Slug Control – 4 Ways to rid yourself of Garden Slugs

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

Recommended products: You can find ferric phosphate in a number of slug pellets including Growing Success Advanced Slug Pellets and Bayer Garden's Slug Bait.

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

Cons

  • 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.

4) Metaldehyde

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

Con

  • 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

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