How can we help these slug friends?

In the past few days, many small slugs (looking like Deroceras laeve) have been entering our (ground floor) apartment through a crack in the door. We don’t have a garden, so they’re not hurting our plants, and while we do have a cat, she doesn’t like to hunt (she’s content to look), so that’s not an issue either.

The main thing we’re worried about is the little lads getting somewhere they can’t get back from. We can pick them up and help them back outside, but since we’re all disabled/chronically ill, we can’t do that reliably, and we won’t always spot them, either. (One made it to a bedroom ceiling - still no idea how - but it was by sheer luck we spotted them.)

So far, we’ve only spotted them on walls; they don’t seem interested in the cat’s food or water sources. We live in Northern Virginia, US, so it’s been relatively hot (mid 80s-mid 90s F), and we keep things cool (~68 F) - could it be that they’re looking for a cool place to stay? They come inside even when it’s raining, which confuses me.

Been trying to look this up, but everywhere keeps trying to tell us how to kill them, and we really don’t want or need to do that!

TL;DR: Deroceras laeve coming to hang out in our home. No desire to kill them, just want to help them out and/or understand why they like to spend time here. Do they need anything we can offer them outside where they’re less likely to get into trouble - food, water, a way to stay cool?


I think you have answered your own question.

I would guess they enjoy your coolth. The best way to get them out is likely to fix the hole where the slugs get in. If you are air conditioning down to 68F in Virginia, you would also likely save a fair bit on energy bills by having someone come by and install weather stripping around the door, and whatever else is needed to keep cool air in and slugs out.


Assuming they’re a native species and you aren’t experiencing significantly abnormal weather, they should do just fine outside. Slugs are good at finding cool, damp places during the day.

I agree that plugging the hole is the best way to keep them out. There are plenty of strip-dealies meant to be put along the bottom of a door to keep temperatures and bugs out.


If you want to make an outdoor slug habitat you could use a variation of what outdoor snail farmers use.

Basically a set of wide board propped up on one end a little ways off the ground and kept damp.

To keep them out, blocking the hole, and possibly using copper flashing, although evidence for the effectiveness of copper varies quite a bit.


You could make a little enclosure, and give them vegetables, since slugs aren’t the best thing to have in a house, (I have kept slugs and snails many times, I think they are very cool :blush:) and I am very happy that these slugs are being appreciated by you! They have a hard time getting on with most people sadly.


If you cannot get someone to install weather stripping, there are a variety of door draft stoppers you can make or buy. Many simple ones are simply a long fabric tube filled with a stuffing like sand, beans, or styrofoam beads.

Here are some ideas for door draft stoppers from Amazon.


Others have already given good advice about plugging the hole!

You may already have this habitat in your yard, but I find that slugs love moist, shady, protected spots with a lot of tender leafy vegetation. If you leave a weedy, overgrown patch with a diversity of broadleaf vegetation, growing on a north- or east-facing side of your home, they often love that. Incidentally, these spots often tend to attract toads or frogs, which often like to eat the slugs, as well as earthworms and various insects also attracted to such habitats.

One of the spots where I see the most slugs is a kinda weedy, overgrown semi-food garden on the north-facing side of the building, that has, besides tomatoes and mint (which are not native), a lot of native plants growing kinda wild, including honewort (which I also use for food), rhomboid mercury, calico aster, zigzag goldenrod, and stuff like that.


This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.