Does Copper Tape Deter Slugs In The Garden?

Snails- Copper Tape

There are many pests found in a garden that can soon become a gardener’s worst nightmare, slugs being just one of many. Slugs and snails will persistently cause damage to plants, flowers and vegetable crops where they will happily eat their way through the foliage and produce if nothing is done to stop them.

Gardening- Copper Tape

Over the past few years concerns over the use of chemical slug pellets being harmful to humans, pets and other wildlife- has meant it is time for gardeners to start looking at greener, safer and more environmentally friendly methods to support with pest control in the garden. 

One such method being the use of copper tape to deter slugs.

Whilst this method is highly debated amongst gardeners in terms of its effectiveness, it is nevertheless considered a natural repellent and an environmentally friendly approach to try in your bid to save plants, flowers and crops from being eaten. 

Why does copper tape work?

There are a number of different theories relating to why using copper tape to repel slugs work, whilst it seems that none are conclusive all are viable explanations as to why it works and how.

Slugs & Snails- Copper Tape

One theory suggests that slugs don’t like copper as it causes them an apparent harmless electric shock with the copper tape. Therefore, upon being ‘shocked’ by it, they crawl away and don’t try and return.

Another theory suggests that copper has something within its elements that interfere with the slug’s slime which they don’t like the feeling of therefore they avoid it. It is thought that copper slows down the production of slime from a slug.

Whilst another theory suggests its all to do with our iron count within our blood, and the magnetic fields created by the iron count. Given that slugs don’t have any iron within their blood, and therefore no natural magnetic protective field it is thought that given how conductive copper is- this makes slugs highly sensitive to the Earths field.

So, whilst it seems inconclusive about the exact science behind the reason as to why it works- there does seem enough evidence to suggest that slugs do not like copper!

What is copper tape?

Copper Tape For Garden
Simply put, it is as the name suggests- rolled lengths of adhesive copper tape that can be applied to a surface. They are available to buy in a variety of different lengths and widths, and whilst they are good for use in the garden, it is not just here where this product can help. A roll of copper tape can also be used in craft projects, or to aid electronic repairs- so all in all it’s a really multi-functional and handy item to have in your drawer.


Copper Tape

Copper Foil Tape Copper tape is really easy and quick to implement within your garden in the areas that need it most, and can be applied around pots, raised borders, planters and troughs. It is easily cut using scissors, so can be measured to fit exactly where you need it. To apply, it simply needs the top copper layer to be peeled off the backing and smoothed on as it goes on the surface you require. It can tend to crease as it goes so, so try and stick it down slowly and carefully at a time, smoothing out any small creases as you go.

Copper Plant Rings

Copper Plant Ring
If you have plants in the ground but no pots or surface to stick the tape to- another solution is to use copper rings. These solid copper rings are placed around the plant which forms a barrier which stops slugs and snails from crossing. They are available in a variety of different sizes and come with a spring clip that allows you to open the ring up to clip it around the plant. Push a little way into the soil to keep in place. The copper will oxidise and go green, weathering with age- but this doesn’t affect the effectiveness of the ring.


Copper Mesh Barrier

Copper Mesh Another product that can be used in the fight to combat slugs and snails is lengths of copper mesh. This copper mesh can be bent, shaped and cut into any desired shape or length needed. It can be shaped and coiled into rings around plants or foliage to protect from slug damage. What is unique about this product in contrast to the other copper tape and rings, is that you can shape it into the thickness and depth that you require. It is thought that the bigger the surface of copper that the slugs or snails are exposed to- the more effective it is with repelling them.


Girl gardening

In conclusion, the use of copper within a garden is seen as a natural repellent for slugs and snails. It is environmentally friendly, and is a safe alternative for chemical toxic deterrents. It will last a long time, weathering naturally but not losing any effectiveness of the product.  There a few different ways in which you can use copper within a garden; copper tape, copper plant rings, or copper mesh depending on where you what you wish it to go around.

Reviews of the products have seen many very positive comments on how it has helped with the control of slugs within the garden.