don’t want to inhale the dust as it could irritate your lungs. Use common sense when applying and storing any product.

The only downside I have found to using Diatomaceous earth is it does not discriminate and can harm bees. If you sprinkle it on flowering crops, you can cover them with a row cover so bees won’t approach them to pollinate. That will eliminate this problem. You can also apply diatomaceous earth in the late evening when bee activity decreases. Avoid putting it near the flowers where bees visit and you should be fine.

Are you overrun with squash bugs in your garden? Check this out.

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  1. DE! I use it all around the coop and on the critters. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of using it for slugs!! Thanks and my farmer man thanks you….the strawberries have been a favorite of the slugs and they are my farmer man’s favorite too! lol

  2. I saw a tweet in my timeline about using DE for slugs with a giveaway and thought I would check it out. I already use it around my chicken coop and run.

  3. I heard about giveaway through newsletter e-mail, chicken coop is great, we just got some chickens and it would be the great addition! Thank you for doing this giveaway!

  4. I love the chicken coop! I didn’t know there was so many uses for de, I’ll for sure be buying some if I don’t win.

  5. I have never heard of this product. I’ sure it will be valuable to many. I wish we had enough water here in SoCal to have a slug infestation. We can’t even grow grass any more.

  6. I found you on twitter. Our slugs has disappeared. I think something ate them. There is a lot of wildlife running around at night.

  7. I don’t think we have a slug problem in North Carolina…this is very interesting to me! Sounds like DE is a great product to use for a variety of purposed. Thank you for the recommendation and I’ll be sure to suggest this to anyone with a slug problem! 🙂

  8. We use DE but I don’t THINK Dave has tried it for slugs. Great suggestion! Here in Washington state we are known as the slug capitol of the world. Slugs here are huge, nasty and prolific. Any help in the organic slug wars are heeded! Thank you

  9. It’s always fun to learn something new. I don’t have a garden but I know if I did, I would definitely want to get rid of those nasty slugs!

  10. Slugs are one of my least favorite pests! They are the worst!
    I need to learn a lot more about DE. I have read that it has tons of uses, even for my chickens and dogs!

  11. I love this, this is our first year with chicks, and so I would adore the chicken coop!! Thanks for so many chances to win 🙂

  12. I would recommend just using on non-flowering plants or plants that aren’t flowering yet to avoid possible harm to bees. There’s a shortage of the good guys, and way too many nasty slugs in my garden right now! Do you have ideas about how to get rid of a vole or pocket gopher?

  13. Thank you so much for this post!!! I always just thought DE was for in the Chicken Coop, now I know that I can stop slugs with it. Now I’m going to have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.