Caffeine Controls Snails & Slugs

Pest Control: Caffeine as a repellent for slugs and snails

Robert G. Hollings, John W. Armstrong & Earl Campbell

(all Hawaii-based researchers)

Most commercial products for snail and slug control contain either metaldehyde or methiocarb as the active ingredient, the residues of which are not premitted in food crops in the United States.

We have discovered that solutions of caffeine are effective in killing or repelling slugs and snails when applied to foliage or the growing medium of plants.

Because caffeine is a natural product and is classified by the US Food and Drug Administration as a GRAS ('generally recognized as safe') compound, it has potential as an environmentally acceptable alternative toxicant for the control of slugs and snails on food crops.

Nature 417, 915-916 (2002)

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