Slug Infestation on Lawn | Causes & Prevention Measures

slug infestation on lawn

Slugs are one of the most destructive pests found in gardens and landscapes. Slug’s damage seeds, seedlings, tubers, leaves, and fruit in the ground. Damage to seedlings often results in tree death, which means a significant loss of production. The brown garden snail, Cornu aspersum (formerly Helix aspersa), is the most common species of snail that causes problems in California gardens. It was imported from France in the 1850s for food use. 

Common ornamental slug species include gray garden slug, Deroceras reticulatum (formerly Agriolimax reticulatus); banded slug, Lehmannia Poirier; three-banded garden slug, L. valentiana; the reddish-brown slug, Limacus flavus; and the greenhouse slug, Milax gagged. In this article, we’ll learn more about Slug infestation in lawns, the causes of Slug infestation, and How to get rid of Slug infestation.

What are Slugs and What do They Look Like?

slugs in grass what are slugs?

Slugs are snails without shells, to put it in simple terms. Although some of these mollusks have shells, they have absorbed them and used them to store nutrients. Slugs, like snails, generate a mucus coating to protect their sensitive skin and “grease” the surface they’re moving on. According to some estimates, slugs are a serious agricultural nuisance, and one acre of cropland may feed roughly a quarter-million slugs. As a result, even a tiny garden might have thousands of them.

The slug looks like an unusually large worm with two snail-like eyes. Naturally, the eyestalks allow vision, but they also contain the organs of smell. Slugs also have two small tentacles under their eye stalks that act as their sense of smell and taste. Hidden under the slug’s tentacles is the mouth, which opens to release a beam of radiation. The radula is a tongue-like organ with tooth-like protrusions that help it see-through food before it is ingested. In North America, slugs can grow up to 10 inches long. 

 Most slugs are light brown or gray, although the famous banana slugs of the Pacific Northwest are usually bright yellow. The slug’s skin is exceptionally moist and is usually covered with a thin layer of mucus that helps retain moisture and protects from most predators that don’t like the taste.

What Attracts Slugs to Your Lawn?

what causes slug infestation
  • Wet soil: Slugs like moist soil because they easily lose water. Moist soil creates favorable conditions for slugs and snails to retain body moisture. 
  • Wooden logs and stones: In addition to moist soil, logs and large rocks can also attract slugs and snails because they provide ideal shelter. Look around and remove any debris that snails and slugs have gathered in the past. 
  • Tallgrass and shrubs: Tallgrass also provides plenty of room to hide slugs and snails. Keep the lawn grass short with regular mowing.
  • Nutrient-dense plant: Slugs prefer plants with fleshy stems and foliage. That’s why it’s common to see them hanging around with plants like lettuce, marigolds, and cauliflower.

Slug Infestation 

Slug infestations are quite easy to spot. The most prevalent signs of slug activity are: Slug damage to plants appears as ragged holes surrounding a leaf which is sign of leaves getting eaten, with stem parts typically remaining undamaged. On the chewed leaves, look for a silvery slime. Slime trails can be found on concrete, wood, and rocks.

Signs of slug infestation on the lawn 

Before figuring out how to deal with a slug infestation on your lawn, be sure you’re dealing with the right problem. The following are some of the most prevalent signs of a slug infestation:

  • Stems that have never been touched
  • Plants are harmed overnight
  • Leaves with ragged holes and leaves are eaten.
  • On chewed leaves, there’s a silvery slime.
  • Slime tracks can be found on rocks, wood, and concrete.
  • Leaves with a scalloped biting pattern

It should be noted that severe slug damage usually occurs immediately after heavy rains and in early spring. You can even experience a slug problem at any time of the year.

What causes Slug Infestation?

There are more than 40 distinct slug species in the UK alone, out of 48. There are 29 distinct species in the United States and 9 different native slug species in the Middle East’s warmest regions. Slugs are prevalent in almost every part of the planet, so seeing one in your grass is only normal.

Slugs are considered `timid` invertebrates because they’re hunted down to use nearly every vertebrate organization on the planet, i.e., the aid of using reptiles, birds, amphibians, and mammals. If your garden has frogs, and also you pick to apply a chemical remedy that caters to frogs, you may assume a slug infestation to begin.

Getting Rid of Slug Infestation 

Organic slug baits are essential to know how to get rid of slugs in the garden. However, be smart with this method as not all slug baits are created equal. It would help if you did not ignore the power of wool pellets. Slugs were found to be just as annoyed by their fur and itchy as humans. You can produce an electric fence for slugs, believe it or not. Yes, that’s right, you can plan to make a small electric slug fence around high beds and protect plants from slugs.

1. Slug Trap 

Slugs may be caught in the garden using cabbage leaves, boards, damp newspaper, or chopped pieces of raw potato. Slugs will cluster in these moist gloomy locations after a night of slug partying, where you may discover them and dispose of them as you see fit.

2. Use of salt and beer 

Pour beer into small dishes and scatter them about your lawn. Beer will attract the slugs and kill them. Another alternative is to substitute the beer with a mixture of baking yeast, flour, cornmeal, and molasses. Both of these methods effectively reduce the slug population on your grass. Unfortunately, some slugs are resistant to beer. They will crawl out of the dish if this is the case. When this occurs, it’s up to you to set up a bear trap that they can’t escape.

You can remove the spout end of a bottle and turn it within the bottle. Tape or stables can be used to hold things together. Fill your bottle with beer and set it in the yard on its side. They won’t be able to get out after the slug has crawled inside. Slugs may be killed with salt, but be careful. Your grass and plants can suffer if you use too much salt. As a result, this might not be the easiest technique to get rid of slugs in your yard.

3. Use Copper Tape 

When a slug comes into touch with copper, it produces a little electric shock. Place the self-adhesive copper tape on your grass to stop slugs from making a meal of it. You can stick the tape to just about anything, and it works well to keep slugs off your yard.

4. Add Nematodes into the Lawn Soil 

Microorganisms that reside in the soil are known as nematodes. Slugs are parasitic on them. Nematodes can be mixed with water and then added to your soil. The soil must be above 5 degrees Celsius for this treatment to be effective.

5. Watering Lawn in the Morning 

Watering your grass in the morning is recommended by experts, you can water your grass using a sprinkler system or if you can’t afford one you can water your grass using other methods without a sprinkler system. The garden’s watering will also keep slugs away from your lawn and plants. This is because the water will evaporate completely over the day. Slugs are attracted to gardens, plants, and grass that remain damp overnight. Slugs are more likely to avoid your grass at night if it is dry. So, if you mow your lawn late at night and wonder, “Should I water my lawn after mowing tonight?” the answer is no. Wait till the next day.

6. Planting the right plants 

Lining your yard with plants that naturally dissuade slugs is a peaceful and non-violent technique to reduce slugs in your lawn. You can keep slugs off your lawn without using possibly dangerous pesticides if you do it in this manner. Slugs, for example, are repulsed by the aroma of Astrantia. Rosemary, anise, fennel, rue, and wormwood are some more plants you employ to keep slugs from eating your grass.


Slugs may quickly become a big problem in any lawn or garden, and allowing them to flourish can lead to plant destruction. To avoid (or treat) an infestation, it’s critical to take care of any slug problems. Our preferred choice for the finest slug killer is Natria Snail and Slug Killer Bait Granules, which are non-toxic, easy to apply, and lasts up to 4 weeks—even in heavy rain. I hope this article helps you a lot to understand the topic of slug infestation on lawn.

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