Using copper strip/ribbon is a natural and environmentally friendly way to control slugs and snails around flower beds, flower pots and containers, trees, and in the garden. The combination of copper and slug/snail slime produces a small electrical charge that deters them from crossing the copper strip.
5 MIL Copper Foil
is the most popular thickness for this project. It is pliable and cuts easily with scissors and because it is a light gauge copper foil, you get more footage at a better value than thicker sheet copper. Note that it is important that the copper strip be at least 3” wide.
Copper strips narrower than 3” will allow the slugs/snails to cross undeterred. Simply apply the copper around the base of the container using an adhesive like
3M Super 77
. Note that as the copper begins to patina/oxidize, it may lose its effectiveness. However, all you need is some
copper cleaner and polisher
and your copper will be restored to its shiny, like-new condition. To see how easy 5 mil copper foil is to work with see our
Below see a customer testimonial with pictures from Amy O. in Tennessee.
Thank you for sending the copper strip for our science fair project. The project did show that copper is an effective snail repellent. My son and I had read that an electric pulse is transmitted from copper to the snail through it's slime trail and we wanted to find out if it worked. We placed the 3 inch wide strip of copper you sent in the middle of a glass tank. On one side of the tank we placed cucumber & apple slices along with lettuce leaves which we had previously determined that the snails liked. On the other side we added 50 garden snails. Several times a snail went up to the strip but then turned back. After 3.5 hrs. none of the snails had success at crossing over to the food. My son has always loved snails and was happy to find a way for gardeners not to kill them!!"