Where Do Bathroom Slugs Come From?

No one wants pests in their bathroom and while slugs can be less obnoxious than clouds of bathroom gnats and less jarring than seeing a snake trying to come through the toilet or drain, they’re still not something you want to see infesting your house in general and your bathroom in particular.

Generally speaking, this is far more of a country home problem and basement or first floor problem as opposed to upper floor or town houses, but that’s not always going to be the case.

Bathroom slugs often get into a house via small holes in the wall, or improperly sealed crawl spaces. This gives them a route to go from outside to inside and love dark and damp spaces with access to food – which to them can even include mold, which often makes a ground floor bathroom in a country home an especially inviting area.

While this is not a great situation, the good news is that getting rid of bathroom slugs can usually be done quite easily and without having to use harsh chemicals. Let’s dive in on how to get rid of bathroom slugs so you can claim your bathroom back for yourself, pest free!

Bathroom slugs – a quick way to crush that relaxed peace you were feeling before that hot shower you WERE planning to have. Original picture from here.

How Did Slugs Get Into The Bathroom?

Slugs almost always find their way in from the outside via a hole or gap. They don’t just spawn out of nowhere and they almost never come up through pipes the way that various gnats and worms might.

Important Note: If you do see clear signs that the slugs are coming from a drain it’s very important to get a plumber to check out the pipes around your home as this almost certainly points to dissolved, rusted out, or badly damaged pipes somewhere in the septic pipes close to the house.

What should you look for to figure out where the slugs are coming from?

  • Look for holes in the wall, especially in the back of places like sink counters or the edge of the wall by a bath tub
  • Look for any signs of slime leading to a corner, bathroom closet door, or other area where there might be an unseen gap
  • Look for slime trails by any insulation (this could indicate a hole in the insulation or caulking that looks good from your position but actually has a gap in it)
  • Space under bathroom doors and windows (slugs can squeeze through holes less than half the size of their bodies)
  • Holes or cracks in the walls
  • Damaged joints at the corners of bathroom walls
  • Tears on window screens
  • Cut outs for washer or dryer ducts

Slugs and snails aren’t especially small or nimble, so if there are many bathroom slugs appearing they should not only be noticeable but it shouldn’t be too hard to track the area they are arriving from.

This is almost certainly a country home problem and a first floor or basement issue. If you find multiple slugs on a higher floor…that’s a serious problem and indicates there might be extensive rot inside the walls or insulation, possibly with mold, and a lot more inside the walls that you can’t see.

It’s possible this isn’t the case – but it’s something at that point you will want to have checked out.

Assuming this isn’t an extreme situation, most of the time you can take care of bathroom slugs without having to hire a professional exterminator.

How Do I Get Rid of Bathroom Slugs?

There are multiple ways to get rid of unwanted slugs from your bathroom, which generally speaking is going to be any slug or snail that you find in the bathroom.

Slugs Hate Salt

One of the first steps to take care of a slug infestation in your bathroom is to head downstairs and grab the salt. You want to contain them in the room so they don’t spread through the house, and a small line of salt across the door way will do that. Slugs need an enormous amount of moisture to survive, which is why they hate extreme heat or dryness and love moist, damp, dark places.

Salt will kill slugs very quickly and they can’t cross over lines of it without killing themselves, so it’s a good way to contain them in one area and make sure they don’t spread.

While having a line of salt across the doorway can be annoying, much less making a ring around the edge of the room and a circle of salt around the drain, but it’s a good way to temporary contain the inside problem until you can more fully deal with it.

Slug Traps & Slug Bait

Slug Poison is a thing, but it is generally designed for outdoor and garden use which can cause some issues. There are slug baits and slug poisons (and many can be both – attracting pesky slugs and also taking care of them so you don’t have to sorry about them anymore), but if you’re using it indoors you want to make especially sure it’s stuff that’s easy to clean up once the job is done and you want to make sure it doesn’t harm other pets.

While most slug bait is designed for gardens and outdoor use, there are some options that can be used indoors with tile floors like bathrooms. Using non-toxic pellet options that are easy to clean up indoors are the best way to go. This helps you to kill the slugs that have gotten in, and ones that might be hiding out for a day or two but are already in the house, and prevent new ones from coming in.

These should be applied around openings to the bathroom including baseboards, corners, and around drains, just to cover all of your bases.

Everyone I talked to said Monterey products were the best by far, and some friends with pets and slug problems (one of the “benefits” of living in rural farm country) and Sluggo Plus from Monterey was the name that kept coming up as one that worked and hadn’t caused any issues with pets or people in the house.

Slug traps being placed outside, especially if you have flowers or a garden close to the house will also be a good idea. This can help to prevent slugs being attracted to the house from making their way in.

Prevent Future Slug Infestations In Your Bathroom

Prevention is an important part of stopping slug infestations. If you get rid of slugs once but then the bathroom keeps getting re-infested then what’s the point? Once you’ve killed the slugs in your bathroom and looked around for where they possibly came from, it’s time to get to work to make sure no more slugs can get into your bathroom in the future.

We go into all the ways you can slug proof your property.

How To Keep Slugs from Getting into Your Bathroom

There are many different steps to take that can help prevent this. In some cases even just one step is enough if there’s only one hole or entryway to your bathroom, but on the other hand many of these things you can do to set your property up so you won’t have to deal with slugs in the future. Let’s take a look at the major indoor and outdoor steps that you can take to prevent slugs from getting into your house.

Indoor Steps to Prevent Slug Infestation

There are three main steps to take inside to help prevent slugs from getting in.

Eliminate all the slugs currently in the bathroom

You don’t want slugs sticking around or breeding to create more, so not to state the obvious but step one is getting rid of the slugs that are in the bathroom. If you don’t want to make a run to the store or wait for slug poison to come in from Amazon, just use the house salt the first time around. That will do a very quick number on any slugs that are in your bathroom at the time.

Recommended Product: Monterey Sluggo Plus

Seal up or reseal everything

The slugs have to be getting in from somewhere and the most common culprit is a hole in the wall or baseboards. Even a small opening or crack can be enough for them to slide through. Don’t forget to check the cabinet under the sink, sealant around a bathtub, or bottom corners of a bathroom closet. Caulking or recaulking the bathroom is an important first step to making sure this doesn’t happen again.

Recommended Product: Gorilla Waterproof Cauk & Seal

Run a bathroom maintenance checklist

Look for holes in a window screen that need to be patched up or fixed, rotted baseboards that need to be replaced, or areas around pipes that could be caulked and sealed to take away another potential entry point for slugs or other pests. If you have a bathroom fan that doesn’t work it’s time for repairs to pull out the moisture, or kill any mold that could look like a buffet to slugs.

Fix up the bathroom and then go in maintenance mode and you’ll be happy with the results.

Outdoor Steps to Prevent Slug Infestation

Prevention can start outside of the house. By making some small steps you can discourage slugs from getting close to your house and then showing up/getting in in the first place.

Add Bird Feeders & Bird Baths Outside

You know what animals love to eat slugs? And mosquitos, and gnats, and worms, and other pests for that matter? Yup – birds! How do you get more birds to eat all the pests on your property as opposed to others? Bird feeders will bring in a lot more birds, and yes, they will continue to eat more bugs and slugs even with a bird feeder there.

Bird baths are another great option, giving water while also bringing in more birds to come in and take care of some of the pests. Add in the joy of sometimes seeing a beautiful but unusual bird to the area and it’s a win-win.

Bring in more birds and you’ll find many fewer pests as a general.

Put Down Natural Slug Poison Around The Base of the House

This is especially important if you have flower beds. It’s important to use the natural slug poison that is bird and pet friendly, but by having a line around your house, especially flower gardens, but around the house in general, slugs are going to be stopped before they find gaps to dive into or start climbing the house looking for a way in.

This isn’t a guarantee to get them all, but a good slug bait setup works as a very solid line of defense to take care of slugs and make sure they don’t get into the house where they then become a problem. If you’ve never stepped on a slug barefoot when you were getting into a shower trust me – it’s a feeling that invokes shivers and is thoroughly unpleasant.

Bathroom Slug Infestations FAQ

Here are answers to all your most common questions on slug infestations in the bathroom.

How can keep slugs from coming into the bathroom?

There are several actions you can take to keep slugs from getting into your bathroom including caulking and sealing the baseboards, repairing any broken window screens, and even applying salt and/or slug poison around drains just in case.

Can copper tape keep slugs out?

While it’s a nice environmentally conscious try, unfortunately the answer is no, copper tape does not have any slug repelling effects. The Guardian did a story on a released study from the Royal Horticultural Society that showed copper tape, and another popular option of crushed egg shells, actually didn’t do anything to prevent slugs or snails from eating plants or moving through an area.

Why do slugs come into my bathroom?

Slugs are attracted to darkness and moisture, and can also feed off various types of mildews and mold. Sound like a certain room? Bathrooms, even well kept ones, often have the combined traits that are going to attract slugs if they have any way in.

Why do slugs come up my drain?

Honestly, this isn’t a great sign and indicates there is probably some pipe damage somewhere down the line because unlike bathroom gnats or flies, slugs don’t generally come in through the drain in most circumstances. This is usually a sign that some plumbing inspection or work might be in order.

How do I find out where slugs are coming from?

Looking for slime trails is the biggest way, but if you have had problems with them for a while, it can be difficult to pinpoint where the exact problem might be. Look for holes, gaps, tears, anything that could be even the smallest of entryways for slugs. If you see a lot of them in one area that could be a sign – but that could also be a sign of them finding food.

Look for slime trails, gaps, and pay special attention to gaps in baseboards, floors, or broken screens when you keep a window open.

How do you get rid of snails in the bathroom?

Snails are the same as slugs, so taking the same steps as you would with slugs like salt, poisons, caulking gaps closed are all important steps that can help to kill slugs as well as prevent them from getting back in.

Keep Your Bathroom Slug Free

There are many ways to keep slugs from betting into your bathroom, especially when taking a wholesale approach to making your house and property as slug unfriendly as possible. If you follow the steps in this article to get rid of slugs in the bathroom, seal up the room, and then make slugs less common in your yard and property outside, helping to prevent them from being around to enter your bathroom to begin with.

Keeping your bathroom slug free can take a small amount of work but once the most important actions are taken, it’s fairly easy and painless maintenance.

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