Picture of Slug Trap from Recycled Water Bottles

This is a beer-baited slug trap made from two empty drinking water bottles. It introduces no harmful chemicals into the garden and does not harm the local wildlife (apart from the slugs). It also re-purposes items which would normally have been thrown away. Using green bottles makes it merge well into the foliage. Altogether, a green idea.

The first one was made in the space of 5 minutes last week. I have had slugs eating my plants, and a work colleague mentioned the same thing just as I was pouring fizzy water from a bottle. It was one of those 'eureka' moments. I had several of the bottles in my cupboard which would 'come in handy one day', and that was the day! 5 minutes later using only office equipment, I had the first slug trap built.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

As I said earlier, this was knocked up in 5 minutes in the office.

You will need two water bottles for each trap. Use the ones with the base moulded into 4 sections (see picture). You could use the 5 but they would be trickier to cut and merge.

The tools you need are stapler, marker pen, measure, scissors.

Also, you'll be needing BEER for bait . . . see later.

jayz431 year ago

I have used your method with success. I have also tweaked it. Using
an inexpensive quick point snap off knife and a 12 oz disposable
plastic water bottle I make two vertical 1” incisions about an 1 ½”
apart and beginning approx. 2” from the bottom of the bottle. I
then make a horizontal incision that extends to the center of both
vertical cuts. The top half is folded outward as an awning and
protection from watering and rain from above and the bottom half I
fold inward to smooth the slugs entry. I repeated it on the other
side of the bottle. I fill the bottle with 1 ½” of beer and drop a
pinch of yeast in from the top for more potency. I bury the bottles
up to the opening.

andy0071 year ago

I blame the french for all these snails!

AndyGadget (author)  andy0071 year ago

Near me the Romans were to blame for the big white ones in the Cotswolds and they are a protected species which you need a license to handle. Luckily for them, they don't tend to inhabit gardens.

(What have the Romans ever done for us . . . #;¬)

Eleyan1 year ago

A lot of good ideas swimming around here. Thank you for your contributions. In Australia mainly in Queensland and possibly now in Far north NSW the snails/slugs carry a parasitic infection that can cause brain disease. Another reason to keep them under control.

Beer is indeed the killer, yet all natural ingredient.
If you have them lying around, baby jars are actually perfect for this.
I've done this a number of times with great success.
Just fill a baby jar with 1/3 beer, and leave it sitting out near any plant/s you want to protect.
A week later, the thing will be filled with slugs. DEAD ones.
Then, simply screw the lid back on the jar and toss in the trash. NO work involved at all! Those glutinous slugs have only their beer-boozing ways to blame....
OR... empty the jar down the drain and RECYCLE it! ;-)
Or empty the jar in the compost bin and recycle the slugs and beer too.
foobear2 years ago
Oh my what an adorable garden and little cottage. England really is a beautiful place, although I haven't been there yet. We have similar weather to yours, I think, here in Washington State. We also have big fat slugs that eat anything you can plant, so I have been leaving bowls of beer all over the place, and they never fail to have at least one or two slugs, usually babies though. Another trick I learned about is to take ashes from the woodstove and create a barrier around the garden, slugs won't cross the pile of ashes. Still testing that one out.
I counted slugs in my beer trap once before I went to bed... there were 5 of them having a drink. Next morning only 3! I decided I would keep the beer for myself, lol. Mine was not a one way trap like these. I'll have to try this next season. We have a plethora of LARGE slugs here in Sunny Sweden (that's funny if you live here)
AndyGadget (author)  stringstretcher2 years ago
Mmmmmm . . . Slug beer! (See my warning in step 4  #;¬)

We have the large brown slugs with the orange 'skirt' as well, although these seem less attracted by the beer.  I once let one of these slither around my hand to show my young sons and it took a couple of days before the feel of the slime went away, no matter what I scrubbed it with.  I don't know what's in that stuff but it's an amazingly adhesive lubricant. 

(I assume 'Sunny Sweden' is similar to the 'barbeque summers' which have been forecast here in the UK, and the 'Mediterranean gardens' we were supposed to be designing to cope with the prediction of scorchingly hot summers.)
I have a plan to convert these slimy creatures into bio fuels... I like to joke and say that I have already partly succeeded, and can drive my car on it, but it goes REALLY slow and leaves a trail of carnage in the form of wrecked cars and trucks who have skidded off the road on my slime trail. I'm looking to win the Nobel Prize for this someday. Don't laugh!
AndyGadget (author)  stringstretcher2 years ago
I run my car on BP.   The trouble is finding enough bees to keep it going.
farmerboyk2 years ago
Uh..isn't that a snail in the first picture? :P
Oh, didn't read the note.
AndyGadget (author)  farmerboyk2 years ago
You saw the note.
I wanted to use a picture I'd taken rather than one gleaned from the web and I happened to have one of this rather pretty snail (as snails go #;¬)
Haha yeah it is a nice looking snail :P
AndyPipkin3 years ago
The smell of beer can attract slugs from quite a long way, over 200 feet!, you'll get slugs from other gardens unless yours is pretty big.
coryclarke3 years ago
These worked great on my garden. Slugs were eating up my cabbage and kale. A few slug traps all around and the problem was fixed. I found I didn't need to do anything as complicated as carving up soda bottle, we just used old yogurt containers pushed into the ground up to their lips.
capricorn4 years ago
The 'ible is very good mate, thanks for sharing and while we are here:

"Beer is anything from the lightest golden brown, through amber (possibly with a reddish tinge) to dark, dark, dark brown, and when a sip is taken it should overwhelm the senses with the aroma of hops and malt. It should conjure up visions of drying sheds, malt shovelling and barley fields rippling in the summer breeze.
Beer is not a thin insipid beverage which looks roughly the same leaving the body as it did when it entered it. Some breweries have a problem realising this

For this poetry alone, my friend, if you ever drop in Brussels make a sign and you'll be rewarded. You'll love Belgian's finest :D
AndyGadget (author)  capricorn4 years ago
Mmmm . . . .   A bottle of Chimay Bleue on a cold winter's night - Wonderful.
Thanks for the nice words.

smayhew4 years ago
ha ha! so was my wife. (just kidding, babe)
yogadavid4 years ago
nice Garden. A lot of work there, you must be very pleased.
andytick4 years ago
I would like to ask if anyone has ever heard of using tinned fish, (sardines, tuna etc) mixed with slug pellets to attract and kill slug?
I ask because 4 of my cats have recently been killed this way
AndyGadget (author)  andytick4 years ago
(I replied yesterday but it looks like the filters rejected my name for someone who deliberately poisons animals.)

I've never heard of slugs being attracted by fish.  They prefer vegetable matter. 
The only other site I can think of is the 'vets and pets' section of the Motley Fool. I use the UK version, but it's in the US too.  You'd probably have to register to post a question about this. 
andytick4 years ago
I would also like to ask if anyone knows of any other sites where a free blog can be posted to ask the same question. Tnx
SpiroExDeus6 years ago
If I'm NOT a beer drinker, use the cheap beer?! Why would I waste a decent premium real ale on a slug? Let them die in Budweiser. They deserve it. :D
AndyGadget (author)  SpiroExDeus6 years ago
Come on now, have a heart.
Kill them by all means but don't make them drink that stuff!
Maybe I'm still bitter (no pun intended) from the time when I came home to proudly inspect my pumpkin plant (that had survived having one of it's 2 leaves broken off) to find a fat, smug, slug in the middle of what used to be the only means of photosynthesis for my plant. THAT time I took my revenge with salt. It wasn't pretty (no seriously, it wasn't. They kind of 'slow explode' into a gooey bubbly mush) In fact even Budweiser's too good for them. Maybe one of those cheap mass-produced Polish lagers that are one step away from antifreeze....
I just had a visual on that I wont be able to sleep to night...

AndyGadget (author)  SpiroExDeus6 years ago
I haven't tried the Polish lagers yet, but on your recommendation . . . I won't bother. My peppers and squashes were devastated this year and you can see the Russian kale above. I put them out before I'd started doing anything about the slugs. Next year I'm going to start killing slugs before I try to plant anything out. I can just imagine the little bu66ers lying in wait for the first whiff of a tasty seedling. Also, I've a project in mind which wouldn't have been ready for this year's competition, but look out for "The Slug-Proof Electric Fence to protect those real slug favourites. Sound daft, but I think I can pull it off.
 AAA+++ true true! agreed. 
WHen they done drowning in whatever beer you guys think is worst you could feed them to fish if you have a fish pond or use the large ones as fish bait
awang86 years ago
I prefer to just put a ring of the spikiest mulch I can get around my plants. OK, so it doesn't kill them, but it stops them getting to your plants. Salting is a really disgusting way of killing them. They kind of... Well... Blow up without the explosion, and turn into a slimy sub-atomic gloop.
twocvbloke6 years ago
Waste of good beer, but still the best way to get rid of the blighters!!!
AndyGadget (author)  twocvbloke6 years ago
BLACK NASTY was not good beer, but I know what you mean ;¬)
You can also make a beer slug trap from a pot saucer. Also VOTE FOR HOW TO MAKE A SEED BOMB
Scammah6 years ago
Great idea. I have been meaning to do this for quite some time.
Atomman6 years ago
Wow, you do Great photography!