Basil Pests, Use of Copper to Discourage
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Ann Trimmer
Posted on: May 28, 2004

While researching a basil question I see that you have mentioned using a band of copper to discourage slugs and the like. I have copper foil used for stained glass handy. Any idea if that would work? It has an adhesive back--do you think that that would hurt the plants if applied around the stem? Something is already nibbling at my mums and rudebeckia, so I would like to be prepared with a possible deterrent before I transplant my basil outside.

The copper with adhesive would be fine to deter slugs and snails. Just make sure it is applied loosely, to a sufficient height along the stem. To deter cut-worms, cut a toilet paper tube in half, so that you have two short tubes rather than one too long one and slip a short tube around each transplanted seedling and push it a bit into the soil. You could paste the copper around the tube and so be sure not to damage the stem with it. To deter sowbugs and earwigs sprinkle the soil around the plant with diatomaceous earth and renew after each strong rain.

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