If you are an avid gardener, you will know about the dangers of having slugs. However, even if you are a beginner, slug infestations are a problem many people may warn about. To avoid your plants from getting damaged, there are many ways to get rid of slugs. The most common method of killing slugs is using slug pellets.
While slug pellets are effective, they tend to attract rats.
Slug pellets do attract rats, and there have been many instances when people have complained about this. Rats love slug pellets and will bite through them to reach the inside. Moreover, rats are also attracted to organic slug pellets and will bite through the plastic. The reason why slug pellets attract rats is because of the protein-rich plastic they are made from.
Why Do Slug Pellets Attract Rats?
As slug pellets are used to kill slugs and are harmful to animals, it can be natural to question why they even attract rats.
Slug pellets do contain poison, but the covering is made from plastic which is rich in protein. Therefore, along with attracting slugs, the pellets invite rats and other wildlife to eat them. Animals like rats which are not picky eaters, especially fall victim to slug pellets.
Will Slug Pellets Kill Rats?
The reason why slug pellets are poisonous is that they contain metaldehyde, a toxin that kills animals. Moreover, there have been various instances when rats have been observed to devour slug pellets. Hence, naturally, people question if slug pellets can kill rats.
Slug pellets are poisonous to the majority of animals, including rats and can kill them. As aforementioned, slug pellets have metaldehyde which kills slugs. When a rat ingests slug pellets, the poison will attack its nervous system, leading to paralysis, dehydration, and death.
Rats consume slug pellets out of curiosity and often hunger. In addition, rats can also ingest slug pellets indirectly and die from secondary poisoning. For example, rats may consume slugs that slug pellets have poisoned and, as a result, can become poisoned too.
Rats are known to withstand poison; however, they do not stand a chance against slug pellets. These pellets are far more dangerous because they directly attack the animal’s nervous system. If a rat ingests slug pellets secondhand, it can die in two or three days. On the other hand, consuming slug pellets directly is far more dangerous and takes less time to kill rats.
Will Slug Pellets Kill Other Wildlife?
Many people resort to using slug pellets whether to kill slugs or rats. However, there is always a problem with using slug pellets which is their negative effect on wildlife. Unfortunately, slug pellets, along with slugs, also kill other wildlife, hence, disrupting the ecosystem.
While there can be instances that animals consume slug pellets directly and die, most of them die from secondary poisoning. For example, these animals feed on other small animals that have been affected by slug pellets, and as a result, die of poisoning.
Animals such as birds and hedgehogs are attracted to slug pellets powerfully. Moreover, as these animals are small, the poison in the pellets affects them fast and proves fatal for them. Unfortunately, the frequent death of wildlife in recent years have led to a decrease in population. Therefore, animals like birds, hedgehogs, and frogs face a threat because of the frequent use of slug pellets.
Therefore, it is urged to use other methods of getting rid of slugs that do not harm wildlife. For example, you can prevent the slug population from increasing in your garden by ensuring that your soil is not waterlogged. Slugs enjoy an environment that is moist and wet. In addition, you can also create an environment that attracts slug enemies. For example, ground beetles love to prey on slugs and having them in your garden can help control the population.
In addition, you can also counter the slug problem by having more birdhouses in your garden. Birds prey on slugs; therefore, installing birdhouses in your garden will help keep the slug population under control.
Moreover, you can also encourage and protect having hedgehogs in your garden. Hedgehogs feed on all sorts of creepy crawlies like slugs. Therefore, having them in your garden will not only protect your plants from slugs but also other harmful insects and pests.
You can also keep out any wildlife from entering your garden if you have used slug pellets. For instance, you can prevent wildlife deaths from slug pellets include ensuring that you keep out mice and rats by cleaning around a little. These small mammals tend to come around when there is rubbish or food left out. It is also important to pick any fallen fruits from trees, chicken feed or bird food from your garden.
Slug pellets are the most common way of killing slugs in gardens. While slugs damage plants and flowers, using slug pellets to kill them also harms other animals. For example, rats are attracted to slug pellets. Slug pellets are made from protein-rich plastic, which is attractive to other wildlife. However, if a rat consumes slug pellets, it will damage its nervous system. There are other symptoms associated with slug pellet poisonings, like paralysis and dehydration. Apart from rats, other wildlife is also adversely affected by slug pellets. Animals like birds, hedgehogs, and frogs face a decline in their population because of slug pellet poisoning.
Apart from consuming slug pellets directly, these animals also ingest secondhand poison. When the animals prey on other small animals, they become ingested with the poison and die. Hence, it is vital to ensure to adopt methods of killing slugs that do not harm other wildlife. You can ensure to control the slug population by getting rid of waterlogged soil. In addition, you can also create an environment suitable for slug enemies, like installing birdhouses instead of using slug pellets. If you still wish to use slug pellets, then you must keep out wildlife from your garden.