We studied the attachment strength of Dreissena polymorpha on nine artificial substrata in the laboratory. The highest attachment strength (0.46 N) was found on resocart (phenoplast plastic). It was lower on aluminium, acrylic, PVC, rubber and glass (listed in the order of decreasing strength), and the lowest on zinc, Penaten cream coating and copper. Apart from reducing adhesion, copper substratum caused also heavy mortality of the mussels. Further experiments, in which mussels were exposed on resocart surfaces in the presence of the examined materials (thus being influenced only by waterborne substances released by them), revealed that zinc and copper inhibited mussel attachment primarily by means of ions released to the water column. In the case of Penaten coating, the impact of its surface properties upon mussels seemed to be more important than waterborne cues.