What is slug tape? And how to use it to keep slugs out of the house

Keep those pesky slugs at bay

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Slug trails over your carpet? Sticky slime all over your walls? Live slugs slithering around your bathroom? If you’ve noticed any of the above, it’s probably time to buy some slug tape. But what is slug tape? And how can you use it to keep slugs out of the house?

Figuring out how to stop slugs from coming into the house probably wasn’t on your bingo card for this year, but it’s a real problem that many people face on a daily basis. And as slugs are attracted to dark and damp conditions, tackling condensation in your home is always a good starting point. But it’s impossible to get rid of damp completely, which is where slug tape can save the day. 

Slug tape can stop slugs in their (slimy) tracks and keep your home slug-free, but only if you use it correctly. That’s why we’ve consulted with experts to determine how to use slug tape to keep slugs out of the house for good. 

What is slug tape? 

While you’ve probably tried to get rid of slugs in the garden, keeping slugs out of your house is a whole different ball game. That’s because slugs will do everything they can to seek shelter and food during the cold and wet months, and your home is too good of an opportunity to pass up. 

But if you didn’t sign up to become a gastropod landlord, slug tape can prevent slugs from entering your house in the first place. How? Well, because the tape is made from a slug’s worst enemy: copper.

When a slug’s mucus comes into contact with copper, the resulting chemical reaction gives the slug a small electric shock. This is completely harmless and won’t kill the slug. However, it should deter them from crossing over the tape and entering your home. 


(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s also important to note that this slug tape is also harmless to other animals and humans. So, you don’t have to worry about it around your children or your pets. 

Peter Gibson, Director of Homebrite Windows, adds, ‘Copper slug tape is a handy tool for keeping slugs out of your home, particularly when applied around doors and windows. It is not a foolproof method, but slugs and snails do seem to avoid crossing it, meaning you can stop them from entering your home without harming them.’

How to use slug tape to keep slugs out of the house

Copper tape is a great way to keep your container garden safe from slugs, but what many people don’t realise is that it can also be used inside the home to keep slugs out of the house.

To do this, you first need to tackle the slugs' entry points, which shouldn’t be hard to spot. All you have to do is follow the slug trails on your floors and walls (you might need a torch to get a better look) and see where the slugs came in. This will normally be under doors, through cracks in the walls, and through pipe entry points. 

Then, simply stick some tape around the area! This is made easier by the fact that almost every type of copper tape on the market is self-adhesive, which makes using copper tape to keep slugs out of the house pretty foolproof. It’s also very similar to sellotape, so you can cut to size. 

Peter says, ‘Apply the slug tape around the edges of your windows and doors, as well as any other small openings or cracks that they could enter through. Sometimes slugs can come in through tiny holes and gaps, even if your windows and doors aren’t open.’

It’s also important to note that slugs are incredibly sneaky, so it’s also a good idea to bend the tape up corners and into crevices to prevent them from passing. Just be careful when you’re doing this, as the edges of the copper tape can be quite sharp. 

White door with wooden side console

(Image credit: Future PLC / Colin Poole)

However, this sharp edge can also work in your favour. Peter says, ‘‘The wider the barrier of copper tape, the more effective it tends to be, especially against larger slugs and snails. Some tapes come with sharp or serrated edges which provides another deterrent to stop slugs from crossing.’

When you’ve done that, you shouldn’t need to do anything else. The tape should be enough to prevent the slugs from entering your home, and it should last a few years before needing to be replaced. 

Don’t be alarmed if the tape changes colour, though. ‘Over time, copper tape will change to a greenish colour due to oxidisation with the air and moisture outside,’ explains Peter. ‘This will give it a more natural appearance but doesn’t affect how it work.’

White armchair in living room

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Of course, you might not need to keep it on for that long. When the weather warms up, and slugs can stay outside without fear of getting too cold or wet, they’re unlikely to try to get into your home. After a few minor electric shocks, they may also learn that it’s not worth the hassle to try and get into your home.  


What does slug tape do? 

If a slug tries to pass over slug tape, it will experience a small electric shock. While not painful or harmful in any way, this electric shock can be uncomfortable. This should ultimately deter them from coming into the house. 

jar filled with coffee grounds

(Image credit: Future / Heather Young)

Does copper tape really stop slugs and snails?

Copper tape can certainly deter slugs and snails, but it’s important to realise that it’s not 100% effective in getting rid of slugs completely. Some people have successfully stopped slugs from getting into their houses this way, while others have not. 

Of course, copper tape will only be successful if you cover every entry point - including small holes and cracks that may not be immediately obvious. 

Because of this, most experts would suggest using copper tape in conjunction with other slug repellants and home remedies. 

Where do you put slug tape?

You should put slug tape around doors and windows and around any cracks or holes that you may have in your home. This should prevent the slugs from coming into the house.

You can also use slug tape in the garden, and it’s best used around the rims of your garden pots. 

Now you know what slug tape is, you can focus on using slug tape to keep these pesky critters out of your home. 

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.