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.


My other organic gardening posts:

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