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Plea for plant lovers to avoid poisonous slug pellets

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Plant and vegetable growers are asked to avoid using poisonous slug pellets to protect their gardens and allotments, due to the risk they pose to wildlife and the environment.

It comes after the UK banned the use of Metaldehyde slug pellets last month, having already made it illegal to sell them a year earlier.

The pellets contain a pesticide used to control slugs in crops and garden plants and is also toxic to snails, birds and other mammals, such as hedgehogs.

The UK ban was imposed after their Expert Committee on Pesticides and Health and Safety Executive, both labelled the product an ‘unacceptable risk’ to wildlife.

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) is urging people to stop selling and using the product, while it looks at whether legislation is needed for similar measures on the Island.

Dr Michelle Haywood MHK, Political member for DEFA, said:

‘Metaldehyde pellets are responsible for deaths right up the food chain. Toxins can also find their way into wider ecosystems and further harm the environment, so I would urge people not to buy or use them and dispose responsibly of any they have left from previous years.

‘As some newer pellets don’t contain Metaldehyde people should always check the packaging.’

There are more than 35 species of slugs in the Isle of Man, but less than 25% eat garden plants. Many species also play an important part in the composting process. A number of non-chemical controls exist for people keen to protect vulnerable plants, such as seedlings, and more information can be found on the RHS website.

Anyone who wants to safely dispose of any pellets they already have in their shed can place them in their normal bin for incineration at the Energy for Waste Plant.

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