What Do Slugs Hate? Use Slugs Smell Against them

A lot of people think about slugs and ask questions such as, “What do slugs hate?” or “How do you get rid of slugs?” Slugs are a nasty bunch. They can cause damage to your garden and home, as well as annoy your pets and children.

Slugs eat a lot, ranging from different types of plants, fungi, and dead animals, so what do they hate?

Slugs are generally not fussy eaters, so it’s not surprising that a slug won’t eat garlic. ALthough, slugs are mostly omnivores, meaning they eat plants and animals, making their diet diverse. 

So if you’re a slug-hating gardener, you should plant some garlic to keep hungry slugs away. There are many other things slugs hate, ranging from smells, textures, and terrains to keep them away.

About slugs

Slugs are related to snails. Slugs are from the family Arionidae, which includes over 1,000 species of slug. They are one of the common pests in the yard. They’re not all that harmful, but they can be a pain to deal with when they are

They can be found in a wide range of habitats and climates. They eat plants’ leaves, flowers, and fruits, so gardeners must not let them get into their crops. 

Slugs are available in numerous colors without any hard shell, but they have a mantle on the back of their head. Slugs feed on about anything edible: plants, insects, and even other slugs.

What slugs hate
Picture of a slug

They have a pronotum (the part of their body above their head) that is longer than their first two pairs of legs, and they have three pairs of antennae on each side of their head between their eyes and mouth cavity.

Slugs move slowly but can travel up to 15 feet per hour when they feel threatened or hungry (which means they’re looking for food). Slugs are very sensitive to the touch, so you’ll need to be careful when removing them from your garden area because they’ll run away if you’re too rough with them. 

The smells slugs hate

There are many ways to keep slugs away from your garden, using what they hate or natural homemade repellent to keep your plants safe.

There has been some confusion about how slugs can perceive smell and how many noses they have if they can perceive. Slugs can perceive smell and can sense their environment using their tentacles. These allow them to be attracted to fresh plants and decaying plant matter.

Knowing this, you can keep them away from your garden entirely with the smell they hate, keeping your garden slug free. Below are some of the small and terrain slugs hate that can be used against them

Some Plants

Slugs hate the smell of citrus, mint, and other plants commonly used as pest repellents. If you want to keep them away from your garden, try planting one of these herbs around your plants:

  • Cilantro (aka coriander)
  • Lemon verbena (aka sweet verbena)
  • Mint
  • Coriander
  • Orange blossom petals
  •  Fuschia
  • Geraniums (Pelargonium)
  • Garlic
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)
  • Cranesbill geraniums.
  • Ajuga reptans.
  • Japanese anemone (Anemone hupehensis)
  • Catmint (Nepeta)
  • Alchemilla Mollis.
  • Columbine (Aquilegia)
  • Arabis.
  • Armeria (thrift)
  • Artemisia.
  • Anemone (fall-blooming types)
  • Aquilegia (columbine)

There are many other plants slugs hate and will deter slugs from your yard. These plants can be used as companion planting. With this, they will keep slugs away from your vegetable and keep your herbs healthy. You can also read more about companion planting here. 


When people think of slugs, they probably don’t immediately think about vinegar. However, vinegar is not your best weapon if you have a slug problem.

Although vinegar is a natural way to deter slugs, it’s acidic, so it lowers the pH in the slug’s environment, making them less comfortable and unable to survive.

Slugs hate the smell of vinegar. They’ll also avoid areas with a lot of vinegar on plants or potted plants because the smell of vinegar reminds them that they’re toxic to slugs.

Slugs are also repelled by borax, so you can use borax as an alternative to vinegar if you need to keep your plants safe from snails and slugs while still keeping them looking nice.


Slugs don’t like a salty environment, so slugs will avoid your plants if you add salt to your garden.

Salt, specifically, is an irritant to their skin, causing them to retreat away from it. Salt also disrupts the slime trail they use to navigate through the soil. 

Also, salt is a cheap alternative to other repellents, like cayenne pepper or garlic, which can be difficult if you have pets or small children.

what do slugs hate

Black pepper

Black pepper is a natural repellent for slugs. Slugs hate the smell of black pepper because it’s an irritant to their sensitive skin, and it also makes them feel trapped.

It’s natural and organic, so you know it’s safe for you, your family, and the environment. The pepper will keep them away for a couple of weeks or until the pepper is no longer fresh and potent.

Black pepper can also repel mosquitoes and flies, making it a great addition to your garden or landscaping.

If you have slugs in your garden or landscaping, try sprinkling black pepper on the area where you see many of them. You should repeat this process every couple of weeks until they are gone.


Slugs hate copper. Copper is toxic to slugs, and if you have a slug problem in your garden, it is ideal to use copper to stop them from eating your plants.  

Why do slugs hate copper? Slugs are cold-blooded animals, so they need energy from the sun. Copper is a very effective deterrent against slugs because it absorbs heat and transfers that energy directly into the slug’s body. So even though slugs will eat any plant matter, they won’t eat copper-plated plants.

What can I do? If you want to protect your plants from slugs, you can keep them well-watered and provide them with plenty of sunlight.

You can also use copper tape on top of your plants’ soil (ensure it’s not touching the leaves). The copper tape will create a barrier that keeps out both water and slugs, and if you repeat this process every year, your plants will develop immunity against these pests over time.

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth, also known as DE, is a natural substance that’s made up of the remains of ancient sea creatures. It has been proven effective at killing slugs and snails and keeping your garden safe from other pests. 

This compound is used to kill slugs and snails. It’s sold in powder form, which you sprinkle onto your lawn and garden, or it can be sprinkled on top of existing mulch or soil. The compound acts as an abrasive and cuts through the shells of slugs, killing them. It also kills snails and other pests hiding in the soil, so it’s great for keeping away Japanese beetle larvae.

First off, diatomaceous earth is not poisonous to humans or pets, so even if you’re scared of what might happen if they eat it, there’s no need to worry about harming yourself or your animals in any way. This means that if you have dogs or cats who might snack on slugs, this is ideal for them to use instead.

what slugs hate

Coffee grounds

Slugs are repelled by the smell of coffee grounds, which they find unpleasant and irritating. The coffee grounds contain caffeine, a natural pheromone that the slugs don’t like to come in contact with. 

There are two ways to use coffee grounds to get rid of slugs: either sprinkle it around your plants or mix with water and spray it unto plants. 


Onions can be used in several ways to repel slugs, but they are most commonly used as vegetable garden mulch; the idea is that the smell of onions will keep slugs away from your plants.

The problem with using onions as a solution for slug problems is that it’s only sometimes effective. The white onions are probably your best bet. They’re not only delicious and nutritious, but they also contain the substance thiosulfate, which is toxic to slugs.

If you’re growing your vegetables, try planting some of these onions in your garden or using them as a component in your compost pile.


If you’re a big fan of garlic, you probably know it can be used as a natural pesticide. And it’s true. Garlic is rich in allicin, making it so effective at deterring slugs.

Slugs don’t like to cross over the scent barrier created by allicin, so they’ll stay away from areas where they encounter garlic.

It also helps repel mosquitoes, flies, moths, and other pests that can make your yard uncomfortable. As an added bonus, it also keeps out snails. 

What Terrain Do Slugs Dislike?


They’re sensitive to environmental changes and avoid too harsh areas. Don’t expect slugs to be there if you have a gravel driveway or yard or areas with lava rocks. They prefer soft surfaces like grass and soil.

Slugs hate gravel because they can’t get a grip on it. Slugs are soft-bodied, so they don’t have a strong enough grip to move around on hard surfaces like gravel and rocks. They slide right off of them.

What do slugs hate

Slate Surface

Slugs don’t like slabs of slate. Why? Slate is porous and absorbs water, which makes it a perfect environment for slug growth. Slugs need to eat—and they can’t eat through slate.

Slate is also a good insulator, which is why it’s popular in homes and other buildings. Slugs are cold-blooded creatures, so they need heat to survive. They’ll die if they get too cold, so the first thing a slug will do when it finds an area with lots of exposed slate is found a way to get warm.

Finally, slugs are very sensitive to toxins. Slate contains many naturally occurring chemicals that make it toxic to slugs, especially on its surface. If you want to keep your home free of slugs (and avoid having them show up), keep your slate clean and pick up any pieces you find lying around.

Bark Mulch

Slugs and snails hate bark mulch because it’s rough on their feet, and it can be a barrier to them getting closer to the soil. They also hate the smell of bark mulch, similar to rotting wood.

Bark mulch is an excellent slug-repelling option. It’s made from the bark of trees and is available in wide varieties. It can be used in various ways: as a barrier that keeps slugs from entering your garden beds; as a mulch that helps keep moisture in the soil and prevents weed growth; as an organic fertilizer; or as an alternative to traditional chemical pesticides.

Bark Mulch has several benefits for growing plants, including:

  • It holds moisture, so plants don’t dry out
  • It discourages weeds
  • It improves soil quality and drainage
  • It reduces compaction

Crushed Eggshells

Slugs are a type of mollusk and have extremely delicate skin. They do not like to be squished or stepped on, which happens when you crush eggshells. The crushed shell particles irritate the slugs’ sensitive skin and cause irritation and inflammation, which can lead to death.

What is poisonous to slugs?

Slugs are a common pest that can be found in gardens, parks, and backyards. Slugs are distinguished by their lack of legs and the fact that they do not have antennae. They are also called “mollusks” and come in many colors.

The most common types of poisonous slug control include slug pellets and slug bait. Slug pellets are a way to kill slugs on contact, while slug bait is used to attract pests away from your home or garden. Both can be purchased at local garden stores or online. There are also lots of things that are poisonous to slugs. Some of the most common are:

  • Salt
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE)
  • Burs
  • Tobacco
  • Locust bean plants

Alternatively, you can use pesticides like Sluggo, which is effective at killing slugs when they come in contact with it.

What do slugs hate

Do slugs eat clematis?

Clematis is very vulnerable to damage from snails, slugs, and other slugs, especially if it’s growing in a shady area. You can spray with snail bait or use slug traps if a slug eats some of your clematises.

If you notice that your clematis has been nibbled on by a slug, it’s likely because it was too young for the slug to detect its taste buds and be repelled by it. Also, if you’ve got a slug problem, you can try to buy some plants with stronger-tasting leaves or use Sluggo as a deterrent around your garden.

If a slug has eaten too much of your plant and doesn’t look like it will recover, you can remove it by hand or with a garden hose.

Do slugs eat poppies?

No. Slugs don’t eat poppies. Poppies are a type of flower that grows in the ground. They are yellow or pink, and they grow on tall stems. Slugs don’t like the taste of poppies at all.

Poppies are used to make opium. The poppy plant is a member of the Asteraceae family, along with daisies, sunflowers, and chrysanthemums. Poppies are widely grown in China and other countries where opium is used as a medicinal drug.

Do slugs eat broccoli?

Slugs eat a lot of things. They can even eat your lawn if you’re lucky enough to have one. But they’re not the only things slugs eat; they also like to munch on plants, especially broccoli and other cabbage-family veggies.

Slugs don’t need any help finding broccoli—they’re just attracted to its smell. The vegetable’s strong flavor is part of what attracts them in the first place, but it’s also because it contains an enzyme called glucuronolactone that makes them want to eat more.

But there are some ways you can protect your broccoli from getting eaten by slugs. First, grow it in containers so that you don’t have to worry about water being available all year round; slugs will usually avoid plants that have been in standing water for more than a few days at a time. So if you have a spot for your plant where it won’t be watered often throughout the rest of the year, it will be less likely for slugs to eat it. Second, ensure that whatever container your broccoli is in has excellent drainage—this helps keep moisture away from the root system and ensures that any water spills.

Do slugs eat ranunculus?

Slugs are pretty gross. But there’s one thing they love: ranunculus.

Ranunculus is a great plant that attracts pollinators and is easy to grow. It has beautiful flowers, but it’s also drought-resistant and fairly hardy. That makes it great for slug-bait. 

The answer is yes if you’ve got a garden full of ranunculus and you’re wondering if slugs will eat them. Slugs have an impressive appetite for dead plants, which is why they’re so fond of slug-baiting in the first place. They can be lured into your garden with some ranunculus flowers or even just a sprinkling of seeds around the perimeter of your garden.

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