Slugs, and their shelled cousins snails, won’t cause as much damage as other pests (like rats or termites), but the slimy gastropods often drive people to extreme lengths as they try to find a way to rid their homes and gardens of them. So, why are they in your home, and how do you get them out?

First, as stated above, slugs and snails are gastropods, which are a part of the mollusk phylum. Mollusks are invertebrates, meaning they do not have spinal columns like mammals do, and have a very diverse variety of species, including squids and octopi. Snails and slugs are close relatives of each other, with their main visible difference being that slugs do not have a shell. 

How to spot slugs and snails in your home

The main way to determine if there are snails and slugs in your home is spotting their slime trails. Because they operate more at night, unless you’re up late and happen to see them, you are less likely to discover their presence by sight. 

You can also detect gastropods if you see small holes in the leaves of your house plants. But because there are many other potential culprits, the slime trail away from the scene of the crime is the more effective way of determining if you have slugs or snails. 

Why they may have entered

Snails and slugs have a varied diet, consisting of most plants, vegetables, fruits, fungi and even the eggs of other gastropods. They are less likely to come inside for something to eat than they are to feast in the great outdoors, but if they do get a lead on something good to eat inside, they will help themselves. 

Common draws for snails and slugs that may bring them inside include potted plants, mold and mildew, foods sitting out on the counter, and even trash. 

What to do

1. Consider removing these temptations (house plants, trash, mold and mildew) from your home, or at least making them less accessible. 

2. Pour them a drink. Soda and beer are known to attract slugs and snails, so if you put one of these beverages in a container near where their slime trails pass, there may be one or more drowned inside in the morning. 

3. Just add salt: It’s not just an old wive’s tale. Salt on a slug is very effective. The dryness of salt soaks up all the moisture in their slimy skin, which they need for a number of key body functions. Do not put salt in your soil, though, even if that’s where they hang out, because salt will ruin your soil and kill your plants. 

4. Bar the doors: The fact is, slugs and snails are entering your home somehow. Many people have had success excluding gastropods from their homes by simply following the slime trails to their path in and then blocking this path, whether it’s a hole in the wall or a larger-than-usual space beneath a door. 

5. Move the garden: If you are still having problems after all this, you may need to move your outdoor gardens. Slugs and snails are only near your home because of something they are enjoying in your yard, likely something in the garden. If you move all of that further out, they are not likely to make the trek inside your home. 

Call Anthony’s for more help

If you want to find ways to adjust your lawn and garden to discourage snails and slugs, we may be able to help. Those in the Bloomington, Indiana, area can call us at (812) 345-5694.