Organic Gardening: Use Egg Shells to Deter Slugs and Snails

Did you know you can get rid of slugs and snails with eggs shells? It’s very effective, organic, green, and even adds fertilizer to the soil!

Organic Gardening - How to Deter Slugs and Snails with Egg Shells

I have something in common with slugs…we both love hostas and vegetable gardens. But there is one thing we do not both like – eggs. I love the insides of eggs, but they hate the outsides.

Since we switched to all real food in 2013 and went almost completely grain free on the GAPS diet (read about that here), we threw out cereal and replaced it with eggs. We eat so many eggs that we are made fun of it – even the farmer who sells us our eggs was in shock when she heard how much we eat in a week! Wanna take a guess? 4-5 dozen a week for a family of five, with one of those being only 16 months old! Even my in-laws make fun of us for eating so many eggs, remarking that we will turn into chickens! Ha. Funny part is we are healthier and smaller than we were when we got married! Can’t laugh at success. Anyway, now we have a very good use for all those shells!

Snails and Slugs Love to Eat My Veggies

The slugs were feasting like kings on our cabbage until we laid down our secret weapon! KAPOW!

My husband and I are also really into gardening. Kevin is passionate about the vegetable garden – he has planted one for the past four years or so, but here in our newest house, we have acreage so we’ve been able to plant the biggest one yet. Plus, we have hostas all over the yard. All of those plants are delicious snacks for little snails and slugs and they will eat them to death if we let them. Since we are also passionate about not using chemicals in the yard, we had to get creative to get rid of those slimy thieves. The solution? Egg shells!

Crushing Eggshells to Use in the Garden

It’s So Ridiculously Easy and Free!

  • Save your eggshells
  • Rinse them off if you like, or just stack them on a plate in your kitchen to dry for a day or two, separating the shells from one another. (We are very lazy so we don’t rinse them, but it’d probably make the process a little easier if we did).
  • Once dried out, put them in a plastic bag and crush them with your foot (my method). OR chop them in a food processor. OR (this is my husband’s method) take them out to the garden and crush them with your fingers as you lay them down.
  • Spread the crushed shells underneath the plant and around it.
  • Add more shells every week (we’ve found that to be the most effective – when we skip a week they come back!)
  • That’s it.
How to Use Eggshells to Deter Slugs and Snails

The holes you see in this plant came before we started using eggshells – started one month too late!

How it Works

Snails and slugs hate anything that is sharp or rough, so they will slink away when they get to the shells. Other textures that work include coffee grounds, coarse sand, sheep’s wool (it’s scratchy!), and Diatomaceous Earth.

Plus, there is a lot of calcium in eggshells, so you’re adding natural fertilizer to the garden as well!

Some fun facts:

  • Snails and slugs are mollusks (Remember that from biology? Of course you did!)
  • These critters like to come out at night so you’ll only see the destruction they leave behind during the day.
  • They don’t like warm gardens, so planting it in the sun helps to deter them. You can also space your plants further apart to displease them even more (allows more sun and heat on the soil or mulch).
  • They love to hide in weedy patches and in mulch.

(source)

My other organic gardening posts:

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.

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Comments

  1. oh great idea! and the egg shells enrich the soil as they decompose. Thanks for the tip!

  2. use beer usually, but have just as many eggs and that might be even easier (or both?)

  3. Please tell me what shoes those are in the picture. They’re lovely and I need a new pair.

  4. I 2nd Anna’s question. I LOVE your shoes. Where are they from? I really need a new pair!

  5. I knew about this and this year, I really tried to do it. Found the snails ON the eggshells………… what is up with that?

  6. Helena Livingston says:

    The download side of eggshells is that it is not good for the worms. It prevents the earth worms from reproducing…

  7. I’ve been doing this all season. No slugs at all on any of my veggies. I do have lots of frogs and newts too. Totally pesticide free.

  8. Egg shells and coffee grounds don’t work for me, the little blighters happily crawl all over them! My beer traps do work and at least they die happy! Don’t like to kill things but plants are alive as well and the slugs have destroyed the first lot of bedding plants I put out.

  9. Zachary Coulombe says:

    I must apologize for being a buzz kill, but this method is a myth. http://www.allaboutslugs.com/eggshell-myth-busted/

  10. Can’t wait to try this! We have little army of slugs (or something) eating up all of our violets. It is just horrible!! Woundering if my dog will try and eat the shells? Hopefully not!
    Angela@mamarosemary.com recently posted..Summer Herb Camp: Herbal Arts & CraftsMy Profile

  11. Great idea with the eggshells. I love eating organic. Just started my own veggie garden. So, I’ll definitely use this tip. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I’ll have to try this. Thanks for sharing!

    Oh and you could be a foot model by the way, you have great feet, I’m jealous! 🙂

  13. I want to known where you got those super cute sandals in the picture!!

  14. Hi,

    Great Ideas with the eggshell. Really very informative.

  15. Hm… Im not sure whether it actually works, because snails are capable to slink over a razor (!) because of their slime… so i dont think that some eggs will be a problem. I have giant african snails as a pet and i havent tried (obviously. they are pets :D), but i give them regulary eggshels for calcium and they love it and definitely not avoid it (they need calcium for building their own shells – and its their vital need).
    When snails are seeking for it – why should slugs do as well?
    (and sorry for my english, if you find some grammar mistakes)

  16. I was very interested to read this. I have just decided to change from tea bags to tea leaves and decided to test the slug-deterrent properties of used tea leaves. I will now save my egg shells instead rather than put them straight onto my compost heap. Perhaps I should do a proper trial using both.

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