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What to do about slugs/snails/mice


I've just moved into a house with a good size back garden. I wanted to de-weed it and put in a vegetable patch in one area but as I'm de weeding it I notice a lot of woodlice,green slugs and snails and also spotted two house mice. Is there any way I can successfully grow a vegetable patch and herbs,does any one have any good tips to deter them or stop them accessing the plants all together? I do have two dogs so slug pellets are out of the question. Is there any hope for a vegetable patch or is it a lost cause?

Thank you!


  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,867
    Don't lose heart. We all have to deal with the hoards of creatures that want to eat everything we grow. I have had a row of newly sprouted peas disappear overnight.

    Herbs like mint, thyme, sage, chives and rosemary will grow quite happily in the garden without any need for barriers or slug pellets. The more delicate herbs are best grown in a pot.

    You can use barriers to keep some pests away and protect the plants until they are butch enough to fend for themselves. French and runner beans can be grown in pots and planted out with the protection of plastic drinks bottles to keep the slugs away. It doesn't work everytime but then nothing is foolproof. You can use beer traps for the slugs. They will die happy. With some plants it is a question of keeping mice from the seeds and young shoots and there are plenty of ways to do that. I fashion cages from small sized wire's easy to bend to shape and can be used over many years to protect crops.

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,456
    edited May 2019
    Welcome to the forum, Alexandra.  Woodlice are your friends, their diet is mostly dead and decaying plant matter.  By chewing it up and pooping it out, they help maintain the soil's fertility.  I find them rather endearing, they're like tiny armadillos.  And they are so humble. Dull grey little things, they eat the other creatures' leftovers and live in dank dark places where nothing else wants to live.  They also take motherhood a lot more seriously than most arthropods.  None of this laying eggs and never going near them again; the female woodlouse carries the young in a pouch on her underside.

    I recommend you buy "The Little Book of Slugs" for £2 or 3 from the Centre for Alternative Technology, it describes many ways of killing, controlling and deterring slugs without harming other wildlife or pets.  Many of its suggestions apply equally well to snails.  A belt and braces approach works best rather than relying on a single method.

    I don't think the mice will stay long in a garden frequented by dogs.
  • FlinsterFlinster Posts: 840
    Once it’s cleared you will have taken away a lot of the hiding places that slugs, snails, mice like. They will be around for sure, but a bit of vigilance is all it takes... along with perseverance and a dash of ingenuity lol! I’ve just been out and collected the slugs I knew were eating my cabbages! They are now in the pond, maybe the newts will find them! I have a resident vole by the pond and mice around but haven’t had any problems with them yet.... 😀
  • cornellycornelly Posts: 902
    Netting over brassicas slug pellets under will help, it also helps to keep off cabbage white butterflies.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 7,178
    Slugs can swim.

    I do nightly slug hunts with scissors. Does it help? No idea.
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,054
    I've heard that beer traps are the way to go for slugs, as for mice a cat might help personally I'd mousetrap them if they were near the house, we have mice and rats on the allotment but as it's their domain I leave them be, they don't bother me much so I don't bother them much.
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,054
    I always baulked at the idea of using beer but I might give the jam a go.
  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 1,089
    Just encourage wild life into the garden. With the right plants a small log pile or even a pile of stones tucked away in a corner somewhere, a small pond (old washing up bowel) a few shrubs and a tree if you have the space and nature will take care of it all for you. We have this at home and on the allotment and don't use chemicals or anything else given a little time your find everything finds it place. 🐗

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,456
    I put "home brew" in my slug traps: I dissolve sugar in warm water in a jar and add a pinch of baking yeast.  Leave it in the kitchen to ferment for a few days.  I start a new one each day and line them up on the windowsill so I've always got one ready to use.  The drawback to slug traps is that they kill other critters beside slugs, but I've never found a pollinator in them.
  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 BristolPosts: 1,535

    Before I used them I had 8 inch long Tiger slugs now I may see 1 or 2 small slugs.

    It works.
    Everyone is just trying to be Happy.
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