I am making an electric fence to stop snails entering a new garden area (the concrete patio).

The problem is fixing two wires the right distance apart without them shorting.

What material can be used that has two conductors held apart nicely?

I tried naked copper or aluminium wires stretched out but find them hard to fix into place; especially as these metals are not springy at all.

The 3.8 Volts I am using has shown to be enough, the snails cannot cross the double wire in the photo. A high value resistor should prevent the battery discharging rapidly if there is a brief short.

If it is too hard am willing to try just a pair of wires on several large plastic pots as in the photo.

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  • 2
    Have you considered using self adhesive copper tape?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Sep 11, 2021 at 1:22
  • Thinking about the tape - will have to check if the surface needs scraping to conduct. Commented Sep 11, 2021 at 10:55
  • 2
    I used the copper tape since it supposedly produces a shock when a snail/slug tries to cross it. I didn't have a slug issue but could have been a coincidence. The main issue I found was that it's fairly thin copper and disintegrated with in a few months. I would suggest using copper flashing and use an adhesive or pin nails
    – Joseph Wit
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


First of all copper is not a good idea at all as it'll corrode away in such conditions (outdoors complete with water AND electricity) rather fast. Aluminium is a better choice (it's what HV wires are made of too), but it doesn't lend itself well to bending. You can keep them insulated by pieces of plastic, but keep in mind that exposing them to the UV radiation caused by direct sunlight will cause the plastic pieces to degrade, sometimes even surprisingly fast. Ceramic insulators are also an option although it's debatable whether you'd be able to obtain insulators small enough for your project.

Either way my preferred choice of getting rid of molluscs is via molluscicides. They do a more thorough job.

  • I will try using some aluminium from a roll of roofing flashing. Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 5:35

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