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How to Get Rid of Slugs on Cantaloupe Plant

Updated: June 17, 2022

Cantaloupe is a delicious addition to any garden. However, slugs can be a major issue for cantaloupe plants. Slugs are small, slimy creatures that feed on the leaves and fruits of cantaloupe plants. They can quickly destroy your entire crop if you don’t take action to get rid of them. In this article, we’ll discuss some effective ways to get rid of slugs on cantaloupe plants.

Identifying Slugs

Before discussing how to get rid of slugs, it’s important to identify them. Slugs are small, soft-bodied creatures that have no backbone. They have a slimy, translucent body that is usually brown or grey in color. They move slowly and leave a trail of slime behind them.

You can easily identify slugs on your cantaloupe plants by looking for holes in the leaves or fruit. Slugs will also leave a slimy trail behind them as they move across the plant.

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Slugs

There are many natural ways to get rid of slugs on cantaloupe plants. Here are some effective methods:

1. Handpicking

One of the easiest ways to get rid of slugs is to handpick them. Simply go out to your garden at night with a flashlight and pick off any slugs you see. You can put them in a bucket of soapy water to kill them.

2. Beer Traps

Beer traps are another effective way to get rid of slugs. Simply bury a small container (like a tuna can) in the ground near your cantaloupe plant and fill it with beer. The slugs will be attracted to the beer and will crawl into the container and drown.

3. Copper Tape

Copper tape is a natural deterrent for slugs. Simply wrap copper tape around the base of your cantaloupe plant or around the edge of your garden bed. Slugs will not cross the copper tape because it gives them a small shock.

4. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder that is made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. It is abrasive to slugs and will dehydrate them. Simply sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your cantaloupe plant to prevent slugs from getting to it.

Chemical Ways to Get Rid of Slugs

If natural methods aren’t effective, you can try using chemical methods to get rid of slugs on your cantaloupe plants. Here are some options:

1. Slug Pellets

Slug pellets are a common way to get rid of slugs in gardens. They contain a chemical that is toxic to slugs and will kill them when they eat it. Slug pellets should be used sparingly and only in areas where other animals won’t be affected.

2. Iron Phosphate

Iron phosphate is a natural chemical that is safe for humans and pets but deadly to slugs. It can be found in many slug bait products and works by interfering with the slug’s digestive system.

Tips for Preventing Slugs

Prevention is key when it comes to dealing with slugs on your cantaloupe plants. Here are some tips for preventing slugs from infesting your garden:

  • Keep your garden beds clean and free of debris
  • Water your plants in the morning, so they have time to dry out during the day
  • Use drip irrigation instead of overhead watering
  • Plant mint, rosemary, or other herbs around your cantaloupe plants (slugs don’t like the scent)
  • Keep your garden beds well-mulched to prevent slugs from laying eggs in the soil


Are slugs harmful to humans?

While slugs can carry parasites that are harmful to humans, they are not usually a direct threat. However, it’s best to avoid contact with slugs and to wash your hands thoroughly if you do handle them.

Can I use salt to get rid of slugs?

While salt is a common method for getting rid of slugs, it should be used sparingly. Salt can harm other plants in your garden and can also harm the soil.

Will coffee grounds repel slugs?

Coffee grounds have been known to repel slugs, but their effectiveness is limited. It’s best to use other natural methods, like copper tape or diatomaceous earth, for more effective results.

In conclusion, slugs can be a major issue for cantaloupe plants, but there are many effective ways to get rid of them. By using natural or chemical methods and implementing prevention techniques, you can ensure a healthy and productive cantaloupe crop.