Slug pellet stewardship

In recent years there has been concern with the use of slug pellets and particularly the metaldehyde A.S. being found in drinking water. NOT ALL SLUG PELLETS ARE THE SAME, Bayer agricultural pellets contain methiocarb, but best practice does apply to all pellets.

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Quality pellets have a much greater resistance to weathering and mould; methiocarb is also much less soluble than competitor products. However it is still advisable to follow stewardship guidelines to protect the environment, and optimise efficiency.


Use field history, cropping and and test baiting with layers mash to determine risk and use in conjuction with good agronomic consolidated practice.

  • Anyone applying slug pellets must be trained to PA4S and PA1
  • Do not apply in windy weather
  • Do not apply when heavy rain is forecast
  • Do not apply pellets within 6 metres of field margins
  • Calibrate spreader according to product and rate to be used
  • Fill spreader in the field, not in gateways or over grass
  • Clear up any spills immediately
  • Switch off spreader when turning
  • Spread headlands last, to prevent pellets being picked up with soil on tyres
  • Clean applicator in the field at the finish of the day
  • Applicators must be stored in the dry, undercover
  • Dispose of the packaging and used PPE as contaminated waste through a registered disposal contractor.
  • Late applications to broad-leaved plants may result in pellets becoming lodged in the foliage. Particular care should be taken to avoid this when applying to edible crops

The "Get Pelletwise" campaign is focused on the use of metaldehyde, but its website provides good overall advice for using any slug pellets. You can find out more at

To find out more information about slugs

Download our slug expert guide.

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