Preventing Slugs In Your House


Slugs are a common pest problem, mostly in the garden though. Out there the natural pest controller is the hedgehog as they are their favourite food source. Other natural wildlife in the garden also controls slug levels. But nothing controls them when they enter a house. Therefore methods need to be introduced, to deal with the issue if it occurs in your home.

They have no bones so find it extremely easy to get through tight gaps and holes. Once in the house they remain out of sight and do all their movement at night. It can be frustrating to find the slugs trails but not locate the culprit.

Types Of Slugs In The UK

There are many different types of slugs in the UK such as the grey field and the large red. Most live outside and live on vegetation and do not invade the home. That said many of them do end up in a property due to lots of different reasons. Most of which involve being transported in by accident. A warm central heated house may make it hard for a slug to get about and cause it to dry out and then die.

The most common culprit found indoors is the Yellow Cellar Slug (Limacus Flavus). It’s identified as being slim with pale blotching on a yellow, green, or tan body. It’s medium sized which can grow up to 13cm long. The Yellow Cellar slug mostly eats algae and mould but can also be found eating leftovers, pet food and compost.


Why Slugs Come Into The House

The main reasons they actively seek to get into a house is either warmth, shade, or food. They frequent damp and shady locations and conditions. A cellar is a common place to find them as it’s normally the perfect environment for it. Believe it or not, slugs have a good sense of smell, and they can sniff out a good meal such as a bowl of dog food.

A common scenario is for them to make entry to a property through an air brick or hole. The slug will be able to live in places such as the void under the floorboards where the breeze keeps it damp. When it’s dark and the central heating goes off, they will come out and search for food. A pet food bowl will supply an ideal food for a Yellow Cellar Slug.

Under the kickboards is another commonplace to find them. Condensation forms due to the cold-water pipes. This causes damp areas ideal for slugs to call home. Normally if there is damp and wood is involved then the wood will begin to deteriorate. Damp wood will give the perfect conditions for slugs. If the property has old wooden door frames and windows, this may be the cause of the problem.


Signs Of Slug Activity

The most common and obvious sign that you have a slug present is the tell tail slime trail it leaves when it moves about. This very prominent silvery deposit can be seen on a door mat, carpet, or hard surface. The slug secretes the slimy, slippery mucus when moving about, it aids movement by gliding on the secretion which acts as a lubricant. If you follow the trail, one end may lead you to the harbourage site in which it stays out of sight. The trail may also lead you to its food source.

How To Stop Slugs Coming Into Your Home

Having mentioned the type of slug and why they enter the home, stopping entry must now be considered. The following list are preventative measures that can be carried out to stop them getting into the house. There is no right or wrong method to stop this nuisance pest so any of the following tasks can resolve your issue. In some cases, several methods could be used in conjunction with each other.

  • Cut back vegetation around the outside of the house.
  • Cover air bricks with tight woven mesh covers. This will stop entry to slugs and many other insects but still allow air to flow thus not cause any damage to the property.
  • Repair any rotting wood from timber window or door frames. Care and maintenance of timber will stop wood from rotting.
  • Use rock salt in cracks and crevices also on wall floor junctions to limit movement.
  • Copper is meant to restrict movement, therefore copper tape is a good option to fit on areas such as at the base of a garage door. That said any door that has any type of gap.
  • There are some sprays available that can be used on things such as door thresholds and window frames. It can be used on air bricks, but vent covers are far more effective.
  • Pellets can be used however it is stressed that safety must be considered prior to use. If you have animals or children, then limit access or control the use of the product. At all times read the label and follow the safety recommendations and precautions.

Need help with your slug issue

If you have a slug issue and don’t really know where to start, then there are people that can help. Although they are not considered a common pest issue, pest control companies such as are able to help solve this issue. With a little help from a local pest controller carrying out some basic proofing works and advising you, should resolve your problem and stop you having to deal with this unwanted invading pest.