Slug Barriers for Raised Beds

Slug Barriers for Raised Beds

One of the greatest issues of gardening today is how to deal with the numerous pests that invade our garden on a regular basis. These pests come in various forms and cause us a great deal of stress in our efforts to eliminate them. Our homestead is probably surrounded by fencing barrier of some description in the shape of walls, fences chicken wire and so on. These barriers will keep out most of the four-legged critters like rabbits, deer and other maurading creatures but that’s only part of the solution. The insects and butterflies are always going to invade our gardens and that’s another big problem, that vegetable growers especially have great difficulty in dealing with. We have covered how to organically deal with these in a previous post and today we are looking at slug barriers for raised beds.

If we have pots, containers and or raised beds for the purpose of growing our vegetables, chances are, we would have encountered slugs or snails at some time or other. They are a nightmare for most gardeners and over the years people have tried different ways of getting rid of these, either organically, naturally or any other method that they could use to eliminate these scavengers. Up to approx. ten years ago garden centres only solution for this issue was slug pellets, but this system did not sit well with a lot of gardeners, as this method was deemed rather toxic. It eliminated the slugs immediately, but when birds and other wildlife feasted on the dead slugs, that had a devastating knock on effect on them also. It was unfortunately unhealthy to those animals or birds that feasted on the dead slugs, so as a result people are looking at more garden friendly solutions for this issue.



 Slug barrier tape;


One great idea to deter these pests that has been discovered by scientists and researchers is, copper tape, believe it or not. This has been found to apply a mild electric shock to these slugs and snails as soon as the touch it. Apparently the slimey secretions that the slugs leave, react with the copper tape. This shock deters the slugs from going any further and repels them from feasting on our hard grown vegetables. This tape is available at all good garden centres, hardware stores and is also available online.

The tape itself has one side which is adhesive, just peel back the protecting paper and attach to the raised bed frame. It can also be nailed onto the timber frame with little nail tacks if necessary. We can also attach the tape to flower pots and containers, just ensure the surface is clean, dry and free of grit and peel back the paper backing and apply. We can use this solution to any area in general which is prone to infestation from these critters. Areas say like, trees, shrubs, greenhouses, flower pots, raised beds and all of those areas that we need to protect.




Slug bait granules;


We are back to the topic of slug garden pellets, but this time there is a considerable difference. These slug pellets are a safe, natural, non-toxic solution to the ongoing issue of slugs and snails. All that is required is we apply some of this bait material around the soil of our garden bed frame, in between the plants and vegetables, flower pots, containers and all those utensils which the slugs attack. It is completely harmless to our household pets, like cats and dogs, hens, chickens and so on. After applying this bait to our gardens, just sprinkle some water, which activates the pellets and thats all there is. The scent of these granules attract the slugs, they then consume this and are immobilised by this solution.

Like we mentioned above the slug pellets that we used long ago were very harmful in the long term and caused a lot of harm in our envoirnment. Research showed that the pellets killed the slugs immediately, but moles, mice and birds then eat the slugs which in turn killed them, kestrels and other predatory birds then consumed these which also killed these. So this method had a negative domino effect and was harmful to the whole food chain that existed in our back yards and back gardens.

Other natural methods;


When I was small, I remember my grandmother and grandfather had a small little vegetable garden and they used to throw the ashes from the fire onto the garden. When I enquired as to why they did this, they replied that this was a system that deterred the slugs from eating their vegetables. There was a noticeably rough texture to these ashes, like coal cinders etc etc, thus the slugs found travelling over this surface rather difficult and that was a deterrent right there.

Bark mulch has a similar rough texture and this also deters and prevents slugs from our garden. The great benefit of this method is that the coal cinders, ashes and bark mulch will disintegrate into the soil over time and actually adds a little to the soil fertility.

I have listened to gardening programmes on radio for years and invariably, questions about this problem were asked quite a lot. Another method that was used from time to time was, what was known as ‘a beer trap‘. This system was also very successful and was very simple to implement. With a jam jar or coffee jar inserted halfways into the garden soil and half fill then with stale beer. The strong smell of the alcohol attracted the slugs, they climbed into the jar, drank the solution and then drowned. The problem with this method is that we need a lot of these systems in our gardens, if we have a big problem with slug infestation.

Straw is another great barrier and hindrance to these pests and is used on a regular basis for this and other purposes. Like the mulch, slugs find travelling over this cover very difficult and that is another option in our crusade to rid these from our gardens. The straw also acts as a moisture retention barrier when it covers the soil in total and after time the straw will disintegrate and compost down, so it will add a little nutrition to our gardens.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this interesting post and if you have any comments or questions, do please contact us using the box section below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy gardening to all.

Cheers   Phil Browne.


“Won’t you come into my garden,

I would love my roses to see you”,


Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

10 thoughts on “Slug Barriers for Raised Beds

  1. Which method works best for you in your garden? I use straw around my plants but I still find slugs creeping here and there. Is there any one particular product you use? I’m just curious. I’m rather novice in the world of gardening. Got really passionate about it for a minute and now I’m grounding out to level, but I’m still interested in it and love my fresh vegetables.

    1. Hi there Capt,

      Many thanks for reading this post and offering feedback coments, its greatly appreciated.

      If the straw is not doing the business, I would suggest that you purchase some slug pellets or granules. They are a real pest and nuisance at times and they would devour our vegetables, if we did’nt keep in top of them.

      Its by trial and error that we will learn our way through the gardening world.

      Here’s hoping that this information is helpful,

      Thanks again for dropping by,

      Happy gardening

      Cheers     Phil Browne.

  2. Hi Phil thanks for the great info on handling slugs in the garden. I have never really had a problem with slugs in my garden. Are they attracted to all vegetation or just to certain plants?
    One thing that I always plant in my garden is marigolds as they are suppose to repel insects. The biggest pest I have in my garden are my ducks. They are great at weeding but unfortunately they can not tell the difference between the good plants and the weeds
    I have bookmarked your site so I can come back and check out all your great info from time to time.

    1. Hi there

      Many thanks for stopping by and reading this post.

      I guess you are one of the lucky ones, if you have’nt a slug problem in your garden. Long may it continue. I know that ducks and geese were a great friend to the gardeners as they scooped up all of these insects and pests, but unfortunately as you pointed out, they cannot see the difference between the weeds and the veggies.

      You mentioned Marigolds as a great pest deterrent and only last week I wrote a post on ‘Companion planting’ and I covered this topic. Its a great method for sure and this idea comes from away back, when people were very resourseful with what they had back then.

      Thanks again for stopping by

      Happy gardening

      Cheers     Phil Browne.

  3. Slugs…! I fight them off every year and was delighted to come across your post. I love the copper tape and the non-toxic pellets, and both should work much better than containers of beer. Nothing like emptying containers of old beer with dead slugs! I think that the copper tape barrier is a great solution, and going to see if my garden center carries that. I love your quote at the end of the post!

    1. Hi there Amy

      Many thanks for stopping by and reading this post, its very much appreciated. Yes I agree with you on the issue of slugs, they are a hugh problem for most gardeners and I just wanted to offer some solutions to this problem.

      I hope the copper tape works for your vegetables and I notice that you had heard of the beer trap previously and I guess its one of the preventitive measures that people invented from long ago.

      Thanks again for stopping by

      Cheers again       Phil Browne

    1. Hi there
      Thanks for stopping by and best wishes on your gardening issues. This is a relative new discovery and it’s one of the preventative measures that gardeners have been using lately.
      Cheers again and best wishes
      Phil Browne.

      1. Thanks for replying, Phil. I just recently got into gardening and although I know a thing or two about pest control from my husband, preventing garden pests is a new concept, so I’m learning through reading a lot of blogs. So far the copper tape has definitely been helping and I am seeing significantly less slug damage. Thanks again for the idea.

        1. Hi there again, Adrienne,
          Thanks again for dropping by and I’m glad that you found a solution to your slug problem. This is an idea that can work and it sure was a great discovery, whoever found out about this idea.
          Best wishes again and happy gardening
          Cheers PB

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