When the weather warms up and the ground is wet the slug population are in full force. Fear not, there is a variety of slug killers and slug control products available on the market. Here’s our rundown on the best four:
1) Organic slug pellets
Certified as organic by the Organic Farmers & Growers this definitely tops our list of slug control products. The active ingredient is ferric phosphate (sometimes the brand name Ferramol is used).
Why is it good?
- It’s harmless to anything other than slugs and snails
- After eating slugs stop feeding, then crawl away to die - so there’s no need to collect dead slugs
- It's biodegradable, turning into iron and phosphate (which is beneficial to the soil)
- It's waterproof and doesn't wash away. Slugs actually prefer to eat moist pellets
- Suitable to use around edible and non-edible plants in the garden, pots and containers
2) Copper tape
Copper tape is a very simple way to keep slugs away from pots and containers. This method is natural and organic, but won't keep slugs out of the flower bed.
Why is it good?
- The copper tape acts as a barrier so slugs can't cross
- The combination of 'slime' and copper produces an electrical charge that repels the slug
How to use it: Stick a thin band (about 1cm in width) all the way around a plant pot or container.
Recommended product : Growing Success Slug Barrier is copper tape with a strong adhesive backing and ideal for use.
3) Sharp stones, granules or sand
This is another form of slug deterrent that provides a protective barrier but doesn’t kill them. This treatment works by applying a layer of sharp sand, grit, shells or stones around the top of the plant pot.
Why is it good?
- This method is both organic and natural
- The barrier needs to be topped up after a rainfall as it tends to wash away
- If you have a large area to protect you may find the job too big to keep up
Recommended product:An ideal product for this method is Growing Success' Slug Stop which is made from crushed volcanic stones.
Metaldehyde is a chemical widely used in the UK as a slug and snail killer. It is usually combined with an animal repellent to stop it being accidentally eaten by animals. It is also available in a transparent liquid form so it can't be seen by animals.
Why are they good?
- Metaldehyde pellets when applied correctly are safe for animals and can be used around edible and non-edible plants
- They are shower proof and biodegradable
- They're usually blue to stop birds eaten them
- Metaldehyde liquid needs to be re-applied if it rains heavily as it is soluble in water
Metaldehyde liquid can't be used around edible plants. It forms a clear layer on the surface which is very poisonous to slugs or snails.
Recommended product:You can find metaldehyde in Bayer Garden's Slug and Snail Killer pellets. Alternatively, try Scotts Slug Clear if you want to use it in a liquid form. Always read the label and use safely.
The legal bit
Advanced Slug Killer contains 10g/kg ferric phosphate
Slug Bait contains 10g/kg ferric phosphate
Slug & Snail Killer contains 3% metaldehyde
SlugClear contains 228g/l metaldehyde
Plant Me Now stock a range of slug control products, please view our range for more information