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Molluscicides are used to control slugs and snails. Molluscs are a group of invertrebate animals that include shellfish, cephalopods (such as squid and octopus), slugs, and snails.

The most commonly used active ingredient in molluscicides is metaldehyde, which disrupts the gastric organs of slugs and snails, causing death. This product is often manufactured as brightly colored pellets, which has the unfortunate unintended consequence of being attractive to children, wildlife, and pets. Some manufacturers have added a bitter agent to make the products unpalatable.

Alternatives to chemical molluscicides include using traps or barriers, or designing gardens that are less attractive to slugs. Slug and snail baits containing iron phosphate as the active ingredient are also available and are less toxic than metaldehyde.

(Photo: Arion ater slug)

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