29 April 2012

The War on Slugs

Our new grow boxes are full of tender young plants, tempting targets for slugs.  I've been told and read of many different strategies for dealing with them: eggshells scattered around the plants, pans of stale beer, and copper.  Apparently copper reacts with the slime created by snails and slugs and gives them shocks or something.  I guess it's like when you chew a bit of foil by mistake if you have metal fillings.

Various methods of using copper as a barrier were considered, lengths of copper wire stapled to the sides of the garden box (too narrow to really stop a hungry slug), copper pipe strap nailed to the box (too expensive for an experiment) and strips of copper mesh (available in decent lengths for a reasonable price, but not readily to hand)  While poking through the kitchen section of Home Hardware I found copper scourers.  They seemed to be made of copper mesh rolled into a donut.

I bought a package -- and was gently admonished by the cashier (and the label) not to use them on non-stick pans -- and headed home.

The scourers were unrolled and gave me two tubular lengths of copper mesh which I cut apart into lengths of 'tape' which I stapled around the base of the garden box which we planted today.

I will report later on the effectiveness of the wire obstacle we've erected to keep the slugs out of our garden box.  Once we've had a chance to see how well they work, that is.  Even if they don't care about the copper, they'll probably have a pretty rotten time trying to get across the sharp metal mesh.


  1. Did the copper work? I have some plants that attract slugs and am considering trying this very thing.

  2. Did the copper work?

  3. There are plenty of snails and slugs around the garden, but none have crawled into the boxes yet. I haven't tried any kind of test other than observation, but it does appear to be working.

    If slugs do manage to breach the obstacles, I'll post any update.

    The scouring pads are made of a kind of tube of expanded copper mesh. You could cut rings from the tube and stretch them around the bottom of (small) flower pots, too.


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