Are Slug Pellets Harmful to Children?

When we think about slugs, our first thought immediately goes towards slug pellets. One of the easiest ways to tackle your slug problems is through slug pellets which poison the slugs and kill them. But, they don’t just cause harm to slugs. So, you need to ask: Are slug pellets harmful to children too?

Yes, slug pellets can be extremely harmful to children if they ingest them. 

Unfortunately, slug pellets can be harmful to children. These pellets are bright colours, which can be dangerous because they can appear appealing to children.

Since children are curious, they can swallow the slug pellets and ingest the poison. It may not be a good idea to use slug pellets if you have children around. All it takes is for your child to play in the mud unattended for them to then accidentally and innocently put a slug pellet into their mouth.

Before you know it, you’ll have a very poorly child on your hands.

How Long are Slug Pellets Toxic?

When using any poison like slug pellets, knowing when they remain active can be beneficial. If you have any children or pets around, you may want to know when it is safe for them to go out and play in the garden. 

Slug pellets will remain active for six weeks. If you have used these pellets in your garden, you must wait until this time to let your children and pets out. 

Why You Shouldn’t Use Pellets?

To know why you should not use slug pellets, you must know more about them. When you go out to search for slug pellets in the market, you will usually find the two kinds.

There are slug pellets that contain the poison methiocarb, which kills slugs, swelling them. These pellets are quite powerful and kill the slugs and other insects that may provide benefit. 

The most common poison, however, is metaldehyde. This is more poisonous, and hence, it not only causes damage to animals, or people around, it also harms the environment. Metaldehyde will dehydrate the slugs through excess slime production. 

It would be best not to use slug pellets because so many parties are affected by them. Fortunately, more and more countries are banning these extremely harmful chemicals.

What Happens If Someone Ingests Slug Pellets?

The top reason slug pellets are highly discouraged is the strong poison they entail. These pellets are known to do a lot of damage. Considerably, if a young child ingests these pellets, the situation can turn quite dangerous. 

When animals ingest slug pellets, it affects their nervous system. However, if a human adult ingests slug pellets, it is unlikely to do any harm to them. Slug pellets do not contain enough poison to cause harm to a human being.

However, if a child ingests these pellets, they could suffer from symptoms such as seizures. 

It would be best to use alternatives to slug pellets to avoid causing harm to children and other parties. There are other natural ways to tackle the slugs in your garden without worrying about causing harm.

One route you can take is to use woollen slug pellets. These pellets do not cause harm to the environment and other animals. The pellets are made from sheep’s wool and absorb the slime from slugs, dehydrating them in the process. 

Moreover, some home remedies have shown promising results against slugs. For instance, you can use a coffee spray on your plants as they hate the scent. You can also sprinkle some coffee grounds in the soil. This will repel the slugs and prove to be beneficial for the soil. 

It would help if you used strong herbs and plants in your garden. For instance, you can crush some fresh garlic and place it near your plants. Also, you can make beer traps or use citrus rinds to attract slugs then get rid of them.


Gardeners widely use slug pellets without considering the negative implications they can have. One of the ways slug pellets are dangerous to use is they can harm children. Due to the colour and shape of the pellets, they appeal to children.

If you have any children, they can ingest the pellet and get exposed to the poison. 

The harmful effects are not limited to children. Slug pellets can harm wildlife and are bad for the environment. In addition, if you have pets, they can get exposed to slug pellets.

Therefore, it is a good idea to use natural alternatives like woollen slug pellets to deter slugs. Moreover, home remedies like coffee grounds, slug baits and garlic also help keep slugs away.

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