Yesterday I went through my garden and removed the first slugs of the year from my tomatoes. The same question as every time: What to do with them?

Throwing them into a bucket of water is no good; wait five minutes and they are out. The beer-trap will just attract more of them and if it's raining it will be rendered down to being useless.

So I used baking soda (~15g in 1/8l) and it seems they're still on the bottom of the bucket.
Today first thing in the morning was to remove the slugs which came during the night. Curious if they would survive in that baking-soda water I dropped them into it and... seems they died.

From my knowledge baking soda and water will create a weak organic acid. If baking soda is applied on slugs directly it will apparently dehydrate the slug. (Correct me if I'm wrong)

So how does a night-old bucket of water with a reasonable amount of baking-soda affect slugs?

Edit one: Apparently Baking Soda causes a reaction which creates Carbonic Acid inside the slug. Just. How? Source.

  • 1
    Not sure if snails feel pain, but just in case I suspect it would be kinder to just squash them thoroughly. Apr 24, 2018 at 22:12
  • @HighlyIrregular - I would love to do that, but the biggest snail I have found so far is 1,5cm. I can barely grab them
    – Qohelet
    Apr 25, 2018 at 8:04
  • 1
    @HighlyIrregular - yesterday I tried your recommendation - they are small and slimy, it's difficult to apply force on them. First trial they just got flat, second trial some of them popped up. Afterwards the concrete was full of goo. This morning I caught 30 slugs and just threw them into a solution of industrial alcohol and baking powder.
    – Qohelet
    Apr 27, 2018 at 7:48

2 Answers 2


Ducks will eat slugs and produce duck eggs (hens), duck meat (hens and drakes), and high-nitrogen contributions (poop) to your compost pile or directly in your garden area.

  • Sorry, I fail to see how your answer remotely answers my question
    – Qohelet
    May 2, 2018 at 10:55
  • My reading is that you have a problem with slugs in your garden. I proposed a solution which will help eliminate slugs. As a bonus, it will also produce additional outputs (food and garden amendments). I hope this helps. If not, no worries and good luck! May 2, 2018 at 12:32
  • I want to know why slugs die if you put them into a one-day-old solution of baking soda. If I put that on stackExchange chemistry they downvote and close the question as they see it as too trivial
    – Qohelet
    May 2, 2018 at 15:00
  • 2
    Sorry that I didn't find that clear from your question. I'm not sure that the biology/physiology of slugs is particularly on-topic for this stackexchange either, alas. Good luck. May 2, 2018 at 15:30
  • @Qohelet you do ask, in the first paragraph of your question, what to do with the slugs you have. Jean-Paul has given you an answer to that question. I know you then go on to ask a different question; it seems that you have now found an answer to that, and have edited it into the question. Is that right? If so, please can you put the answer in an answer, rather than in the question.
    – 410 gone
    May 3, 2018 at 5:45

Move them far away in a place they like

The strategy I use is to move them to a remote place of the yard (at least 30 meters away). It will take them long to come back, and the journey may be dangerous for them. That's also the point of gathering them: attracting predators.

Of course this works if you have a large-enough yard. Otherwise, someone of your neighbors may have an appropriate place for them.

Let them work for you

Gathering all the slugs in one places attracts their predators here. On my composting pile, they work for me in accelerating the degradation process.

My composting pile is a very good place for this because it is under tree shades near a small stream. The slug diseases are also prone to develop widely in a slug-crowded place.

How to collect the sticky little creatures

Collect them with (old-recycled) plumbing pliers and put them into a bucket with water at the bottom, and moving the water within the bucket detaches the slugs that try to escape from the sides. Then unload the slug bucket on your composting pile.

You may also find helpful tips here.

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