Using slug pellets is the go-to method for dealing with pesky slugs in the garden. It’s effective. But that doesn’t mean you should use them. They can be incredibly toxic and harmful – especially to pets!
So, what are pet friendly slug pellets? And do they exist or not?
Most slug pellets are not pet friendly. You can get pet friendly slug pellets made from wool.
Regular slug pellets are incredibly harmful to pets and other animals. However, you can use wool slug pellets which are safe to use around pets. Wool slug pellets do not contain any harmful chemicals that could harm pets.
These pellets work to absorb slug slime, dehydrating them and, ultimately, killing them.
How Do You Get Rid of Slugs Without Harming Pets?
As a gardener, you want to get rid of slugs as fast as you can. However, using chemicals is bad for the garden, the environment and wildlife. Slug pellets are loaded with chemicals!
There are, however, other ways you can get rid of slugs that do not harm your pets or other wildlife.
Try Wool Pellets
The first thing you can do is get wool slug pellets. As the name suggests, the pellets are made from wool which absorbs the slug’s slime, leaving it dehydrated.
You can also make your own wool slug pellets if you do not wish to purchase them.
Like many things, you’ll need to experiment with whether or not wool pellets work as they are nowhere near as effective as chemical-laden pellets.
Use Anti-Slug Sprays
You can also purchase a slug spray that will not harm your pets. The anti-slug spray is safe as it is natural and contains no chemicals that could have an impact on your pets.
The spray does not harm any plants either, so you can use it in your garden with no problem. However, for the spray to work, it is important to use it frequently as rain will wash it away and the sun will dry it out.
You can even make your own anti-slug spray using this method.
Apply Organic Gel
Apart from sprays, you also can use an organic gel that you can apply to your plants. The gel is a barrier against slug damage and is made from natural plant materials that are safe to use on plants and around your pets.
Make Your Garden Unattractive (to Slugs)
Sometimes, the best way to tackle the slugs in your garden is by making it a place they do not want to be.
For instance, you can add grit and gravel which is uncomfortable for slugs to glide on. This way, you can deter slugs and protect some of your vulnerable plants against slug attacks whilst avoiding the use of chemicals.
Another way to make your garden less attractive for slugs is to grow plants that they do not like (we’ve compiled a list here). You can grow lavender, fennel, rosemary, and fuchsias.
You can, however, make your garden an attractive place for slug predators. By attracting predators, you can keep the slug population in control.
Some of the predators which feed on slugs include birds, hedgehogs, and frogs. You can install a birdhouse, leave out some food for the hedgehogs, or install a pond to attract frogs.
Are Slug Pellets OK for Dogs?
Sometimes the quick and easy thing to do to tackle slugs is to use slug pellets. However, using slug pellets have dangerous implications – especially if you have a pet dog!
Slug pellets are filled with chemicals, the active ingredient being metaldehyde which is toxic to animals.
If this chemical is ingested even in small amounts, it can lead to death. Therefore, using slug pellets is not a good option if you have a dog.
Are Slug Pellets OK for Cats?
As with dogs, slug pellets are not a smart choice to use around cats. Many cats often come in the garden searching for food, and if they ingest slug pellets, they could die.
Even if they do not consume the pellets directly, there is a risk that they will eat a slug that has consumed the pellets. If a slug is poisoned then they can pass this onto the cat. This is why slugs can be dangerous for cats to eat.
The first thought you may have when you spot slugs in your garden is to use slug pellets. However, slug pellets can be harmful to pets and wildlife because they contain the ingredient metaldehyde.
You can get pet friendly slug pellets that are made from wool and do not contain chemicals. The wool slug pellets absorb the slime and dehydrate the slugs.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden