How to kill slugs & snails with coffee

Updated February 21, 2017

Slugs and snails are more than just slimy, slow-moving creatures. They can suck up rows of seedlings while leaving behind a trail of slime. While you may introduce natural predators like frogs into your garden, if you want immediate results there are lots of organic substances you may use to kill slugs and snails. While salt is a popular and effective solution, it is risky because salt can damage the soil. Coffee, which is just as effective, also fertilises your plants.

Mix 1 cup of tobacco with 4 cups of used coffee grounds. Stir them together in a disposable container. The tobacco will expedite the process that kills slugs and snails.

Sprinkle the coffee and tobacco mixture generously around plants. Create a thick barrier of this mixture---not just around the stems of plants but also around flower beds and anywhere you've seen snails or slugs or traces of them.

Go out to your yard at night with a flashlight and look for hiding places of slugs and snails in your yard. Look under boards, rocks and pots. Cover them with your tobacco-coffee mixture and dispose of them 24 hours later, once the caffeine and tobacco have taken effect.


Check with coffee shops in your area to see if they give away used coffee grounds.

Things You'll Need

  • Small disposable container
  • Plastic spoon
  • 1 cup tobacco
  • 4 cups used coffee grounds
  • Flashlight
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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."