As any gardener knows, slugs can be highly destructive to a wide range of plants. But you don’t have to use baits or chemicals to keep these slimy pests from ruining your garden. By using copper tape slugs will keep away from your precious plants and you can put your mind at ease knowing it’s a safe alternative.
Slugs can wipe out entire plants and gardens quickly by eating leaves and foliage faster than it has a chance to grow. They love to snack on a variety of seedlings, vegetables, herbs, fruits, and even flowers.
This can be incredibly frustrating especially when you’ve spent a lot of time, money, and effort purchasing and taking care of your plants. Not to mention if you happen to be growing your own food.
Copper Tape: A Safe And Simple Solution
While many of us want to keep slugs as far away from our plants as possible, the idea of using baits or chemicals doesn’t appeal to everyone. Especially for those who have pets, young children, or both.
And while there are all-natural options such as using egg shells or coffee grounds to repel slugs, you’ll need to make sure you apply them on a regular basis which isn’t always convenient for everyone.
Copper tape on the other hand simply needs to be added once, and because it’s water-resistant and durable, can typically be left outdoors for several seasons before needing to be replaced. It doesn’t contain any chemicals and is totally safe for humans, pets, and even the slugs themselves.
Slugs and copper don’t mix. Or to be more precise, slime and copper don’t mix. Slugs produce slime that helps to keep their bodies moist, protect them, and help them move around. It also helps them to stick to things as well.
However, when that slime comes into contact with copper it causes a reaction. And the slug receives an electro-neural signal just like an electric shock. So basically the tape basically functions like mini-electric fence, but that only shocks slime covered pests.
And it isn’t actually connected to any source of electricity of course. Luckily this means it also repels snails, the other slimy backyard pest gardeners hate. When they come into contact with copper tape slugs and snails receive the unpleasant stimulus and turn right around, they won’t cross it.
Where And How To Use Copper Tape For Slugs
Using the tape is easy. The basic idea is to surround your plants with it, thus creating a copper slug barrier around them. You can do this in several ways and locations, just be sure that the surface you are applying the tape to is clean and dry first.
To protect potted plants from slug damage, apply the tape to the pot so that it forms a solid ring around it. Copper tape can be used to create a ring around raised garden beds made from wood or concrete blocks as well.
As an added bonus the tape functions as an attractive copper trim that can really dress up pots and beds! To protect an entire garden you can’t attach the tape directly to the ground. Instead however, you could frame your garden with a material like wood and attach the tape to it.
For individual trees and shrubs copper tape can be attached directly around the trunk. And for smaller individual plants you can always cut the bottom out of a plastic bowl or cup and place it around the plant. Then insert it into the ground and apply the tape around the plastic, at soil level.
There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind to help guarantee your success when using slug repellent tape. For example making sure that you create a solid ring of tape is crucial. Don’t leave any gaps at all; a hungry slug may use them as an access point to get to your plants.
Also don’t set yourself up for failure by forgetting about overhanging branches or leaves. If they are close to the ground or another unprotected plant these could be used to bypass your copper tape as well. So be sure to trim them back.
If you have large slugs or snails in your location, using wider tape would be a good idea to help create a bigger barrier. Another option for large or very determined pests is to use two rows of tape and add them so they are parallel to each other and spaced about one inch apart.
And last but not least, because copper is metal, the edges can be sharp. So you’ll want to be careful when applying your tape to prevent any cuts. Wearing protective gloves when doing so can also help.
Using copper tape for slugs is an excellent alternative that will help to protect your plants around the clock and year-round. But don’t forget this human and pet-friendly slug repellent isn’t only made for plants. It can also be used just about anywhere that you’d like to keep slug and chemical-free.
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