Tired of slugs and snails dining on your favorite plants and young trees? There are lots of tricks and baits available, but have you tried copper wire mesh? It is humane, effective, and does not harm pets or children.
An Effective Barrier
Copper wire in the garden is touted as the best barrier solution. Copper mesh repels snails and slugs with an unfavorable reaction when they try to cross it, much like a shock. They turn and head the other way. However, copper will deteriorate, and it will need to be replaced at some point.
These pests like to feed on hosta, basil, delphinium, lily, marigold, strawberry, lettuce, cabbage, and beans, to name a few.
They do most of their snacking at night, then hide during the day under mulch, groundcover, flowerpots, steppingstones, wood, and any other moist, dark place. They need hydration, so cutting back on watering helps. They can be handpicked at night with a flashlight and dropped into soapy water, but who wants to do that? One advantage to copper wire is you don’t have to kill the snails or slugs; they just move on.
Pest Repellant Copper Wire: Copper Wire for Slugs and Snails
Copper strips, at least an inch wide, can be cut from copper sheeting and fastened around plants, beds, greenhouse benches, or flowerpots. Copper screening can be used but will not last as long.
A product manufactured specifically for the garden, a copper mesh screen or copper wire mesh, claims to be non-degradable. Sold in rolls, it can be cut to size.
Apply the desired length and width of copper mesh around plant stems, containers, shrub stems, and tree trunks. Hook the stitches together to close the band. It repels slugs and snails without harming them, and is nontoxic to pets, wildlife, and children.
Once the hard work is done, you can relax and know that your favorite hostas should be slug free.
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After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a degree in English, Susan pursued a career in communications. In addition, she wrote garden articles for magazines and authored a newspaper gardening column for many years. She contributed South-Central regional gardening columns for four years to Lowes.com. While living in Oklahoma, she served as a master gardener for 17 years.