How to Spray Slugs With Soapy Water to Kill Them

Written by tabitha harwell
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How to Spray Slugs With Soapy Water to Kill Them
Slugs enjoy eating hosta plants and will typically lay eggs in the centre of the plant. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Kill pesky slugs with soapy water by simply spraying them. Slugs feast on plants and vegetables during the day and evening hours; however, finding a slug during the day is quite difficult. W.S. Cranshaw from Colorado State University Extension describes slugs as difficult and destructive pests that are hard to control. Locate the slugs by searching at night, or following their slime trail to find their homes. Once they are found, spray them with soapy water to melt them by removing their protective layer.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 Tbsp dish soap
  • Bucket
  • Spray bottle

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  1. 1

    Fill a gallon bucket with fresh water and add the dish soap. Add the soap after the water to prevent the soap bubbles from taking up space within the bucket.

  2. 2

    Mix the soap and water together, and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Set the spray bottle nozzle to "stream."

  3. 3

    Look for slugs at night. They will be out and about more than during the day. During the day, slugs hide from the heat under rocks, plants and other small objects.

  4. 4

    Aim the nozzle directly at the slug and spray two to three squirts. The soap will peel the protective layer from the slug and kill it.

  5. 5

    Follow the slime trail to catch other slugs. Slugs will travel along the same slime line to a food source.

  6. 6

    Squirt around the base of the plants to deter other slugs from eating on the plants. Do not squirt the leaves of the plants. The soap will sit on the leaves, and the sun will burn the plant.

Tips and warnings

  • Drop slugs in soapy water to kill them.
  • Slugs and snails are relatives and the same method may work to rid your yard of snails.

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