How to stop slugs coming in the house - and get them to escargot forever

Sorry, slugs. If you’re not paying rent, you’re not coming in!

Slug on tiled floor
(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you thought that having to deal with pesky slugs in the garden was bad enough, that’s nothing. In a comic-book-esque turn of events, slugs are now breaking free of their outside shackles… and breaking into our homes. But how do you stop slugs coming into the house?

You might not see them, but you’ll definitely see the slimy and glistening trails that these slugs leave in their wake. And there’s nothing worse than waking up to the sight of slug trails on your carpet or all over your beloved houseplants. In fact, it’s enough to send a shiver down your spine. 

But while you may have thought that your giant walls (well, giant for the slugs, anyway) had created the perfect barrier between you and the outside slugs, they somehow still manage to slip through the cracks and invade your home. That’s why we decided to ask the experts for tips on how to evict these slimy squatters once and for all. 

How to stop slugs coming in the house

Slugs are unwelcome visitors in any home, but they’re something that many homeowners struggle with on a regular basis. Slugs invade bathrooms and kitchens, and they seem impossible to control. But you’ll be happy to know that there are ways to stop slugs from coming into the house - and all of the ones listed below aren’t harmful to slugs in the slightest. 

1. Use slug tape

Open door in boot room with vertical shoe storage and baskets

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you’re looking for a natural method to get rid of slugs - either indoors or outdoors - copper slug tape works wonders. This tape can be used as you would any other masking or sticky tape and can be stuck all over the house. 

‘You simply stick around your door frame or top of plant pots,’ says Nicola Rodriguez, AKA Essex House Dolly.

But what is it about copper that slugs don’t like? ‘Copper tape gives off a small electrical shock when the slugs glide over the tape. Slugs do not like it and usually stay away,’ says Daniel Steward, Managing Director of Shield Pest Control. And while it’s not exactly known why slugs and copper do not mix, you’ll be happy to know that this copper tape doesn’t hurt slugs, and the shock is harmless. 

More than anything, this tape acts as a barrier between the inside of your house and the slug. And sometimes that's all it takes.

2. Tackle condensation issues

Open door in boot room with vertical shoe storage and baskets

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If you want to stop slugs coming in the house, you’ve probably asked yourself what they’re doing there in the first place. Well, it may be that you need to focus on how to deal with damp, instead. 

‘Slugs are attracted to moisture in order to survive, so water or dampness is their perfect home,’ says Nicola. ‘You may have leaky pipes, or a damp basement where water collects, and that’s why slugs are usually found in kitchens and bathrooms.’

If you can, try and tackle damp or condensation issues you may have in your house. To do this, wipe away condensation build-up on windows and make sure you’re improving ventilation in your home. Open up windows during the day, and use extractor fans while you’re cooking and taking a shower. 

If you’re worried about the moisture levels in your home, a dehumidifier could also be a great investment. 

3. Make a natural spray solution

Lavender, rosemary, lime and salt on chopping board

(Image credit: Future PLC/Craig Wall)

Cleaning expert Nicola has found the perfect natural spray solution to stop slugs coming in the house - and it even worked in her own mother’s house! 

‘Have a spray solution of lavender and/or rosemary oil as well as fennel and perennial phlox with water and spray all around your home,’ she says. It’s best to spray this as near to the floor as you can, so the slugs can get enough of a whiff of it. 

This concoction will not just deter slugs, but it also has the bonus of making your home smell wonderful. And who doesn’t want that?

4. Take away the opportunity

Kitchen with French doors opening up to the garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Slugs are very simple creatures, and they love dark spaces with lots of vegetation they can eat. That’s why it’s important to take away the opportunity for them to get into your house. 

For starters, it’s a good idea to remove any food debris you have in the house - especially if you have it on floors or windowsills, or other hidden areas in the kitchen. Slugs have an incredible sense of smell and can seek out delicious food with ease. And they’ll slither through the smallest of spaces to get to this food if they want it. 

That’s why you also need to take a good look around your home for any potential entry points. ‘Check your windows and doors,’ says Daniel.‘It’s worth spending some time surveying your property to see if any holes need resealing. Even the smallest of gaps can be a welcome invitation for slugs.’

Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to fix these gaps. ‘Using a silicone sealant, simply squeeze a small amount into any holes you find where slugs can enter.’ This is also a great way to draught-proof your windows, too.

How to remove slugs already in the house

Slug on tiled floor

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As we already know, it is possible to stop slugs coming in the house. But what do you do when you already have some in the house? Well, Daniel has got you covered.

‘Sometimes, it’s hard to know where they are hiding, so slug baits are a great way to encourage them to appear from their retreats,’ he says. ‘Slugs normally hide in dark, moist spots such as under sinks, so be sure to check these areas thoroughly. For a humane slug trap, use sugary liquids such as soft drinks to lure and catch the slugs. Once inside, take the trap outside and release the slug as far away from your property as possible.’

Of course, if you find this isn’t working, it may be a good idea to enlist the help of a professional pest control company to ensure that all of the slugs have vacated the premises. 


Why am I getting slugs in my house?

In short, there’s something in your house that slugs are attracted to. It may be that you regularly leave food debris out for slugs to enjoy, or it may be that your home is damp. 

Slugs are particularly attracted to dark and moist environments where food is present, so it may be that your house is the perfect environment for it. Of course, having cracks or gaps in your windows or doors also offers them free access to your property. 

How do slugs get in the house at night?

Slugs are nocturnal animals that thrive when the sun sets, so nighttime is the perfect time for slugs to enter your house. They normally enter the house through cracks and gaps in the perimeter of your house, especially near windows and doors. If you want to stop slugs coming in the house, try to patch up any entry points the slugs may use. 

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.