Slugs – Eating Leaves

Q: I have several clay pots that I buried in my flower beds to plant annuals in every year. I have a problem with slugs eating the leaves. If I paint my clay pots with copper spray paint would that deter the slugs?

A: Copper strips wrapped around the top edge of a pot are reputed to repel slugs and snails but the copper has to be kept consistently shiny for this to work. Copper paint has little metallic copper in it so I don’t think your method would work at all. Baits that contain metaldehyde are available for slug control but I don’t recommend them due to animal toxicity. A bait that contains iron phosphate (Sluggo, Slug Magic, Escar-Go!, etc.) is effective and is not toxic to pets. Personally, I use saucers filled with beer to attract and drown slugs and snails in my flower beds. I renew the beer every two days until no more are caught. You could also support a ten inch square board on pebbles near your pots. Slugs like dark and moist places to hide during the day. Look under your trap boards in late afternoon and scrape the mollusks into a bucket of soapy water.