Introduction: Effective Slug and Snail Trap

Picture of Effective Slug and Snail Trap

Sometimes the simplest and least expensive designs are frequently the most effective and I believe this slug trap qualifies.
Our organic raised bed garden has recently been under siege by a battalion of slugs and snails. Over a single night they can destroy a crop of cabbages if left unchecked.
While we don't mind sharing our vegetables with the neighbours and friends, we don't like the idea of sharing our table with these critters. How about you?

Did you know that slug pellets are dangerous to wildlife, your pets and children? Yes of course you did, but I bet you didn't know that Pesticides used to kill slugs contain a very toxic chemical called metaldehyde, which is finding its way back into our drinking water.

Slug poison found in 1 in 8 of England's drinking water sources!

Step 1: Items Needed to Make Slug and Snail Trap

Picture of Items Needed to Make Slug and Snail Trap

You will need some plastic bottles (the ones we throw away) A Stanley knife or other sharp blade for cutting the bottle, a felt tip pen, a pair of scissors and a bottle of cheap beer or cider, or if you have some old or unpleasant wine this will do too.

Step 2: How to Make the Slug Traps

Picture of How to Make the Slug Traps

Take a bottle and mark it close to the top. The idea is to afford the largest snails to enter but leaving enough of the tapered end / neck of the bottle to prevent the slugs and snails from escaping.

Cut the top of the bottle neck off with a sharp blade and scissors and clean up any jagged uneven edges with the scissors.

Then you will need to make another cut further down the bottle just above the label as shown in the video. This is simply to shorten the bottle's height when placed in the soil.

Now invert the top half / cone of the bottle in to the bottle base so that the tapered part of the bottle is pointing down. This provides a lip to prevent the slugs and snails from slithering back out of the trap.

Add alcohol to the trap, either cheep cider, beer or left over wine will suffice. The scent will attract the slugs and the alcohol will kill them.

Step 3: Site Your Traps in Shade Under Affected Plants and Here Are the Reults

Picture of Site Your Traps in Shade Under Affected Plants and Here Are the Reults

Bury your trap in soil preferably so that the opening is above the soil to prevent insects from falling in.

wait a few days and inspect your traps. Leave there until full of the pests and then pull out the cone and empty the contents in to your compost heap as this will accelerate the decomposing.

Refill with alcohol and repeat. You will need several traps, especially if you have a large garden and you could ask your local pub for their discarded beer (the dregs as we call it in the UK)

Step 4: For More Complete Instructions Watch Video on How to Make a Slug / Snail Trap

Hope you enjoyed watching this indestructible and please find time to put it into action and make your very own for nothing. We like FREE :)

Step 5:


handprints (author)2015-07-21

Perfect for trapping our B-52 roaches as treats for our chickens!!!

I bet they love beer flavoured slugs

With the right bait in the trap and a smaller hole cut, I think you might be on to something there. Put me down for half a dozen eggs :)

ChelleK1 (author)2015-07-23

brilliant I'll try this out already. thanks. slugs and snails, ready to make the flight of your life!!

AndrewKFletcher (author)ChelleK12015-07-23

The slugs and snails will die happy and blisfully unaware of their demise :):)

MojtabaT (author)2015-07-22

I made one like these to try the method. It works very well. I capture 20-40 slugs each night. Thank you.

AndrewKFletcher (author)MojtabaT2015-07-22

That's impressive, thank you for your feedback :)

Darren PaulH (author)2015-07-21

works a treat

Thanks Darren :)

garden.artfullygifted (author)2017-06-01

Can I use another bait liquid in the trap instead of beer? I work in an educational setting, so I am not allowed to bring alcoholic beverages to work.

If you got stale beer and yeast from barrels / kegs, it would not be drinkable and therefore permitted perhaps? Ask your local pubs / restaurants for the draining's / dregs from barrels. Cider also works well, so you could try apple juice.

midiansangel (author)2016-12-26

I have hedgehogs aplenty in my garden that are "failing" at the slug control.

Perhaps this is the way to go

breezybell0916 (author)2016-09-14

Will it kill the snails?

@breezy Yes Snails are attracted in too

IndigoOnion (author)2016-06-15

Slugs are people too!

Michael-EllynS (author)2016-05-14

I was going to just use shortened red solo cups, but had to try this. It took me several times to get it just right, not having the practiced expeience (not to mention different size bottles I used). Glad I tried it, caught two snails already. - Pacific Northwest Garden Girl (Wa State, USA)

About This Instructable




Bio: Lateral thinker, Originator of Inclined Bed Therapy (IBT) Originator of Pocket Full Of Acorns Project. Originator of Operation OASIS.
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