Do Slugs and Snails Eat Tomato Plants? [Yes, Here’s How to Stop Them]

If you’re aiming to grow delicious, vine ripe tomatoes for your family, it can be annoying when something has a nibble on your fruit. If you’ve noticed slugs and snails in your yard, you may be wondering whether you’ve found the culprit. Slugs and snails are common garden pests, but do they eat tomatoes?

Do do slugs and snails eat tomato plants?  Let’s find out?

Yes, slugs and snails eat tomato plants

Do Slugs Eat Tomato Plants

Unfortunately, both slugs and snails will eat your tomato plants. They will eat the plant’s stems, leaves, and fruits and can quickly devastate your crop. These pests are more of a hazard on young tomato seedlings, which they can end up killing before the plants able to fruit. Slugs and snails are more active at night, so you may find that your tomato plants have been damaged overnight.

Sometimes, folks mistake slugs for black worms on tomato plants, which need gotten rid of a different way.

How to prevent slugs and snails from eating tomato plants

How to Get Rid of Snails to Slugs on Tomatoes

The good news is that there are many things you can do to deter slugs and snails from your tomatoes. Taking preventative measures will ensure you have a good tomato crop but may not completely eliminate slugs and snails from your yard.

Here are some tried and tested methods that gardeners commonly use to keep slugs and snails away from their plants. These methods are all organic and, unlike slug pellets, won’t do any harm to the environment.


One of the best ways to deter slugs and snails is to sprinkle some coffee granules on the soil around your tomato plants. This won’t harm your plants but will repel slugs and snails and stop them from eating your crop.

Slugs and snails don’t like caffeinated soil and won’t travel over it to get to your plants. Coffee also deters other pests, such as mice and squirrels, which don’t like the smell.

Coffee grounds a surprisingly handy gardening tool.  It can be used for a variety of things, such as a fertilizer for orchids.

Use gravel or mulch

Slugs and snails don’t like to cross certain types of terrains such as gravel or mulch as they are uncomfortable to cross. It’s best to use fine gravel and cover the soil that surrounds your tomatoes. Alternatively, mulch or seaweed also works as these terrains have small pieces which are sharp and uncomfortable for a slug or snail to travel over.

If you grow tomatoes in a greenhouse, you may like to sprinkle gravel around your greenhouse. This will prevent slugs and snails from getting in.

Other ways to deter slugs and snails

  • Sprinkle crushed eggshells around your tomato plants. Slugs and snails don’t like crossing eggshells.
  • Create a beer trap to deter snails and slugs
  • Get some chickens, which will eat slugs
  • Chop up some mint and put it around your tomato plants
  • Plant a rosemary or thyme bush near your tomatoes
  • Mix seaweed into the soil as this creates a rough surface that slugs and snails don’t like traveling over.


Slugs and snails will eat the stem, leaves, and fruit of tomato plants. Luckily, they can be easily deterred with various items that you probably already have in your home, such as coffee or eggshells.  If you are looking to learn a little bit more about tomatoes, you may want to check out our guide on when to plant tomatoes.  It’s full of useful information.