Salt kills slugs and snails quite rapidly. If you’ve ever poured salt end an unlucky gastropod, you’ve more than likely watched, aghast, together they bubble, appear to melt and also eventually shrivel up and die.

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However, pouring salt top top a slug or snail doesn’t actually melt them, despite it may appear that way. However it does cause their bodies to go with a horrific (and most likely excruciating) process that transforms them right into a bubbly, shriveled and also slimy mess.

But why go salt melt slugs, and is it a viable control an approach for these pests?

What are slugs and snails, and also why room they thought about pests?

Slugs and snails are gastropods, an old Greek word that literally means ‘stomach foot’ and refers come the distinct anatomy of these slimy creatures.

Though distantly pertained to octopi and also squid, the garden range slug is certainly a terrestrial critter and is often uncovered in cool, damp places. Their preferred habitat is gardens and flowerbeds, whereby they feast top top both living and also decaying plant matter.

As a result, slugs and snails are severe pests of several plant species, particularly young and also succulent plants. Seedlings and low-growing fruits, such as strawberries and also tomatoes, room prime targets because that hungry slugs and snails.

By scraping far at the plants through their rasping tongues, they can take huge chunks the end of the border that leaves and will destroy ripening fruits.

Slugs and also snails room the no.1 nemesis the gardeners about the world, yet is salt yes, really the best method to attend to them?

Why do slugs and also snails dice from salt?

Slugs and snails have really thin, permeable skin so, once you sprinkle salt top top them, water is rapidly sucked the end of your cells via a procedure called osmosis. This starts to dry the end the slug’s body which, in response, beginning producing more slime to try to protect itself, producing the ‘bubbling’ or ‘frothing’ impact that makes them look as though they are melting.

Pretty soon, the slug will shrivel up and also die the dehydration as water and air room sucked the end of that skin by the salty, slimy systems that consist of it.



Of course, this doesn’t occur if you acquire salt on your own skin, yet this is only since human skin is much less permeable 보다 that that a slug. If you’ve ever gotten salt in your eye or an open wound, however, friend may be able to empathize.

Can slugs and also snails feeling pain?

The concern of even if it is slugs, snails and other bugs feel pain is a controversial one. It’s no a topic that has actually been extensively researched, partly because it’s tough to determine precisely how a slug is feeling.

Some researches argue that slugs and snails can’t feel pain because, while castle do have actually a concerned system, castle don’t have actually a brain. This concept assumes the the sensation of pain is created by the conscious mind and is, therefore, the single domain that vertebrates.

Others, however, have discovered evidence of pains responses in sea slug and, even if castle don’t experience pain in precisely the same means we do, they almost certainly feel too much discomfort and/or distress once ‘melting.’

Pain and discomfort room evolutionary necessities for all sentient creatures – ~ all, exactly how else would certainly we find out to protect against things that reason us physical harm?

The jury’s quiet out as soon as it comes to how slugs and also snails experience this unpleasant sensation, however there’s a good chance they don’t favor it.

Should you usage salt to control slugs and also snails?

You might use salt to regulate slugs and also snails in her garden, yet only if you deserve to handle the karmic repercussions.

Death by salt is a hellish means to die if you a gastropod, and most people probably don’t have the stomach to attend to that quantity of slime, anyway.

There are many other much more humane ways to store slugs and also snails off her veggies that are just as effective, but a small less psychopathic.

Alternative approaches of slug and also snail control

Know her enemy and also plan(t) accordingly

Slugs and also snails favor certain types of foliage, including young, succulent plants and low-growing fruits.

If you desire to store slugs and also snails away from your garden, there are a wide variety of slug resistant crops you have the right to plant instead.

Slug traps

There are numerous easy and effective alternatives for trapping and also killing slugs.

One basic example is the beer trap. Bury a partially filled can up come the lip and wait for slugs to drink themselves to death. For this an approach to be effective, the beer (and dead slugs) must be cleared out and also replaced every couple of days.


The great thing around slugs and also snails is that they aren’t hard to capture and, once done regularly, hand-picking is a extremely effective control method.

Inspect your plants for slugs and snails a couple of times a main and, once you uncover them, pick them off and also drop them right into a bucket that soapy water (or a 5-10% ammonia solution) to kill them quickly.

Alternatively, you have the right to crush them and also leave the bodies for the birds.

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Poison bait and also other chemical manage methods

Poison baits and sprays might be a viable choice for civilization desperate to safeguard their strawberry crop from huge numbers that slugs.