Thursday, September 30, 2010

Are slugs repelled by copper?

Here's a slug, chomping away on lettuce leaves on top of a bed of copper.

As part of my War on Slugs experiments, I took a big chunk of cardboard and plastered it with copper to find out if slugs are truly repelled by copper. It didn't take long for the slugs to start munching away at this lettuce. 

For a list of all of my slug control experiments, please see this page. 



StefRobrts said...

I visited because I saw your post on the PDXChickens group. This first post made me laugh - we have been having a terrible battle with slugs too, and I agree, the copper thing is an old wives tale! However there are some interesting YouTube videos of people making low-voltage electric fences to keep the slugs out. I'm considering that for next year.

Check out my blog

I am doing much the same as you, trying to learn to cook, garden, be healthy, and raise a little livestock. It's an adventure, but I learn something every day.

hybridhopes said...

I've had no luck with copper. :/ I've tried pennies, and I've tried the strips. fail.

Grace Peterson said...

Amy Dear, So much for copper. I'm loving your experiments. One of these days something is going to work.

Barbara said...

I've found slug collars to work on individual plants. I once watched a slug attempting in vain to overcome the slug collar to get to one of my sunflowers. They only work on plants with upright growth or very small plants, and you have to constantly check for overhanging foliage. I've also found all other barriers to be ineffective. There's an amazing youtube video of a snail overcoming even a razor blade.

Amy Manning said...

When I went on the nursery tour at One Green World they also mentioned that they had success with copper collars for the trees.

Anonymous said...

Slugs are deterred, but perhaps not repelled by copper.

Slugs are heavily programmed to search out food and consume it, the tentacles even regrow if snapped off, and they have more teeth than most sharks, it is nature's vacuum cleaner.

I think they work, but the expense is quite high, and not it is not that effective as you have proved.

Same with egg shells, they work but only if there is an easier option for the slug.

AML said...

Well if you put the slug with the food on the copper, it's going to just deal with it and eat the food that you placed right there. The point is to put the copper between the food and the slug, and the work of moving over it is (usually) not worth the trouble and the slug will go look for food elsewhere. I've been using copper tape around plastic containers for years with great results. The containers are reusable and easy to make. I also put it around the edge of my flower pots.