Deter Snail with a barrier of Copper slug and snail tape
If you are looking for a snail barrier that will protect potted plants from snails and slugs then copper tape is the solution.
Copper tape and copper wire are solutions to slugs and snails in the garden. Around pots and even raised garden beds, copper tape acts as a barrier to snails and slugs. For trees copper wire can be used , as long as the snails and slugs have to crawl over it, so a loose fitting ring or two around a tree trunk can help.
Now copper wire can be purchased at any hardware store, probably the cheapest alternative. Copper tape comes in adhesive and none adhesive forms, and in different widths. You will not need a really wide barrier, just enough to deter the crawling pests.
The big question is, does a copper tape barrier work?
We have given it a trial over three years and have found that a ring of copper tape certainly does deter or repel snails from our terra cotta pots.
Pictured right is a pot full of hostas, the ultimate test.
Copper Tape used to deter snails from Hostas As you probably know snails love hostas and have no trouble climbing a terra cotta pot. We used a band of copper tape near the top of the pot and yes it works. No snail attack at all.
How does copper tape deter snails and slugs?
The claim is that copper causes a chemical reaction with the snail or slug that feels like ‘an electric shock’. The snails will crawl around the pot looking for a way up, and then ‘give in’. This does not kill the snails, but it does deter them, effectively its a barrier.
And yes it comes in different widths, use the wider one provides a better barrier for best results.
How to use copper tape barrier in the garden
- As with any adhesive copper tape will ‘stick best’ to a clean, dry surface, so wash and dry the surface of the pot before applying.
- Make sure when using the tape that you go all the way around the pot, snails will crawl around looking for a way up to the foliage of the plant.
- With timber garden beds you can use copper nails, or a staple gun if the tape will not stick.
- If you can make it look ‘neat’ you will not notice the tape so much, it becomes a feature.
- Foliage ‘hanging down’ over the copper tape will act as a clear path for snails, so use a tall pot, place the tape lower down, or prune away.
Remember that copper tape will not kill snails and slugs, simply deter them, they will go ‘elsewher’ so other solutions may be required as well. Beer, traps, bait, crushed eggshell, wood ash – all a part of the great snail hunt.
Copper tape for the garden comes in rolls and is readily available for sale online.
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