Where do slugs enter the house?

Slugs are slimy, soft-bodied gastropods that can be found in many gardens and yards. While they prefer damp areas outdoors, it’s not uncommon for them to find their way inside houses as well. This often happens at night or during wet weather when slugs are more active. But where exactly do they enter from? Here are some common points of entry for slugs in houses:

Under doors

Doors, especially those facing damp areas like gardens, are a major access point for slugs. The gap between the bottom of the door and the door sill provides an easy opening for them to squeeze through. Slugs are drawn inside by food sources like pet bowls or kitchen scraps as well as cooler, damper conditions.

Through cracks

Any small cracks or gaps in the foundation of a house can allow slugs to work their way inside. This includes spaces around pipes, vents, windows, and baseboards. Slugs have soft compressible bodies that let them fit into incredibly tight spots as narrow as 1/4 inch. Over time, normal shifting of the house’s structure can create small cracks that didn’t exist before.

Via plumbing

Drains and sewer pipes can sometimes transport slugs from the outdoors into a house. Slugs may enter outdoor drains looking for moisture and food particles, then get flushed down into pipes. If the plumbing has any flaws, they can then crawl up through fixtures or drains inside the house itself. This route is more common in wet seasons.

On potted plants

Outdoor potted plants that are brought inside or placed close to the house can inadvertently also bring slugs inside. Slugs often lay eggs in potting soil or hide underneath pots. When the plants are moved, the slugs come along with them and can then get inside the house. Sealing or inspecting potted plants before bringing them indoors can help avoid this.

Where in the house are slugs found?

Once inside, slugs tend to seek out damp, humid areas of the house. Here are some of the most common places to find them:


Bathrooms offer ideal humid conditions that slugs prefer. They often take up residence near sinks, showers, tubs and underneath bathroom mats. The tiles and plumbing provide cool, moist surfaces as well. Look along baseboards, in corners behind toilets, and under cabinets for slugs.

Basement and garage

Basements and garages are prone to being damp and humid, attracting slugs. They can find many hidden spots to lay low in storage areas, boxes, cracks in concrete, or near drains in these parts of the house. The coolness of these rooms also appeals to them.

Under appliances

The space beneath large appliances like refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers are ripe hiding spots for slugs. They offer darkness and humidity while also putting the slugs in close proximity to food remnants. Be sure to check under and behind appliances to locate any slugs living there.

Near pet food and water bowls

Spilled pet food and water bowls are a major magnet for slugs inside homes. The moisture and protein rich food source is an ideal feeding ground. Look near bowls kept both outdoors and indoors as slugs can easily travel between them. Also inspect nearby corners and cabinetry where slugs may be hiding nearby.

In house plants and pots

House plants, especially those kept in damp soil, are attractive to slugs for depositing eggs or resting during the day. The soil, mulch and vegetation provide ample shelter and humidity. Inspect the soil, leaves and planters carefully for any slugs present.

What attracts slugs into the house?

There are a few key factors that can lure slugs into houses:


Slugs have permeable skin and need damp conditions to survive. Any humid, moist areas in or around a house will attract them as they seek water sources. Leaky pipes, standing water, wet weather and condensation are all draws.

Food Sources

Kitchen scraps, pet food, decaying plant matter and fungus are appealing food for slugs. They can pick up on these food sources from far away and will follow the trail to them. Trash cans, compost piles and vegetable gardens near houses provide temptation.

Coolness and Darkness

Slugs prefer lower temperatures and shaded areas to hot, sunny ones. Basements, garages and spaces under appliances or porches provide cooler spots they gravitate to. Darkness also allows them to become more mobile and search for food.

Hiding Spots

Slugs attempt to stay hidden as much as possible to avoid danger. Small cracks, gaps under doors, piles of debris, boxes and many other cluttered areas give them sufficient shelter inside a house.

Accidentally Transported

As mentioned, slugs can hitch rides indoors on potted plants, produce from gardens, firewood, and other outdoor items. This allows them access even if the house’s exterior is secured. Careful inspection of objects from outside can prevent bringing slugs in.

How to prevent slugs from entering the home

Preventing slugs from getting into a house involves restricting access, removing attractants, and making the indoor environment less appealing overall. Here are some tips:

Seal cracks and gaps

Caulking cracks in the foundation, weatherstripping around doors and windows, and sealing pipe entry points blocks off easy access routes for slugs. Steel wool or copper mesh can also be stuffed into small openings.

Use plumbing covers

Drain covers and screens can be installed to prevent slugs from traveling up through sinks, tubs, and basement drains into the house. This forces them to stay trapped in the pipes.

Apply slug repellent outdoors

Diatomaceous earth, coffee grounds, or other abrasive materials can be applied near the house foundation and garden beds to deter slugs from congregating close to the exterior.

Remove outdoor habitat and food sources

Eliminating piles of debris, leaf litter, overly damp soil, unnecessary ground cover near the home limits ideal slug habitat locations. Removing pet food,overflowing trash and neglected compost also rids the area of slug attractions.

Install monitoring traps

Traps along known slug entryways like under doors can alert homeowners if slugs are attempting to sneak inside. This allows for quick removal before they get established indoors.

Use dehumidifiers

Running dehumidifiers in damp basements and crawlspaces helps remove moisture slugs are attracted to. The drier air also deters them from taking up long-term residence inside.

Seal indoor plants and pet bowls

Using sealed containers for house plants prevents slugs from taking shelter in the soil. Keeping pet food in sealed bins deters access. Routinely cleaning up pet bowl spills also removes a food source.

How to remove slugs from the house

If slugs do manage to find their way inside, there are several effective methods for removing them:

Manual removal

Simply picking slugs up and tossing them back outside is the most direct removal method. Wearing gloves while doing so helps avoid the slimy residue they leave behind. Be sure to search under appliances, in crawlspaces, and other dark areas for any slugs in hiding.


Traps specifically designed for slugs lure them in with food or a dark, damp interior. Once inside, the salt or adhesive used in the traps kills them. Traps must be placed along known slug pathways for best success.

Natural predators

Releasing slug hunting animals like frogs, ducks, or chickens in a yard will allow them to feast on slugs close to the house. However, predation is most effective outdoors.


A wet/dry vac can manually suck up slugs and eggs from smooth indoor surfaces. Afterwards, the contents should be emptied far from the house. Vacuuming is useful for removing slugs from garages, basements and bathrooms.

Salt and vinegar solutions

A salt water or vinegar spray directly onto slugs will dehydrate and kill them. These solutions can be applied indoors along baseboards, under appliances, and other areas slugs frequent. Any dead slugs can then be swept up and discarded.

Diatomaceous earth

Sprinkling diatomaceous earth indoors will easily eliminate slugs by abrading their soft bodies, causing fatal water loss. It can then be vacuumed up along with slug remains. However, diatomaceous earth also harms beneficial insects.

Preventing future slug invasions

The key to stopping recurring slug infiltrations is denying them access, shelter, moisture and food within the house. Some ways to achieve this long-term are:

  • Installing screens over vents and drain pipes
  • Caulking cracks in walls and foundations annually
  • Cleaning gutters and directing drainage away from the house
  • Stacking firewood and debris up off the ground
  • Landscaping with drought tolerant plants
  • Removing ivy, shrubs, and dense ground cover near the house
  • Routinely cleaning under appliances and in crawlspaces
  • Fixing leaky indoor pipes
  • Running dehumidifiers in damp areas
  • Storing pet food in sealed containers

Consistently denying slugs access and undesirable conditions through vigilant household maintenance and outdoor landscaping is key. Also being diligent about bringing outdoor items inside, and thoroughly checking them for slugs first, helps stop an infestation before it starts.


Slugs can squeeze their soft bodies through the smallest cracks and crevices to gain entry into houses. Their need for dampness leads them to bathrooms, basements, under appliances and other humid indoor spaces. While occasionally eliminating individual slugs that find their way inside is necessary, restricting access to the house’s interior is the only way to prevent ongoing infiltrations. With mindful maintenance both outdoors and indoors, these slippery intruders can be kept where they belong – outside in the garden.

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