Research on Essential Oils to Control Snails & Slugs

Author: Small Farm Staff

Publish Date: Spring 2017

Newly published research, by OSU Slug Specialist Dr. Rory Mc Donnell and collaborators, highlights the potential of essential oils for snail and slug control in crop production. The research, published in the Journal of Pest Science in 2016, tested eleven oils and one terpene against the eggs and juveniles of the invasive snail pest, Cornu aspersum, using a dip method for potted nursery plants. Clove bud oil was found to be most effective.

Mc Donnell, who joined the OSU Crop Science Department in 2016, is now leading a series of new experiments with a variety of essential oils to test their effectiveness against slugs. What he and his collaborators learn has the potential to help all farms who struggle with slugs, but certified organic and biological farming systems, in particular.

Nick Andrews, Organic Extension Agent with the OSU Small Farms Program, will be working with Mc Donnell to make sure organic growers learn about the new research and potential new slug control options they may have in the future.

Learn more about Rory Mc Donnell here: