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Slug Control

This webpage is the place to find out everything you need to know about effective slug control this autumn. Find out more about our excellent value slug pellet, Gusto® IRON, a ready-to-use, pelleted bait containing 2.94% w/w anhydrous ferric phosphate.


The obvious choice for cost-effective slug control

Gusto® IRON is an excellent value 2.94% ferric phosphate molluscicide for use in cereals and a wide range of other crops. The pellets offer advantages over other ferric-based molluscicides and retain their distinctive blue colour for longer.


Gusto™ IRON

Key Features and Benefits

Desidro™ formulation

Desidro™ formulation

Wet-process formulation and two-stage drying technology ensures optimum palatability and pellet longevity.
Rain and mould resistance

Rain and mould resistance

High quality, long-lasting and palatable pellets with excellent rain and mould resistance.
Optimum baiting points

Optimum baiting points

Uniform size and density with optimum baiting points of 45/m2 at 5Kg/ha.
Excellent Spread

Excellent spread

Excellent spreading pattern accuracy at wide working widths.

Superior mould resistance

  • An independent trial 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.
Moulding comparision

Desidro Technology

The DesidroTM manufacturing system uses a two-stage drying technique which dries the wet processed pellets from the inside before gently drying the exterior. This ensures an ideal balance between persistence and palatability, with Gusto® IRON pellets proving hard enough to ensure excellent weather resistance, but also remaining palatable to slugs even when first applied.

The DesidroTM process also ensures excellent ballistic characteristics for an accurate spreading pattern and baiting point density.

Desidro Process Animation

Effective slug control

Generic molluscicide image

Integrated Pest Management

To reduce the reliance on chemical control measures, a range of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) measures should be implemented to reduce slug populations: an IPM approach is not only more effective than relying solely on slug pellets, but can also help to limit the impact that chemical controls have on the natural environment.
Generic molluscicide image

What does IPM involve?

The following IPM steps should be used to control slug populations: Identify and analyse the potential risk factors associated with slug damage Reduce slug habitats by preparing a well-consolidated seedbed Trapping and monitoring to assess when slug populations have reached threshold to ensure treatment decisions are justified Only applying slug pellets when soil and weather conditions are favourable Monitoring crops to determine when they are most vulnerable to slug damage and assessing if subsequent applications are required

Risk factors

The following risk factors influence the population of slugs in any given situation:

Moisture and temperature

Slug activity, survival and reproduction are all dependent on moisture. Whilst the optimum temperature is 17°C, the grey field slug can still be active close to freezing; other species are only active in temperatures above 5°C.

Heavy Soils

Soils with a high clay and/or silt content tend to retain more moisture and also become cloddy. Slugs are more prevalent on these soil types particularly where cloddy soils are more open, therefore allowing slugs to graze on seed or newly emerging shoots.

Previous cropping

The risk of slug damage to winter wheat is much greater following a dense, leafy crop (such as oilseed rape) which has provided a moist, shaded environment and food for populations to build. It is also worth noting that cover crops grown over winter can increase the slug risk to the following spring cereal crop for the same reasons.

Crop residues, organic matter and weeds

These all amplify the risk of slug activity as they increase soil moisture retention and provide a source of food.

Direct drilling and delayed drilling

Both of these practices increase the risk of slug damage. Generally speaking, autumn planted crops are more at risk although a cold, delayed spring can also increase the risk to spring crops. 

Seedbed preparation

Open and cloddy seedbeds allow slugs to move around easily and to access seed and emerging seedlings. Rolling cloddy seedbeds after drilling will help to reduce the potential for slug movement, but only if sufficient moisture is there to breakdown and consolidate clods.

Other agronomic conditions

Lack of soil nutrients, poor drainage, weed competition and cold weather can all result in prolonging the period of seed germination and crop establishment thus extending the period when crops are vulnerable to slug damage. 

Slug Trapping

Slug Trapping

​A key step to combat slug populations effectively as part of an IPM approach is to understand where, when and to what extent slugs are causing a problem.

The best time to monitor slug populations is when the weather is mild and soil is damp. The most effective method is to use refuge shelters/traps. Each trap should consist of a tile or hardboard sheet or plant pot saucer of c.25-30cm diameter or square to provide a sheltered refuge where slugs will gather. Each trap should be baited with a food source to attract slugs (chicken layers’ mash is recommended – around two heaped teaspoonfuls per trap). IMPORTANT: do not use slug pellets for this purpose.
Chemical Control - Card

Slug Trapping cont.

​The traps allow free movement of slugs which are more likely to visit the traps in mild temperatures and moist conditions during the night to feed and stay until the following morning when they can be counted.

In each field, nine traps (13 in fields >20ha) should be set out in a W pattern, with the traps concentrated in areas known to suffer damage. The above thresholds indicate a risk when soil and weather conditions favour slug activity. Slug pellets should only be applied when the relevant threshold level has been reached.