How to get rid of slugs and snails and how to make a codling moth trap

Getting rid of slugs and snails
  • One of the most successful ways of reducing your slug and snail population is by going out at night with a torch and picking slugs and snails off your plants. Put them in a jar and dispose of them in the morning – feed them to your hens, or add them squashed to your compost.
  • Lay coffee grounds round your plants. Slugs and snails find it difficult to traverse coffee grounds, while the coffee grounds provide a good source of carbon for your soil. Be careful not to lay the coffee grounds too thickly because they can bake in the sun and become water repellent. And coffee grounds can become quite acidic, so counter-balance that with a sprinkling of garden lime.
  • Yeast or beer traps are another option. For yeast traps, mix 1 teaspoon of dried yeast and 1 teaspoon of white sugar together in a cup of warm water until the yeast and sugar dissolve and the mixture froths. Pour into a recycled container or saucer, or purchase a snail trap which has the advantage of having a lid to keep out the rain. Set the containers into the soil at ground level so the slugs and snails fall into them easily.
  • Find a large, heavy pot (one that’s not going to blow away). Stuff it with rolled up pieces of newspaper. Turn it upside down on your garden, placing something like a stone on one side to create an entrance to the pot. During the day when it’s light and warm, slugs and snails will crawl into the pot and it’s then that you empty out the newspaper containing the pests and dispose of them.
  • It’s a good idea to try a combination of these methods. With a concerted effort you can break the cycle of slugs and snails and rid yourself of them!
Trapping codling moth
  • Rob’s codling moth traps work well because they trap both the male and female codling moth, unlike the pheromone traps you buy which only trap the male.
  • Using a 2-litre empty milk bottle, cut two holes the size of golf ball on either side at the top of the bottle just under the lid. This is where the moths enter, attracted by the smell, and drown.
  • Recipe:

    Into a bucket put…

    5 cups water
    1/2 cup molasses
    1 cup cider vinegar
    a few drops of dishwashing liquid
    a few drops of ammonia (which helps to release the smell)

    Mix well. Fill milk bottles about a quarter full and screw lids back on.

  • Use cloth ribbon rather than twine for tying so as not to damage the branches. Choose two branches that you can tie the bottle between. This reduces the movement of the bottle.
  • Check the bottles during the growing season to find out how successful you’ve been. You may need to add more water or mix up a new batch of the recipe if the mixture evaporates.


Camera: Jarod Murray
Editor: Thomas Asche
Production equipment and post-production services provided by The Black Forest Breathes