Coffee grounds for slug control

Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)April 4, 2012

I was just now checking out a video by the Michigan State U. extension service about floating row covers, and the narrator of the brief video said something which was a revelation to me.

He was talking about broccoli growing, but it will work fine with hosta as well. He said you could put coffee grounds, as long as it still contained some caffeine, around your plants, and the slugs would ingest it and it (the caffeine) would kill them.

KILL THEM. Not simply deter them.

Okay, so drink caffeinated coffee black no sugar, and when you do your morning walk through the hosta patch, dump the coffee cup on a hosta with a few bite marks on it. And, dump the grounds--I recommend making really strong coffee--around the soil surface. I bet even after the caffeine leaches out, the grounds will be icky to the slug and repel him. Plant saved, TADA!

How neat is that!! I bet anything with caffeine could work also. So tealeaves yeah. Which means camellia trimmings should be fine to grind up and spread as part of the mulch.

I bought a lot of the ammonia yesterday to mix for slug treatment (1:10 mix with water) but coffee grounds is worth a try too. Cheap at half the price.

Here is a link that might be useful: Floating row cover & caffeine slug abatement

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Babka NorCal 9b

Some people hang around the local Starbucks shops and get discards by the mega bag full. There have been many threads on the topic. Here's just one:


Here is a link that might be useful: Coffe Grounds for slugs

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 6:44PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

That information is incorrect. Caffeine, in larger concentrations than exist in your morning coffee, will repel slugs but it will not kill them. The UCG from Starbucks are a great source of Nitrogen, but not effective as a molluscide.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 6:52PM
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Pieter zone 7/8 B.C.

Here's an excellent article by Linda Chalker-Scott about the gardening benefits of coffee grounds used as compost. Not a whisper about using it for slugs/snails....


Here is a link that might be useful: Coffee grounds as soil amendment

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 8:29PM
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Darn and I thought I wouldn't have to go out at night anymore with my flashlight and scissors. But the grounds with help amend the soil regardless and the hostas should like that since the grounds have a low Ph.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 8:53PM
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I've used the starbucks grounds to make rings around the hosta. Worked pretty good...until the first rain or watering, after which it ws completely ineffective. I'm sticking with the headlamp and diluted ammonia, I'm afraid.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Well, I read the Organic Gardening thread and bumped it up to make it easier to visit.

I also followed a couple of links to something called SLUG-SNUB but I'm a little suspicious because it seems hard to pin down the company making it.

And I had wondered if nicotine from tobacco might work as well as caffeine. For if it did, I'd be willing to buy a pack and blender them up, filters and all, and make a nicotine tea for the slimy critters. Still, having a pound of Cajun dark-roast freshly ground sprinkled over the containers might be some help, and I'll have to check it out.

In one spot, it was mentioned about copper tape not working very well. I had wondered why Pietrje's pots had a shiny metal tape near the top, and perhaps this feature serves as a built-in slug/snail barrier.

Anyway, I have the ammonia at hand now, and might even try the same sort of remedy suggested for fleas (also a problem down south when we have warm winters) by filling a hose sprayer with Ivory liquid detergent with a dash of liquid softener, treat the whole lawn and then repeat in two weeks to kill the eggs.

Okay, time to go to bed again. How did it get so late so quickly.....

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 2:34AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Copper tape works well. It gives the slimeys a little electric zap and they stay away from it. In containers it should be fine, but in the ground the reality is that many Hosta's leaves will touch the ground, thus giving slugs a pathway over the barrier. The other thing is that copper is expensive. Hard to do copper barriers for 250+ plants.


Here is a link that might be useful: Slug Shield

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 6:04AM
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Pieter zone 7/8 B.C.

Although the article below is in Dutch, pictures are universal and they show the efficacy of using copper barriers very well.


Here is a link that might be useful: Using copper for slug/snail control

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 10:57AM
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Pieter, I noticed the shiny metallic bands around the rims of some large pots in your photos. Would that be copper tape?

At the site you linked:
The copper pipe is at the top of hardware cloth barrier or wall. The slugs I am finding here would slip between the hardware cloth holes and bypass the pipe. It would take what I refer to as "mosquito screening" to stop these tiny slugs from getting inside my line of defence.

I'm thinking about the bottom paint we once used on our boats, containing cuprous oxide I think it was, which could repel (or was it kill) barnacles but it was sort of poisonous to other marine life, and seems to be banned these days. I never imagined that having actual metallic copper would be effective against snails and slugs. I'll have to think about that for a while.

I do not know if it is true in other parts of the country or not, but many homes here have been vandalized by stripping out all the copper tubing and pipes and wiring. What a painful experience if they harmed hosta ripping off the copper tapes from their containers!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 1:26PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you take the link from piet.. and go to google.. and precede the link with the word 'translate' ... you will end up with what is at the link below ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 1:34PM
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Pieter zone 7/8 B.C.

ML, if you saw those 'metal strips' on some of my larger post in my Photobucket album, all that is is duc-tape to hold a split pot together. While I certainly DO have slugs and snails here on the We(s)tcoast, by and large I tend to live them and mostly leave it for the robins to do their bit. I will occasionally go slug hunting and do a-periodic Sluggo application, but I don't bother with copper barriers.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 3:24PM
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