Snails & Slugs

Pest control: Be on the lookout for snails and slugs

You don't often see them, but you know they're out there: slugs and snails. They are quietly munching your favorite plants.

Controlling these pests is best accomplished with a combination of methods. Here are some helpful tips By JOE LAMP'L: DIY Network

Hand picking is the first line of defense. Trapping can help in the slug and snail roundup as well. A few slices of inverted melon rind in the shade can produce a bounty.

Two chemicals are in use for control as well. For some time, the standard slug and snail chemical solution was Metaldehyde. Although effective, it also is attractive and highly toxic to wildlife, dogs and cats. Unfortunately, the results are often fatal. Products with Metaldehyde as the active ingredient should not be used near children or animals.

Thankfully, there is now an alternate product that is effective against snails and slugs, yet safe for use around children and pets and wildlife. The active ingredient is iron phosphate. It is marketed under the trade names Sluggo and Escar-Go. It can be sprinkled around any area where activity is suspected. Excess granules will break down in the soil with no negative consequences.