Category Archives: Pests

Letterbox invaders

Warren asks, “Our mailbox has been invaded by snails and ants eating our mail – fine for the bills, but not so good for the cheques! Does anyone have a non-toxic solution as grandchildren clear our mail.”

Margaret, Mt Maunganui.

Ants in letterbox. We’ve found an effective yet non-toxic ant bait is 1 tbsp baking soda, 1 tbsp icing sugar, 1 Tbsp active yeast mixed together (replace if/when it gets wet).


Gloves of garlic send ants scurrying. I recently discovered this when for some unknown reason I found ants on my kitchen bench. Having no ant bait in the house I decided to improvise. I put 3-4 gloves of garlic and spread them around the bench top. I tell you, they left in a big hurry. […]

BuzzyBee, Waiheke Island.

After a sudden influx of ants on my kitchen windowsill I nearly went and bought some ant killer stuff (expensive and often not effective) when I remembered something I read many years ago. I went outside and traced the track of the ants and used a soft chalk crayon and drew a thick line across […]

Trish, Tauranga.

To keep slugs and snails away from newly planted seedlings, just make a small flat container out of tin foil and put 3 or 4 slices of cucumber on it. The cucumber and tin foil together seem to give off an unnoticed smell that slugs and snails don’t like. I put a couple of little […]

B Cassey, Te Puke.

Save on slug pellets etc. I cut the bottom off a two litre bottle of milk or soft drink and put it over any new plants until they are big enough for them to take off. Also they grow faster, after coming out of the hot house. Slugs and snails do not climb them.


We want to share a wonderful money saver I stumbled on. I crushed a piece of newspaper and shoved it among plants to save going to the house. Next morning I recovered and in it were 20 slugs of all sizes. I was so excited I put more crumbled paper around the plants. By the […]

Canny Scot, Christchurch.

Stop wasting money on slug pellets, they don’t work, slugs don’t even like them. save your eggshells, dry them in oven, crush and sprinkle round the plants you want to protect. Snails will not cross them. They break down and benefit the soil too without chemicals. P.S. I tried the scrunched up newspaper tip but […]

Emma, Auckland.

I decided to start tidying my small vege garden today, ready for spring planting. In the centre of it there was an old square recycle bin, lying upside down. As I lifted it up I just about fainted; the inside was covered with snails! There must have been a thousand! Now, what to do with […]

Possum, Up North.

Here’s an old trick I use to keep ‘possums away from my fruit trees. I fill up a small stocking with dog hair and hang it from the tree. The ‘possums smell the dog and keep well clear. A more permanent and better solution is to trap them, but this will at least keep them […]