Safe Slug Control

Answered by Harrod Horticultural Posted in Category Pest Control & Nature

Dear Martin

Last year we decided to try and grow some broccoli & cauliflower in our small garden. We set aside two veg patches and planted our young plants which had been bought from a garden centre. The plants took no problem and gave a what would have been a great crop. This would have been the case, however they were totally decimated by slugs, snails etc. To be honest it was our first attempt at growing anything and we never put any slug pellets down as we have two young children. At the time of planting our children were 2 years and newborn. A year on and with the spring approaching, we dearly want to try again and grow some fruit and veg. What would be the best possible route for us to go? We are concerned with how dangerous slug pellets can be with small children? Would you totally advise against using them? Ultimately we don't want to plant but for the final result to be nothing on our plates!!



Dear Sean

Many thanks for your recent enquiry regarding child and pet friendly methods of controlling slugs in your garden. I can relate to your fears on the use of chemical products and I certainly would try safer alternatives myself.

Fortunately these alternatives do exist and in my opinion, using Nemaslug is the answer. This completely natural form of slug control relies upon nematodes – naturally occurring microscopic worms – to hunt out and kill slugs in the soil. This treatment is mixed up in a watering can and watered onto the soil; as nematodes exist in the soil anyway, the background numbers are boosted and the slugs pay the price. Each application of nematodes lasts roughly 6 weeks and all you need to do is keep the soil moist for them to be effective. Most importantly, Nemaslug is harmless to children and pets and is completely safe to use in a family garden.  

You can back up the nematode effect by placing some slug traps around the garden; a good trap is reported to catch up to 100 slugs on a good night! We also supply slug pellets which are certified organic – they contain ferric phosphate as the active ingredient and again, are perfectly safe to use around children and pets.  

As you can see, there are numerous effective alternatives to standard poisonous slug pellets and for this reason, I don’t see any reason to use them.  

Thanks again for your enquiry once again and have a happy year in the garden!