Protect your garden from snails, slugs and leaf eaters

Project Overview

There is a wide range of highly effective and innovative products available for gardeners to care for and protect their plants against insects, snails and slugs. These pests can be combated in the garden by breaking reproduction cycles, getting good insects to eat bad insects, getting other animals to eat pests, and making your vegetables unpalatable to pests.


When using pesticides wear protective clothing, gloves, face shield and a respirator where indicated on the pesticide label. 
It is important to protect skin areas and the eyes at all times, especially when handling the concentrated chemical. 
Take extra care when in a confined space such as glasshouse. 
Wash thoroughly in warm soapy water immediately after spraying and always before eating, drinking or smoking, making sure to scrub all skin areas exposed during spraying, or better still, have a shower. 
If poisoning occurs, follow first aid instructions printed on the label and seek immediate medical attention. Always keep tools and materials away from children. Read the instructions before beginning your project.


Protective clothing
Face shield


Watering can
Pressure sprayer

Step by Step Instructions

1 Snails and slugs
2 Leaf eaters
3 Solutions
  • Step 1. Snails and slugs

    Snail and slugs are your garden's worst enemies due to their excessive breeding and rapid destruction. They can be particularly damaging to flower and vegetable seedlings.

  • Step 2. Leaf eaters

    Leaf eaters are caterpillars, grubs, leaf-eating beetles, grasshoppers and borers. You know you're in trouble when you can see holes and missing portions in branches, stems, shrubs, buds, flower petals and fruit. It is important that the problem is dealt with as soon as possible before the damage is irreparable.

  • Step 3. Solutions

    Snails and Slugs:

    Snails and slugs are most active just before or as soon as the rain arrives and at night. Here are a few methods to control these two:

    Removing the snails and slugs by hand - best done at night with a torch.

    Using a container with a small amount of beer which attracts slugs and snails to fall into the dish and drown (Fig 1).


    Snail traps are also available through retail outlets. Sprinkle snail bait around under the bushes, wallings and rock outcrops where they hide.

    Using snail pellets is effective, but potentially harmful to wildlife, pets and children. Iron based snail killers are the safest alternative.

    Leaf Eaters:

    Some eco-friendly preventative measures can be taken to protect your garden from these pests.

    Several insect and animal predators are extremely effective at naturally counteracting some pests. These are lace wings, lady bugs, hover flies, caterpillar parasites, parasitic wasps and praying mantis. The pests that they pray on can include mealy bugs, mites, moth eggs, caterpillars, whiteflies, cabbage loopers, thrip, leaflopper, flea beetles and scale insects. To get these insects into your garden use companion planting. Start by growing herbs like coriander, fennel, parsley and other flowers such as daisies, dandelions, marigolds, sunflowers, thistle, and yarrow (Fig 2).


    Their flowers encourage these insects to lay their eggs into grubs, aphids and other pests in the garden. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae feast on the host.

    A healthy garden is less likely to succumb to insect attacks. Keep plants well fed, watered and mulched and apply seaweed extract as a preventative measure.

    Insect traps are also an option to use as a preventative measure.

    Spraying unwanted pests:

    Some gardeners make their own organic pesticides that taste so terrible that your pests will move on. Two examples are mixing garlic, chilli and onion or mixing kelp and neem oil.

    Pyrethrum sprays, which are made from flower extracts, are effective but tend to linger, therefore they can damage new arrivals of good insects.

    There are many eco-friendly and chemical sprays available to remove all of your garden pests. It is advisable to confirm what your pests are and then ask your Bunnings Team Member. 

    Always follow dosage rates and safety instructions.


Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions which came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings team member.

Top of the content