How To Stop Slugs From Eating Your Basil

Last Updated on November 15, 2022 by Stephanie

Slugs and snails can be an issue for every gardener, but snails are particularly problematic when you are cultivating herbs since they are a fan of basil plants.

The best method to protect your basil from slugs and snails is to put basil in pots and then use Vaseline and salt along the outside of the pot to stop snails from getting to the basil. Salt can cause dehydration for snails and slugs, therefore they are unable to traverse a salt line and get to your basil plants.

Making sure your lawn is regularly mowed reduces the ideal habitat for long grass slugs, and maintaining a healthy garden ecosystem will increase the number of predators for slugs to reduce the number naturally.

Many of the conventional methods for snail and slug control, such as copper tape broken egg shells, coffee grounds, etc. arent always effective in safeguarding basil. Slug pellets from commercial sources can be poisonous to animals and wildlife, therefore, they should be avoided.

Vaseline and salt is simple and environmentally sustainable. It is the most efficient way to stop slugs eating basil plants that are in pots!

Read on to find out the steps to take to allow you to take pleasure in the flavor of basil without having to share it with the snails…

The best practices to prevent slugs from eating Basil Plants

While the Vaseline method as well as salt are the sole method to ensure that snails dont eat your basil plants There are other ways to control snails and slugs in your garden to ensure they do not consume your basil, especially if when the basil is planted in soil or in a vegetable garden.

  • Cut grass short, and keeping neat edge around lawn

Slugs and snails are able to hide in the long grass in the daytime due to the favorable microclimate of moist and humid to protect themselves from predators when they appear at night.

Cutting your lawn short eliminates the ideal habitat for slugs to nest, which means theyre less prevalent in your garden . Therefore having a regular mowing of your lawn can reduce the chance of slugs having a home.

The grassy edges that is a part of the wall or feature of the garden are usually missed when cutting using a lawn mower. They can also be a perfect environment for snails and slugs.

Make sure the edges of the lawn are kept clean by using string trimmers (aka strimmer or weed eater) to give slugs an additional place to hide to ensure that you dont invite more slugs into the garden, and they dont consume the entire basil plant.

slug face

  • Ensure a Good Garden Ecology

A good way to ensure that your garden plants and basil arent consumed by slugs is to make sure that your garden is a healthy ecosystem.

There are a variety of predators of snails and slugs which control their numbers and reduce the damage to a minimum which is among the most efficient and sustainable methods to control snails, whether they are in either the US as well as Europe.

Make the garden a habitat that encourages predators of snails and slugs in your garden using, for instance:

  • Digging in a in a pond (frogs as well as newts, toads and frogs all consume snails)
  • Bird box (many kinds of species will manage caterpillers and slugs)
  • Install a hedgehog box in your garden

Each of these species can manage slug populations very effectively until slugs are no longer an issue and you can improve the biodiversity of your area!

Stop the slugs from eating Basil in containers and pots

The best method to safeguard the basil plant is to grow the plants in containers and pots instead of in garden boards.

This will allow you to keep the basil from hungry slugs, and by making a few changes to keep slugs away from your basil.

Slugs are not able to cross the border in salt (ordinary table salt) because the pores are permeable and they absorb salt and then dehydrate, which could possibly cause death.

The main issue is the fact that salt disintegrates in water therefore, every when it rains or you water your basil, it could remove the protective layer of salt, and the slugs then have the freedom to enter the basil plant.

  • The best solution can be to grow basil inside pots that are placed where the outside edge of the container or pot is turned down. This will create a rain shadow, which is shielded from rain and keeps dry.
  • If you draw an arc of salt along the perimeter of the container or pot within the shadow of rain on the edges of the pot, the salt wont be removed by rain or watering.
  • The salt line can deter any slug or snail from getting to the basil, and they will have to return to the pot, so your basil is safe.
  • To ensure that a line of salt remains on the slippery and uneven side of the pot , spread an outline of Vaseline around the outside of the container or pot and then equally rub the salt in the Vaseline to ensure it stays to the surface in a consistent line.
  • The Vaseline protects the strength that the defense line of salt, preventing it from dissolving in the same way, even if the water (via moisture or condensation) occurs to get into the shadow of rain on the pot.
  • The line of salt is not visible since it is concealed by the edge of the pot, so it doesnt detract from the look of the basil pot.
  • If the pot you are using doesnt have a downward bent edge that can create rain shadow, you could try placing the basil pot on its feet so that it can be lifted above the ground. Then apply some Vaseline as well as salt on the bottom of the pot so that the slugs arent able to get up to reach the basil.

Ive personally tested this method and I can attest to its effectiveness , and keep all my basil plants are free from damage caused by snails or slugs!

It is not only an effective method to prevent slugs but it is also safe for other wildlife , whereas commercial alternatives could be dangerous to pets and wildlife.

This is a simple but efficient method for safeguarding basil from slugs and snails is inexpensive simple and effective!

Make sure to water your basil in the morning , as it allows the pot to dry out before the slugs appear at night.

(For information on the most effective practices for watering, check out my article on on how you can water your basil).

If you follow this guideline, you will be able to take advantage of fresh basil leaves throughout the summer without worrying about slug damage.

Methods of Slug Control to Avoid

There are many misconceptions about slugs control in plants and vegetables and herbs, so here are some that have been proven false and you should not spend your time or energy using these techniques!

  • There are a variety of commercially available solutions to control slugs, however they are often contaminated with toxins that can be harmful to animals and wildlife, so they should be a definite no.
  • Copper tape is often cited as a powerful deterrent to slugs around pots, but its not completely effective, and can slugs could still pass through the tape.
  • Eggshells are not very effective because snails are able to pass through them without issue.

Check out my other article about basil to bring it back to life in the event that your plants are dying or when you notice that your basil is sagging or for more details on the reason why the basil is blooming and if its still suitable for use.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stop snails and slugs from taking basil plants from pots by putting Vaseline as well as salt along the outside around the outside of your pot. Slugs and snails dont traverse a salt line because it causes a dehydrating effect, so you can make sure the basil is protected from damage caused by slugs.
  • Select a pot that has rain shadows to prevent the salt line from evaporating and the repellent can be effective for months.
  • Salt is eco sustainable, inexpensive and can be the best method to stop slugs from eating basil and other plant species.
  • Make sure that your lawn is regularly mowed and work to promote an ecological garden to decrease the habitat for slugs as well as increase the number of predators that control slugs, like frogs, birds and hedgehogs in order to safeguard the basil plants.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)