Updated: November 2017

Slug/Snail Bait Reviews:

When springtime hits us in Oregon, we are all ready to get outdoors and forget about the short winter days that are usually filled with rain. Part of my routine is making sure that our garden has survived the Winter months and is ready to blossom for Spring and Summer. Our biggest issue are always the slugs and snails that appear from nowhere and start eating the fresh leaves of certain flowers and plants. We have two rock (more like boulders) walls in which it seems that these snails and slugs live and they creep up our hillside or across the lawn to the new flowers and plant life. What I try to do each year is lay down some bait for them so things like our tulips and hostas survive. I often see the signs of these pests right around the first of April when the temperatures get slightly warmer and the tulips start sprouting.
slug bait

Buying Guide - The most common ingredients in slug baits we found are the iron phosphate and metaldehyde. The chemical baits with metaldehyde are what I have used most of my life - my personal favorite is Deadline. I sprinkle around the liquid bait and the next morning there are literally dozens of slugs and snails that have feasted on in and they end up getting dehydrated to the point of dying. These baits often include an attractant which gets the slugs or snails to the spot where it is at and then they have no control over eating it. You will find these chemical baits in the form of sprays, dusts, pellets, granules, and the liquid. The problem with using these metaldehyde based baits is that they are toxic to cats, dogs, birds, and even humans. I don't have pets so I hadn't always thought about that ramification. In reading recent articles, I found that the iron phosphate snail baits work just as effectively as the other, more toxic offerings. Sluggo is a good example of a slug/snail bait that contains iron phosphate instead of metaldehyde. When the snail or slug ingests the iron phosphate they are almost immediately inclined to stop eating. Hence, your problems are solved and your plants and flowers can thrive. Other home based remedies for snails in your garden include things like coffee grounds that supposedly snails and slugs can't stand (it's the caffeine actually). I have also heard of some homeowners putting out little dishes with beer and the slugs and snails can't resist. The point being, don't always turn to the hardest chemical you can find to eliminate garden pests. As you have learned, some baits include chemicals that can be harmful to other living things. We went down to our local Home Depot and Lowe's home improvement stores to see what they were recommending. They carry all the products we've mentioned and it appears that Sluggo is the top choice. You can browse the best selling slug and snail bait online here.

Best Slug Bait:

RECOMMENDED - One of the top rated baits is the Sluggo Snail & Slug Control which is available in 1 and 2 lb shaker bottles. This snail and slug killer is not based on the metaldehyde that many others are. The organic bait will break down into fertilizer in your soil and it's safe to use around domestic animals. I know that some people report better result with Deadline (including many of my neighbors), but Sluggo will do wonders in clearing your garden of snails and slugs. I tend to use it in areas where I grow my vegetables and it does a great job. You can find this online or in hardware or home improvement stores. The cost ranges from $10 to $20 depending on the size of container you buy. Beware that you will need to put down several applications throughout the spring or summer to eliminate the majority of slugs/snails.

Snail Bait:

RECOMMENDED - I use the Deadline Force II Snail Bait around my plant beds and in zones where we have our rock walls. The snails thrive on the small plants and flowers we have and it's annoying to come out in the morning to see them chomping away on the leaves. To protect our tulips we put our quite a bit of the Deadline bait and the results have been excellent. I make sure I lay the liquid bait down in the evening and by morning time there are lots of snails slurping it up. It dehydrates them and a few days later I have empty snail shells lying around my garden. I repeat this treatment every other day until I see fewer and fewer snails/slugs. It will leave a "black" streak in your garden which isn't the prettiest site. I tend to turn the soil over in some spots to mix in the bait. I often buy my bait at the local nursery - comes in 32 oz containers for $10. If you are spending $50 to $100 on new flowers or plants each year, it is also a good idea to rid your yard of pests like snails and slugs. A few are ok, but we literally have 100's that emerge from the rocks each year.