Monday, May 16, 2011

Pets, snails, slugs and slug bait: A deadly combination

This gigantic slug rode on my car all the way to the store and back
Our neighborhood is simply overrun with snails. This pretty guy, for example, held onto our car while we drove to the store, shopped and then drove back home. I scraped him away and deposited him on the lush greenery behind our house after we'd unloaded the car.

If you have slugs and snails in your yard, you can remove the pests by hand and either throw them away (yuk) or transport them to a portion of your yard you're willing to sacrifice (much more humane). 

But here's the main thing: Don't use bait. 

Many baits sold in gardening centers are neurotoxins. That means they kill the nerves inside the bodies of the creatures that eat them. To snails, that can mean a quick death. To dogs, that can mean a ton of seizures that cluster in a group. And each seizure raises a dog's body temperature. Without quick care, a dog that takes in slug and snail bait can die. And it's a terrible death. 

So no bait. Not ever. 

Additionally, keep your pets out of your neighbor's flowerbeds. You can't be positively sure that your neighbors aren't using bait to kill the pests, and it's best not to take a chance. The bait you can't see could be bait your pet chooses to eat.

For more tips on removing slugs and snails, click here. You'll learn about better garden choices, traps and daily picking. Your dog will thank you for it!