Integrated slug control

An integrated approach to slug control using several different techniques is the most effective way to control slugs. This publication covers cereals, oilseeds, potatoes and horticulture.

Ban on the outdoor use of metaldehyde

A ban on the outdoor use of metaldehyde, a pesticide used to control slugs in a range of crops and in gardens, is to be introduced across Great Britain from spring 2020, the Environment Secretary announced today (19 December).

The decision to prohibit the use of metaldehyde, except in permanent greenhouses, follows advice from the UK Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that metaldehyde poses an unacceptable risk to birds and mammals.

The outdoor use of metaldehyde will be phased out over 18 months to give growers time to adjust to other methods of slug control. It will be legal to sell metaldehyde products for outdoor use for the next six months, with use of the products then allowed for a further 12 months.

Further information

  • 30 June 2019: Deadline for the sale and distribution of metaldehyde slug pellets
  • 30 June 2020: Deadline for the disposal, storage and use up of existing stocks

Restrictions on the use of metaldehyde to protect wildlife (Defra news release)

Withdrawal of metaldehyde for outdoor use announced (Metaldehyde Stewardship Group statement)

Encyclopaedia of pests and natural enemies in field crops