Where Do Slugs Go During the Day?

Large Red Slug ( Arion rufus ) attack leaf of a flowers. Cause of the most damage in garden. Agricultural pest.
Marija Stepanovic/Shutterstock.com

Written by Katie Melynn Wood

Published: February 12, 2024

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A type of mollusk known for its lack of a shell and its slimy trail, slugs are fascinating creatures. They belong to the Gastropoda class and Mollusca phylum. There are an estimated 40,000 or more species of slugs within the class and they come in all colors, sizes, and patterns. Many share similar characteristics and behaviors, including when and where they appear. It seems like these garden pests appear out of nowhere. This inevitably leads to the question, where do slugs go during the day when they aren’t sliming around?

Generally, slugs prefer damp places. So during the day, they look for places to go with plenty of moisture. They also like shelter so seek out spots in logs, under decks, and in planters.

Why Do Slugs Suddenly Appear?

The slug in the vegetable garden.

These little animals are common in gardens thanks to the plentiful food and moist environment.

It may seem like slugs appear out of thin air but they’ve likely been closer than you thought all along. They prefer enclosed, damp spaces. This often means that they are hidden under plant debris, logs, or even yard features. They come out in search of food or other shelter. Even the fastest slugs don’t move very quickly so you’ll catch a glimpse of them as they move around your yard.

These pests come out at night because this is when they eat. They are nocturnal and more active at night, although they still stay in secluded spaces. Slugs will eat just about anything in the garden and do not demonstrate much of a preference between plants. As opportunistic feeders, they can wreak havoc on any yard or garden. It can also be very difficult to completely avoid having these pests in your garden.

What Attracts Slugs to Your Yard?

Slug animal on grass stem with blured background. Macro photo

Slugs feed on just about any plant in the garden.

Like with most animals, one of the main reasons that slugs come to your yard is in search of food. They eat plants, which are usually plentiful in most yards and gardens. They also look for moist, damp spaces. This is why you’re more likely to find slugs in planters and larger plants that can provide this shelter.

How Do You Get Rid of Slugs?

Amazing Rainforest Animal: Banana Slug

Banana slugs are some of the slowest creatures on Earth, moving at a maximum speed of six and a half inches per minute.

Slugs are considered garden pests and many gardeners work hard to keep them at bay. While you likely will still face a few of these critters from time to time, traps are a good way to keep them from getting out of control. You can get slug traps that attract these pests and trap them where they cannot escape. There are also easy DIY methods using containers to trap them inside.

Keeping damp spaces to a minimum is also a good strategy. However, your garden also needs moisture. Unless you live in a dry climate, you probably won’t be able to completely avoid having moisture in your garden and still have thriving plants. The best option is to remove slugs when you find them and use traps when needed.

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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