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How to Get Rid of Slaters on Gopher Plant

Updated: March 24, 2022

Gopher plants, also known as Euphorbia rigida, are hardy and attractive plants that are native to the Mediterranean region. They are often used in gardens and landscaping because of their striking appearance and low maintenance requirements. However, gopher plants are also prone to infestations of slaters, which can cause damage to the plant and affect its overall health. In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of slaters on gopher plant.

What are Slaters?

Slaters, also known as pillbugs or woodlice, are crustaceans that are commonly found in gardens and other outdoor environments. They have a segmented body and are usually gray or brown in color. Slaters feed on decaying organic matter, such as dead leaves and wood, and can also attack live plants.

Signs of Slaters Infestation

If you notice small holes or chew marks on your gopher plant leaves or stems, it may be a sign of a slater infestation. You may also see slaters crawling around the base of the plant or hiding in the soil.

How to Get Rid of Slaters on Gopher Plant

There are several methods you can use to get rid of slaters on gopher plant:

1. Handpicking

One of the easiest ways to control a small infestation of slaters is by handpicking them off the plant. Wear gloves and carefully remove the slaters from the plant and surrounding soil. Dispose of them in a sealed container or flush them down the toilet.

2. Traps

You can also use traps to capture slaters. Place a piece of damp cardboard or newspaper near the base of the plant at night. In the morning, check the trap and dispose of any captured slaters.

3. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance that can be used to control slaters. It is made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, which are tiny aquatic organisms. Sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth around the base of the plant and on the soil surface. The sharp edges of the diatoms will cut the slaters’ exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate and die.

4. Insecticides

If the infestation is severe, you may need to use insecticides to control the slaters. Choose an insecticide that is labeled for use on crustaceans and follow the instructions carefully. Be sure to apply the insecticide in the evening or early morning when slaters are most active.

Prevention Tips

To prevent future infestations of slaters on your gopher plant, follow these tips:

  • Keep your garden clean and free of decaying organic matter.
  • Water your plants in the morning so that the soil has time to dry out during the day.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing your plants, as this can attract slaters.
  • Use mulch sparingly, as it can create a moist environment that is ideal for slaters.


Are slaters harmful to humans?

No, slaters are not harmful to humans. They do not bite or sting and are generally considered harmless.

Can I use vinegar to get rid of slaters?

While vinegar may repel slaters, it is not an effective method of control. It may also damage your plants if applied in large amounts.

Will slaters kill my gopher plant?

A small infestation of slaters is unlikely to kill a healthy gopher plant. However, a severe infestation can cause damage to the plant and affect its growth and overall health.

In conclusion, slaters can be a nuisance on gopher plants, but they can be controlled with the right methods. By following the prevention tips and using the methods outlined in this article, you can keep your gopher plant healthy and free of slaters.