Controlling Slugs and Snails
Slugs are persistent and widespread pests which can cause havoc in the garden, eating holes in leaves, stems, flowers, tubers and bulbs. They can cause damage throughout the year on a wide range of plants, but seedlings and new growth on herbaceous plants in spring are most at risk.
Slug pellets are the most widely used method of controlling pest problems. The pellets are scattered on the surface of the ground in a thin layer, where the pests feed on them. Scattering them in this thin layer reduces the chances of other household pets or wildlife eating this pest control in large quantities. The active ingredients in most slug pellets are metaldehyde of ferric phosphate. Metaldehyde is potentially more harmful to wildlife and is also available in liquid form. Ferric phosphate is approved for use by some organic growers and is relatively safe. Other products containing aluminium sulphate are also relatively safe and non-toxic. These products come in the form of a powder which is applied to the soil surface. As the slugs and snails crawl over the treated areas, they absorb the powder into their bodies.
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