General Question

spendy's avatar

Why does salt kill slugs?

Asked by spendy (1446points) May 10th, 2008

I guess the more intriguing question is why does salt have the disintegrating reaction that it does? What is it in their chemical makeup that causes them to die when covered in salt? Is it an endothermic reaction that kills them?

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8 Answers

shilolo's avatar

Its not a cruel endothermic reaction. Its a cruel osmotic reaction. The cell membranes of slugs are very porous. When you place salt on the slug, the intraslug salt concentration is much lower than the concentration of salt at the surface. Thus, water moves from insided the slug to outside to create a salt equilibrium. This mass movement of water makes it appear like the slug is “melting” away.
I confirmed this here. Cool question.

TheHaight's avatar

when I was little and visited my grandmothers house ALL the time, she had her little salt shakers especially for
killing slugs. Me and my cousins would get so excited about seeing a slug, we’d quickly grab our very own salt-shakers, and watch those suckers die. I don’t know.. Just felt like sharing.

FiRE_MaN's avatar

shilolo is right. Osmosis just sucks the water out of them and they die

spendy's avatar

I thought that was why…I just wondered if there was more too it. I wasn’t having much luck finding info on it (guess I’m not searching correctly). So, thanks for the link @shilolo!!

jballou's avatar

It doesn’t just kill slugs- it kills frogs too. Probably for similar reasons.

chrystal's avatar

I have slugs that like my back concrete patio and do not know why they are there. There are no plants at all, well other than grass around it. Maybe twenty of them. I would pour salt but what can I put in the yard to keep them away.

Response moderated
Coloma's avatar

Save the slugs!

This is an atrocity!

Slugocide. For shame!

You people are evil..I prefer to give my slugs beer, at least they die happy! lol

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