Slugs are a common garden pest. Slugs can cause extensive damage to seedlings and plant foliage. Removing moist hiding places, selecting mulch not eaten by slugs, and implementing barriers around your garden can reduce the number of slugs found in the area. However, after all of these measures have been addressed, a slug killer may still be necessary.
Slug killer baits are very effective. Baits containing metaldehyde kill slugs quickly. These baits are available in pellet, paste, and liquid form. However, metaldehyde is extremely hazardous, and should not be used near pets, children, or on vegetable plants. Baits containing the active ingredient iron phosphate are safe to use around pets and children. Iron phosphate baits prevent slugs from eating. This means that slugs have time to hide before they die. Baits should be sprinkled in areas of concern. Apply baits during moderate temperatures. Water the area before application in order to draw out more slugs.
Diatomaceous earth is also a known slug killer. It can be sprinkled around plants and garden perimeters to construct a barrier. The tiny razor particles in diatomaceous earth cut open the slug’s body, causing desiccation. Rain and wind can quickly destroy this barrier, so diatomaceous earth should be reapplied regularly.