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Slug and snail control

How to get rid of unwanted dinner guests

Spanish slug (Arion vulgaris)
Red slug (Arion rufus)
White-lipped snail (Cepaea hortensis)
Field slug (Deroceras reticulatum)

Controlling slugs & snails

On any given evening, you may find some unwanted slugs and snails in your garden. These ravenous creatures love to devour seedlings, strawberries, hostas, dahlias and many other plants. They may do serious damage to your garden.

It’s time to put your battle gear on and save your garden. First, identify if it is truly a slug or snail. You will typically notice their notorious slime trails. Slugs and snails range in size from a small speck to several inches in length. They are typically grey, brown or black in color. Snails will have a shell. To find them, look under garden debris, under rocks, at the base of plants or any other cool, moist spot. If you are still not sure after inspecting the garden, talk to your local garden center.

Outdated methods to control them include using a beer trap, squishing them or sprinkling them with salt. Some of these methods are not very efficient and may seem like torture for both the slug and you.

The more popular method of control is a unique bait that contains iron phosphate as the active ingredient and can be found in most garden centers. Iron phosphate baits can be used around pets and wildlife. Its patented formula, also known as Ferramol® has proven to be just as effective as conventional baits in controlling both slugs and snails of all sizes. It even holds up in rain.

When a slug or snail eats an iron phosphate bait, they stop consuming plants immediately. Unlike metaldehyde baits, slugs and snails will return to their hiding places. That means there are no dead carcasses and no slime trails. This product has been embraced by commercial growers, gardeners, environmental groups and government agencies around the world.

The product is used by scattering the bait pellets on the soil around plants. It can effectively control slugs and snails in lawns, gardens, greenhouses, outdoor ornamentals, vegetable gardens, fruits, berries, citrus and crop plants. There is no waiting time between application and harvest. Iron phosphate baits are sold under several brands including Sluggo®. Ask about it at your local garden center.

It’s time to let the slugs and snails know how you feel about their unwanted visits.