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electric slug/snail fence (seriously not a joke)

I have mostly gone for plants the molluscs don't much like but as I have a grandson I have grown some runner beans and sunflowers this year. We did some sowings in jars which was educational as well as interesting for him. In the past I gave up on growing these, the molluscs always winning and I decided to only fight the battles I can win.

So I'm putting the beans into planters and remembered buying this slug fence some years ago , but never used as I had nothing of interest to slug/nails in my pots. It came from snailaway , but doesn't look available now (that's the bottom picture). So I've also rigged up protection for the sunflowers and some beans in the open garden using some slug rings with copper tape, a battery (square smoke alarm 9v type) and battery box (top 2 pics). The square batteries have the +and - terminals at the same end and there is no current until the two strips are connected hopefully by a slimy body whereby the mollusc gets a nip, but doesn't harm them, certainly I've had no corpses. No chemicals, no deaths and unpleasant methods of despatch.

But does need 2 solder joins

Youtube has a number of videos of how to make your own and the whole of a raised bed could be protected using wire rather than copper tape.

So no damage so far here's hoping. I tested it by putting a damp finger on, but felt nothing; but gardeners don't get embarrassed easily so I tested it with my tongue- yep there's a nip for sure


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,410
    Sounds great in theory but what will happen when it rains? Is the battery box waterproof? 
    Some time ago I accidentally bought copper mesh tape (about 1" depth) on a roll together with copper sticky tape. The mesh was rigid so could be secured upright round the plants using pins and this seemed to work very well. It was bought from either Ebay or Amazon, can't remember which but I've never found it again.  
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • herbaceousherbaceous Posts: 2,318
    As long as the tape is at least 3" deep @pansyface is right, it has always worked for me.  It goes all round whichever raised bed has the most vulnerable crop.  Downside is it weathers and has to be replaced each year.

    The standard tape is too narrow for my big slugs though, that's why I double it.
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • FireFire Posts: 18,976
    edited June 2020
    Normally you would have two wires and the body of the slug or snail would complete the circuit. I have found copper tape to be pretty useless.

    Here even the electric fence doesn't work. And they are trying to get in, rather than out.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    You do realise they don't just get in by climbing up the outside?  ;)

    The little ones just go up the drainage holes, and then they wait.....
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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