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Slug control… choosing the most effective bait

While commercial molluscicides are currently limited to just one active ingredient, ferric phosphate, not all slug pellets are created equally, with differences in manufacturing process, size and colour all affecting efficacy, longevity and ease of use.

In essence, there are four key characteristics which should be considered when selecting a slug pellet:

  1. Molluscicide efficacy
  2. Spreading accuracy
  3. Palatability
  4. Colour retention

Efficacy and speed of activity
To maximise slug control, molluscicide pellets should take effect as soon as possible after ingestion: a pellet with an appropriate amount of ferric phosphate will disrupt gut activity and suppress the slug’s appetite as soon as it has been ingested, thereby reducing grazing and protecting the crop even before the slug’s ultimate demise. With an anhydrous ferric phosphate content of 2.94%, Gusto IRON pellets provide the optimum dose of molluscicide to combat slugs in a range of agricultural and horticultural crops.

Only pellets of a uniform size, shape, weight and consistency will spread accurately and evenly to the desired working width. ADAMA’s Gusto® IRON pellets are the ideal size and shape for optimal baiting point density – at 2.52mm by 2.11mm they spread accurately to wide operating widths and provide the optimal number of baiting points (40-50 pellets per m2) when applied at typical field rates.

In contrast, smaller ‘mini’ pellets won’t spread accurately at wider spreading widths, while larger pellets will provide too few baiting points. Similarly, smaller pellets have a larger comparative surface area and therefore tend to degrade more rapidly.

Slug pellets should boast good mould resistance and rain-fastness to enable them to remain viable during periods of wet weather.

A good quality, wet-processed pellet such as Gusto IRON will retain its shape, colour and palatability for longer, even in excessively wet conditions. In contrast, pellets of a lower quality may start to show signs of degradation in as little as seven days and be unpalatable – due to mould growth – as soon as 10 days after application.

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An independent trial, conducted under controlled conditions to maintain a warm, wet and humid environment, showed that ADAMA’s wet processed Gusto IRON slug pellets retain their shape, colour and palatability for longer compared to other leading brands. The ADAMA pellets also remained mould-free for longer.

Colour retention
Pellets of a vibrant and persistent colour are easier to spot in the seedbed. This not only makes it easier to assess the evenness of application, but also makes it less time consuming to determine if/when the next application of pellets should be made to ensure vulnerable crops remain protected.

Gusto® IRON: the obvious choice for cost-effective slug control

Gusto® IRON is a ready-to-use, pelleted bait containing 2.94% w/w anhydrous ferric phosphate. It is approved for use in a range of agricultural and horticultural crops and offers the following key benefits:

  • A durable, persistent and palatable slug pellet for the control of all UK slug species
  • Rainproof and with superior mould resistance
  • Excellent colour retention for easy detection
  • Uniform pellet size and density for accurate spreading to wide working widths
  • Optimum baiting points of 45 pellets per m2 when applied at a field rate of 5kg/ha