Jessica Tata
Apr 24, 2009

We're fairly new to San Francisco and are in the throes of an altogether foreign pest-control problem...slugs! Originally from Austin, Texas, we come from the land of large, flying roaches--which we thought was pretty much as bad as it gets. Until now. Living in a 200 square foot apartment leaves no room for invaders of any size, particularly those who creep in at night leaving a trail of slime behind them. We've been knocking on wood that we don't step on one on our way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, but have now decided to take a more aggressive approach...

While we prefer simply flinging these gross guys back into the garden, we can't risk the chance of accidentally squishing one with our bare toes. It is a matter of sanity, really. So we took to the internet to find the best slug prevention ideas, and here's what we have found. We'll be trying at least three of these techniques this weekend!

Deadline seems to be a pretty effective way of preventing these guys from infiltrating protected areas. You simply draw a line with this gray, liquid paste and slugs apparently cannot cross over. It is apparently not safe, however, for homes with pets or frequent wildlife visitors. If we didn't have our dog, we'd draw the line at the front of the house and ignore if they ring the doorbell!

Sluggo is an alternative product that is safe for use around pets. This product is sprinkled on the ground where slugs are active. We might try adding this to the small planting area in front of our front door. We wonder if using it in that specific area would keep them out of our house altogether. suggests using copper strips as a border to areas where you want to prevent slugs from traveling. We've heard of this, but never knew the reasoning. According to University of Idaho extension entomologist Bob Stoltz, "they cause a reaction with the slug's mucous—sort of like an electric shock—and that repels the slugs." The site suggests purchasing copper sheeting from your local hardward store, cutting it into 2-3 inch strips and creating borders around forbidden areas. Band tree trunks, apply to feet of patio furniture, and create borders around gardens. We'll try a strip at our front door and along the wall next to it!

We came across a random site, the Romborough Gardens Allotment Association that seemed to offer many alternatives to chemicals that we think might be worth a try. Among the long list of substances they claim will help with a slug problem if sprinkled around problem areas are crushed eggshells, talcum powder, wood ashes, hair, coffee grounds, Epsom salts, oat bran, grit, nut shells, pine needles, rosemary.

As we said before, we'll be trying a few of these solutions to get these little buggers out of our kitchen. Any other proven remedies are quite welcome!

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