Night of the Creeps meets Wrath of Khan, in my apartment
May 17, 2015 6:37 PM   Subscribe

How do I keep slugs out of my apartment and how do I find the ones that are already here and how do I keep from LOSING MY MIND because this is so gross.

I live in a basement apartment in Brooklyn, and my bedroom has a door to the boiler room which then leads to the backyard. Every now and then, I see a slug in my apartment by that door, and I die a little inside, and then kill it and that's that.

WELL just now I was walking through my apartment and on the wall of my dining room, which has no windows or doors, there was a slug that was literally four inches long and it was way up on the wall, like five feet up. And it was very lively, moving its head back and forth. It was like a horror movie.

I flushed it and now I'm freaking out. What if one comes in my bed while I'm sleeping and crawls in my ear! OHHHHH my god I'm so horrified.

Ok the actual question - how do I keep these revolting monsters out of my house, and how do I find the ones that might actually already be here? I have no idea how the gargantuan one in my dining room got there. The slime trail was only a few inches long.

Help! I seriously don't know how I will sleep tonight.
posted by silverstatue to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is a little cruel, but pour a thick line of salt in front of your door. Then you'll just be dealing with mutilated slug husks outside of your door.
posted by shrabster at 6:43 PM on May 17, 2015 [8 favorites]

Slugs are gross, but not dangerous. We have a lot of slugs in our damp backyard, and have had success with slug killing pellets. Just google "slug killer" or "slug poison" to see what's out there. We sprinkled it all around our backyard and it significantly reduced the slug population for a few seasons.
posted by grog at 6:46 PM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've heard the salt theory too but obviously the damn things can climb, so can't they just.... slip in through the top of the door or something?
posted by silverstatue at 6:47 PM on May 17, 2015

Best answer: First, set a slug trap then get some Sluggo or whatever they sell in your part of the world and sprinkle it around outside your doors and windows. The slug trap will attract whatever is already in your apartment and the Sluggo will get whatever is close enough to get in.

Whatever product you buy, make sure it's safe for birds and wildlife.
posted by fiercekitten at 6:51 PM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Cheap beer - you kill slugs with cheap beer.

Seconding that they are utterly harmless, though.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:17 PM on May 17, 2015 [4 favorites]

Best answer: the only way a slug will crawl inside any part of your body is maybe, MAYBE, if you are already dead, at which point the slug is the least of your problems.

both shitty beer and salt will work well against them.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:28 PM on May 17, 2015 [11 favorites]

Was coming in to share the beer trick. Works great! They LOVE beer!!
posted by pearlybob at 8:05 PM on May 17, 2015

I have lived this. As things turned out, I moved out shortly after I discovered the horrific incursions. What is perhaps more to the point, though, was that a good number of my books in the relevant room were mold-damaged from being there. If the environment of that room in your apartment is damp enough for slugs, you may want to store books elsewhere.
posted by Morrigan at 8:07 PM on May 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm really hoping you have a dehumidifier running for the above reason.
posted by canine epigram at 8:11 PM on May 17, 2015 [8 favorites]

It's not a salt theory, it's desiccation. If a slug crosses a line of salt, it dries the slug out.

So you can pour a line of salt around your bed, and slugs will not get through it.

I am dealing with sugar ants in my kitchen right now. I know they come every year, and I put out traps and clean like the dickens, but they still show up here and there. It's their nature, and I try to discourage anything that will attract them.

You are living in a basement. Slugs like cold and damp places. One escaped your eye and ended up in your dining room. It's not the slug's fault: it is doing what it is meant to do by Nature.

You can keep them out by using salt and the slug repellents mentioned above. They are pretty slow moving, unlike ants. And please do contact your landlord, if you are renting, and inform them of the slug problem.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:14 PM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

I mean if it's really going to keep you up at night, and no judgement from me on this because no one on earth wants things ON THEM AT NIGHT NO UGH. But yes, if it's going to fuck with your head, you can approach it like it's bedbugs. You can put each leg of your bed frame into a tupperware with an inch of salt on the bottom. This will prevent slugs from the unlikely act of climbing the bed legs. If the bed is touching the wall, the you line the intersection of wall and floor with salt everywhere between your bedroom door and your bed. You don't even need to really do any of this if you put the beer trap outside the door they're getting in, but presumably any extra precautions may be good for your peace of mind.

my old house had little geckoes everywhere and it took some getting used to with many nights of terrified shriekings and dogs barking and my ex running around naked and wielding a piece of rebar in search of the murderer he assumed, from my shrieks, had broken in to slaughter us in our bed. but i eventually came to be very amused and delighted by the plap plap plap plap of little gecko feeties running across the top of the headboard while we slept. also from that vantage point they ate maybe 1 billion mosquitoes.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:34 PM on May 17, 2015 [14 favorites]

While salt is the canonical solution, I'd try copper strips, available at some garden stores and electronics surplus places. And a dehumidifier.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:37 PM on May 17, 2015

Response by poster: This is the first slug I've seen since since last summer, so it's not really an infestation per se. I just freaked because it was GIGANTIC. The apartment itself doesn't SEEM humid or damp or anything like that. (When I say "basement apartment", I mean NYC basement. So I'm not actually underground, just a couple feet below street level.)

Ive put salt on the door saddles and I'll put a ring around my bed tonight, and then tomorrow I'll pick up some sluggo and/or copper strips and maybe a cheapo dehumidifier. Unfortunately I don't have any beer in the house, but I'll get some of that too and then me and the slugs will get drunk together.
posted by silverstatue at 9:20 PM on May 17, 2015 [12 favorites]

Slugs will not get on you in your sleep. The real risk is that you will step on one in the dark with your bare foot. The squished-slug-between-the-toes feeling is singular and distressing. Spreading salt around will get messy after the salt absorbs moisture and melts.

If you believe that the slugs are getting in from the boiler room, consider installing some sort of rubber door sweep on the boiler room door that will seal the threshold when it is closed. Any slugs will be deterred by the sweep. Make sure that there are no gaps at the ends.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 1:43 PM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't have any slug-exclusion trips to share, but from extensive experience with slugs getting into a flat in England I used to occupy, I do have a few tips on what to do when you find them:

If you don't have cheap beer on hand, you can toss them in a bucket of water with a bit of dish detergent in them. They'll sink and drown. If you don't want to kill them, you can toss them over your neighbor's wall into their garden. Your neighbor may not approve of this (the house next door to me was occupied by undergraduates who didn't care about their lawn).

Slugs are like snails without shells (some species do still have vestigial shells). If you're not grossed out by snails, you should try to conquer your disgust at slugs. Some slugs can be quite fascinating. And David Attenborough's sequence on how slugs mate is fascinating (nature can be really weird).

Finally, if you do get slug slime on your fingers (or bare feet), it's very hard to get off with ordinary soap. But vinegar does the trick.
posted by brianogilvie at 2:24 PM on May 18, 2015 [3 favorites]

I've had success with coffee grounds used as a (presumably non-lethal) repellent barrier. Slugs prefer to relax with a beer, I guess.

Finally, if you do get slug slime on your fingers (or bare feet), it's very hard to get off with ordinary soap. But vinegar does the trick.

Good to know, thanks! No kidding on the soap... the one time I picked a slug up with my bare hands, I thought I was going to be slimy forever.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 12:05 AM on May 19, 2015

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