I am the sluginator. I terminate slugs in my garden with extreme prejudice and a lot of stomping. Nothing like squishing those things before they eat my plants. It’s quite cathartic.
If you have a slug problem like I do, don’t fret. You don’t have to buy nasty chemicals and risk poisoning the food you’re trying to grow. There’s a simple solution that I have found that’s natural. I ran across an article back when I first noticed the slugs that claimed that they can’t tolerate caffeine. After searching about to confirm this, I found post after post about fed up gardeners who poured espresso on their plants and voila, no more love bites from slugs.
Intrigued, I set about to make some espresso. I’m not a coffee drinker. Since I live alone, I didn’t at the time own a coffee maker. So my initial attempts were rather messy and based on the misguided belief that you can brew coffee in the same manner as tea. Hey it made sense inside my skull. Not my fault reality works differently.
I essentially made a very muddy coffee. Since my black cup of sludge was way too hot to pour on my unsuspecting plants, I added some ice cubes. I even let them melt a little before dumping the resulting mixture on my eggplant. The plant survived and it actually thrived. Through further reading, I discovered that coffee grounds are a fantastic fertilizer. That made me feel better about my slug prevention plan.
When the very strong coffee hit the slugs, they hit the road. I have never seen an invertebrate move so fast. It must have broken a few speed records for mollusks. I tried to pick it off the planter to help it along but its slimy body allowed it to slip right through my fingers. (Granted I do have small fingers.) Determined to get rid of the thing, I snatched up a leaf from some weeds between my patio and my neighbor’s and tired again. Bingo. The slug’s slime couldn’t ease it out of my leaf covered hand now. I doubt it even knew that death held it in her small hands.
I picked off all the remaining slugs and made more coffee (I mean sludge because let’s face it, that’s what it was). After liberally covering my garden with it (leaves especially!), I went about my life. I kept this up for a few days and noticed that my plants were greener, they looked taller and fuller and they had developed no new holes in their leaves. To make life easier and less messy, I ran out and bought a coffee maker and the cheapest espresso I could find.
I’ve been at this for more than a month now and it has dramatically reduced the amount of slugs in my garden. I still find a few but they are sluggish from the caffeine infused soil and all they do is move above the dirt. I pick ’em off and eliminate them so they can’t reproduce and keep watering with espresso.
My garden is healthy and whole and I’m happy. Hope this tip helps you. Even if you don’t have a slug infestation, coffee grounds in your garden is a good thing. Just ask my African marigolds. They come up to my knee now and they’re spreading out into a bush. If that isn’t a happy plant, than I don’t know what is.