Updated: October 6, 2022

Columbine plants are both beautiful and delicate, and it can be frustrating when slaters (also known as pillbugs) start to invade. Slaters feed on decaying organic matter, but they can also damage the leaves and stems of plants like columbines. In this article, we’ll discuss some methods for getting rid of slaters on columbine plants.

Identify the Problem

Before you can get rid of slaters on your columbine plants, you need to make sure that they are the cause of the problem. Slaters typically leave small holes in the leaves and may also leave behind a slimy trail. If you notice these signs, then slaters are likely the culprits.

Remove Debris

Slaters love to hide in dark and damp areas, so removing debris around your columbine plants can help reduce their numbers. Make sure to clear away any dead leaves, twigs, or other organic matter that could serve as a hiding spot for slaters. This will also help improve air circulation around the plant which can make it less hospitable for slaters.

Use a Natural Repellent

There are many natural repellents that you can use to get rid of slaters on your columbine plants. One effective method is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the base of the plant. Diatomaceous earth is a powdery substance made from fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. The sharp edges of the particles will cut through the exoskeletons of slaters, killing them.

Another natural repellent is neem oil, which can be sprayed on the leaves and stems of your columbine plants. Neem oil contains azadirachtin, which disrupts the feeding and reproduction patterns of insects like slaters.

Use Chemical Pesticides

If natural methods are not effective, you may need to resort to using chemical pesticides. Make sure to read the label carefully and follow all instructions for use. Apply the pesticide only to the affected plants and avoid spraying on windy days or when bees are present.


Are slaters harmful to humans?

No, slaters are not harmful to humans. They do not bite or sting and are not known to transmit any diseases.

Will getting rid of slaters harm my columbine plants?

No, getting rid of slaters should not harm your columbine plants as long as you use natural methods or chemical pesticides according to the instructions on the label.

How can I prevent slaters from coming back?

You can prevent slaters from coming back by keeping the area around your columbine plants clean and free of debris. You can also apply natural repellents like diatomaceous earth regularly, or use chemical pesticides if necessary.