How to Get Rid of Slugs Eating Hostas

Slugs are a common pest in your hosta garden. Slugs look like snails, but without the shells. They prey on hosta leaves, which means missing foliage and small holes in your hosta’s leaves. They are annoying pests for any hosta enthusiast and can ruin the look of your garden.

How to get rid of slugs eating hostas

This spring, we’ve been noticing a lot of people having slug problems. Slugs prefer lots of moisture. With all the rain we’ve had this year, slugs are everywhere. They prefer cool, dark conditions, so they usually strike at night or when there is cloud cover in temperatures above 50°F. It is important to be proactive with slugs. It is better to start baiting for them early in the spring rather than wait until you notice the first damage on your hostas. Below are a couple tips on how to get rid of slugs eating hostas.

Tips on how to get rid of slugs eating hostas:

  1. Eggshells – crush them up and place them around your hostas. Slugs won’t crawl over eggshells because the sharp edges cut them. Some people save eggshells throughout the winter months in a Ziploc bag. Then, in the spring when they are dried out, they crush them up and place them around their hostas.
  1. Coffee Grounds – just like with the eggshells, lay coffee grounds around your hostas. The caffeine is deadly to the slugs. They will soak up the caffeine through their feet when crawling over the coffee grounds, killing them.
  1. Beer traps – take a small shallow container (cottage cheese container cut down to an inch works great) and bury it to ground level next to your hostas. Then, fill it with beer. Slugs are very attracted to beer and will fall into the trap and drown. You will want to empty and refill the traps each morning (depending, of course, on how many slugs have drowned in the trap).
  1. Epsom salts – place a ring of the salts around your hostas. The slugs won’t go near it!
  1. Put up lots of birdhouses – birds eat slugs, so having lots of birdhouses around your hostas will attract lots of birds to eat the slugs. Problem solved! I’ve also heard of people placing rings of birdseed around their hostas to attract the birds.
  1. Plant slug resistant hostas – Some hostas have thicker leaves that are much harder for slugs to eat. Planting these will reduce the amount of slug damage. Here’s the slug resistant hostas on our website:
  1. Slug-killing products from garden store – you can find several slug-killing products at your local garden store such as Sluggo. These have all been effective.

These are tips on how to get rid of slugs eating hostas that have been effective in the past. You will just need to find the method that is most effective for you on how to get rid of slugs eating hostas.

We’d love to hear about any other solutions that have worked for you! Comment below with any tips!

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9 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Slugs Eating Hostas

  1. Copper wire might work.
    Also what about container gardening hostas? It would be easier to keep the slugs off and also easier to find the slugs.

    • Container gardening would certainly make it easier to keep the slugs off. I forgot to add this to the list of tips. Thanks for mentioning it!

    • That’s a good tip! I haven’t heard of using sea shells but I’m sure it works the same as the egg shells. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This will work better in smaller gardens –

    Been doing some hunting on this topic for my own garden. I have found that there is a probably an ‘easy’ way of ridding your garden of slugs – but there is an time requirement attached to it, The use of slug boards; planks of wood that are approximately 8in x 3n x 1in in your garden. Use one for about every 3 square feet; inspect them in the mornings – salt them down if you want, and repeat for about 2 to 3 weeks until you see none,

    Cleaning them in soapy water will remove the slug slime and salt for the next round of slugs. Remember Salt and Slugs mix just as well as Salt and Hosta. For Hosta salt is also a poison.

    Also note this is pet, child, ‘neighbor’, and ecologically safe solution. In turn I must acknowledge Bob Axmear for this solution.

  3. Pingback: Control Hosta Pests - Learn how to control slugs, deer, rabbits, voles

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