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I'm not a violent man and I wouldn't, in the general run of things, wish harm to any man or beast.
Slugs are an exception.
When you've spent weeks nurturing young sunflowers, for instance, from seedlings; when you've painstakingly prepared just the right piece of garden; when you've waited patiently for all possibility of frost to have passed and then proudly planted out your little darlings so they can soak up that much cherished sun: the last thing you want is to get up next morning and find that a party of pesky slugs has had a midnight feast on those succulent leaves and stems, reducing them to limp, lifeless shadows of their former selves.
One way of combating slugs (and snails - if you're a snail, don't think you're getting out of this) - is to kill them; and possibly the most effective chemical for the purpose is metaldehyde, the lethal ingredient of Doff's Slug Killer (mini blue pellets).
How They Work
This is one of those things that does what it says on the plastic container.
Preferably in warm, moist conditions, the mini pellets can be scattered around your plants, edible and non-edible, to lie in wait for unsuspecting slugs and snails. It would be ridiculous to suggest that they, in any way, lurk or hide, as they are bright blue, but fortunately slugs are colour blind and are attracted to them anyway. In theory, they find them more attractive than your sunflowers, hostas or begonias.
Once Mr Slug has decided to snack on a pellet, it isn't long before the metaldehyde begins to work. You are soon left with an unsightly scattering of blue pellets, mingling with an unsightly scattering of dead slugs.
The pellets will be effective for days, possibly weeks, as they are shower and mould resistant.
The plastic container is fitted with a safety cap, one of those squeeze and twist jobbies, but you should still keep these well out of the reach of children.
The pellets are poisonous to cats and dogs if ingested in any quantity, which is why you should ensure that the pellets are thinly scattered and not left in clumps. A fatal dose for a dog would be roughly equivalent to a tablespoonful, while for a cat it would be a teaspoonful, which gives you some idea of the kind of clumps to avoid. Cats tend to take little interest in this sort of bait and so are less likely to fall victim to accidental poisoning. In order to discourage other creatures, the pellets contain Bitrex (denatonium benzoate), a very bitter substance that makes them unpleasant to animals and children. Fortunately, Mr Slug doesn't have a sweet tooth.
Would I recommend them?
I'm giving them three stars, which they deserve simply because, as I say, they do what it says on the plastic container. They kill slugs. Funnily enough, until tonight I was never quite so convinced about snails, as I had never found any dead snails. However, the critters really have been terrorising my sunflowers and despite my dislike of metaldehyde I have deployed some pellets in one or two of my tubs. I went out this evening and found a couple of snails. I suspect that they were neither resting nor stunned. They had demised; passed on and ceased to be. They were ex snails. (apologies to Python). The metaldehyde had evidently done its worst.
They lose two stars because there are safer options and I know that some people would prefer options that would be safer to slugs as well as to children and pets. Some will use beer traps, others physical barriers and then there are other types of pellet, iron phosphate based, that kill the slugs without leaving a mess on the surface of your garden. I mostly use those.
Poundland are currently offering a 350 gm canister for...you guessed it....£1.00, which is about the best deal around right now.
Hosta mañana, amigos!
==Doff Slug Killer==
having only recently bought a house which came with both a front and back garden I was surprised to notice actually how many slugs and snails would appear over the evening and much their way through my newly planted veggies and plants. If I were to go out when it was dark it seemed as though all the slugs from the neighbourhood had congregated in my back garden to have some sort of massive party.
At first I thought I would be humane and collect them all up in a big bucket and dispose of them on the patch of open land the is near our house. Apart from looking a little crazy walking down our cul-de-sac with a large and quite frankly rather heavy bucket of slugs I am sure they would all come back. I was even tempted to mark the snails I was relocating with a large X on their shell just to see if these were in fact the same ones returning to eat my plants.
Someone told me that by putting a saucer of beer out in the garden would attract the snails and they would drink this and die a happy and drunk death. However I was quite concerned I would wake up to find my other half asleep in my flower beds along with a few drunken snails! So I decided to purchase a large tub of this Doff slug killer from my local garden centre. It wasn't cheap and I since saw a similar product,, albeit a little smaller in size, in Poundland! I actually paid £3.99 pence for this 450 gram tub and it did however last me all over the summer and I still have a little of the product left.
The tub is nothing overly special although there is a child safety cap on it which is to be expected really considering that this product is a type of poison. Inside the tub there are a ton of tiny little bright blue pellets. I advised my 5 year old that he should stay well away from these as they were not sweets but there to kill the slugs. He was able to understand this and if his ball did bounce on to the ground where these pellets were he would always wash his hands after too.
I liberally would sprinkle these pellets over the ground around my plants that were getting eaten on a daily basis. The good thing with them being bright blue is that you can see where they are and whether you need to apply any more to the ground had there been any rain or the like. The back of the bottle does advise that the best time to use these pellets is on a damp warm night and it also states that as soon as you have applied these pellets to the ground you should make sure you wash your hands well to get and of the residue off your hands as it really is a dangerous product.
The pellets work by the fact that they have been sprinkled over the ground and the slugs and snails will then have the slide over these pellets which will in turn poison them. The snails and slugs are stopped in their tracks pretty much straight away and there they lay until the morning when I came out to find a whole ton of half dead slugs and snails. I did feel quite bad at first as it seems pretty cruel but after a few weeks of doing this most evenings the population of slugs and snails did seem to decline a great deal.
The pellets do work and a little of the bottle goes a long way so even though I am sure I paid over the odds for the tub I think they are still worth the money. Like I say I feel bad about poisoning these garden pests but really I am not sure of any other way that will work as effectively as these pellets did. I think for the fact that it is rather inhumane I will be deducting 2 points from the pellets but on the whole they work well and I think a 3 out of 5 star rating is in order.
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you
Many thanks for taking the time to read.
Snails are my garden nemesis. They were swallowing my marigolds practically whole and munched my petunias down to the stem. Now I am a nature lover and as a child I marvelled at their usual form however I was not impressed with the devastation they left the garden in. I grew all my bedding plants from seed so it was gutting to find them destroyed when I planted them outside. I bought some slug pellets so that I could control the snails and stop my plants being destroyed.
==Price and availability==
The product costs around £2 and it is sold in my local garden centre. The tub was the biggest for the price and comes in a 450 g container.
==Description and directions==
The tub comes with a lid which removes to reveal the contents, which are thousands and thousands of little blue pellets. The idea is to shake them over the ground around where the plants are but you need to avoid leaving any pellets on the leaves or in the flower as it will damage the plant. The pellets look a bit funny being bright blue. You should not use these near edible plants.
Over the first week of using the pellets and to be honest I poured an awful lot down, I noticed that empty shells were strewn across my garden and the odd dying snail leaving a very unhealthy looking snail trail was crawling on the path. My plants were doing quite well, although some were getting a bit nibbled but it was making a difference. As time went on and as you know, this summer has been very rainy, the pellets washed away. They lasts around 7-10 days before all trace of the pellets were gone. At first the pellets were solid but as it rained, the pellets joined together and melted in grey sludge.
They then disappeared completely. I was a little disappointed with this as I drained nearly half the can on the garden! Realising that I would need to take things a little bit more steady, on the next application I was more sparing. I applied enough so that the ground was speckled with blue and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, the snails seemed to be able to navigate the pellets and ate a few more of my marigolds. In the end, the can lasted me a month but it should have lasted much longer as the pellets just seemed to melt far too quickly and dissolve. I was pretty disappointed with the pellets, when plants are in the infancy they are so vulnerable and this product let me down. I would not buy it again and I would not recommend it.
If I was given a chicken every time I spotted a Slug or Snail in my garden I would be waist deep in chickens.
Anyone who takes even the slightest bit of interest in there garden will have noticed those horrible Gastropods roaming about the garden munching on all the soft and succulent new leaves and leaving shiny trails behind them as they slime there way to the next meal. I am talking about Snails and Slugs.
There are many ways of controlling the little blighters but by far the easiest, and probably the laziest too, is to buy a pot of slug pellets and throw handfuls of them onto your flower beds. You are then rewarded with a Slug and Snail massacre, unsightly but true, but at least they are not munching down on your plants.
The Doff Slug Killer I am about to review comes in a variety of sizes; I got my 450g tub from the poundshop. The tub is mainly green with a rather fetching picture of a snail on the front; on the back of the tub is a lot of information on using the slug killer safely. The tub has a very secure child proof screw off lid, but I would like to think that people would store these well out of reach of children.
The slug and snail killer comes in the form of bright blue mini pellets that look like chunky little hundreds and thousands.
You scatter the blue mini pellets thinly on to soil, ensuring you don't leave piles any where. The recommended time to use the blue mini pellets is on a warm damp evening but not before it rains. The blue mini pellets are intended as a home slug and snail killer and not for commercial use. Despite all the warnings against ingesting the pellets there are instructions for application around food crops, you are advised to take great care to avoid any of the pellets becoming trapped in or resting on the leaves.
As you have probably guessed by now using these blue mini pellets to tackle your slug and snail problem is not something you should do lightly as they contain a lot of nasty chemicals such as metaldehyde which is a poison and can kill if ingested (eaten). The blue mini pellets can also be fatal to pets if eaten. The mini pellets should always be kept in there original container away from food and drink and should not be allowed to contaminate water ways or be emptied into drains and any unused product should be disposed of safely. The emptied container can be disposed of in the household waste.
The blue mini pellets also contain Bitrex, which is the brand name for the bitterest substance ever discovered, Denatonium Benzoate. It is commercially used as a human aversive (stops people eating what they shouldn't) due to its incredibly bitter taste. The inclusion of this hopefully stops people and children from being accidentally poisoned by the blue mini pellets.
It is repeated many times on the packaging that you should wash your hands after handling blue mini pellets.
I try my hardest to avoid using slug and snail killer as I feel it is quite a nasty and potentially dangerous way to try and rid your garden of a pest.
When I first started gardening my garden was like a haven for slugs and snails, they ate all my seedlings, chomped there way through the stalks of my sunflowers and generally caused havoc. At first I did use blue mini pellets to control my pest problem but was then left with the rather disgusting task of picking up dead slugs and snail as they were attracting flies and I was concerned about the harm I was doing to the birds, frogs and hedgehogs that visited my garden.
I then tried using beer traps, they were a bit more time consuming, and I had a reasonable amount of success with them, but still had to dispose of dead slugs and snails. My husband and I also used to go out at night with jars and torches, kind of lamping the slugs and snails to be transported to a field and released. These were all time consuming so I did a little investigation and discovered that frogs and hedgehogs like nothing better than to munch upon slugs and snails, I then set about encouraging these natural predators into my garden, which was a lot more fun and makes for some really good night time nature hunts down the garden with the kids. I also put straw and broken egg shells around my edible crops and put gravel down on my paths, all things that slugs and snail don't like travelling over.
My Slug and Snail problem is pretty much cured and my garden is a much more nature friendly place. I am not saying the use of blue mini pellets is a bad thing but I think you should consider the implications that throwing chemicals around your garden can have on the little critters that live there. I do use these mini pellets occasionally, and they are effective, but only as a last resort as I don't like the potentially harmful outcome to all the friendly wildlife in my garden.
If I owned a monkey I would definitely get him to pick up all the snails and slugs in my garden.
Thank you for reading XX
(Also on Ciao under the same username)
Doff 350gm Slug Killer / Fast and effective control of slugs Unique scatter shaker pack for even application of pellets Blue mini pellets contain bitrex to reduce attractiveness to children and pets For application around all crops ornamentals and outdoor plants Colour: Blue Mini Slug Pellets