Metaldehyde slug pellets ban comes into force today

The metaldehyde slug pellets ban has officially come into effect, making it illegal to use pellets containing this harmful chemical

blue slug pellets dispersed around plants
(Image credit: Alamy)

The metaldehyde slug pellets ban comes into force in the UK today, March 31st. It is therefore illegal for gardeners to use pellets containing this organic compound.

Professional and home gardeners must now turn to more environmentally friendly and humane methods for how to get rid of slugs in the garden.

slug approaching a blue pellet

(Image credit: Alamy)

Metaldehyde slug pellets ban

Metaldehyde is a potent chemical used in pesticides that can harm wildlife and the environment – posing a risk to birds and mammals and making its way into rivers. There have also been cases of dogs ingesting pellets, leading to sickness and even death.

A sales ban come into force in March last year, followed by the outright ban on use beginning today (March 31st, 2022). Campaigners at a horticultural charity Garden Organic describe the ban on this harmful pesticide as long overdue.

Fiona Taylor, Chief Executive at Garden Organic, says she and her team are relieved that the ban on the use of metaldehyde has finally come into force. 'As gardeners, we know how devastating slug and snail damage to our food and flowers can be,' Fiona comments.

blue slug pellets dispersed around plants

(Image credit: Alamy)

'But we also know they are an important part of the natural ecosystem. Using toxins to wipe them out is not only heavy-handed, but metaldehyde is also a killer of birds and mammals and has horrible environmental side effects,' says the gardening expert.

There are many ways to limit the damage slugs do without completely obliterating them, such as creating a healthy and balanced ecosystem through sustainable gardening. By learning how to create an eco-friendly garden, you benefit from a range of creatures visiting your wildlife garden, some of which will feed on these pesky intruders.

blue slug pellets dispersed around plants

(Image credit: Alamy)

Garden Organic hopes the metaldehyde slug pellets ban will spark a chain reaction, leading to more measures to end the use of harmful pesticides and support biodiversity. 'If we care about wildlife and the future of our planet, we must make the positive move to organic methods in our gardens, allotments, balconies and pots,' Fiona says.

How to dispose to Metaldehyde slug pellets

How and where to safely dispose of any metaldehyde-based slug pellets varies depending on where you live. The best way to find the correct disposal method is to check your local council’s household waste and recycling information.

Millie Hurst
News Writer

Millie Hurst has worked in digital journalism for five years, having previously worked as a Senior SEO Editor at News UK both in London and New York. She joined the Future team in early 2021, working across several brands, including Gardeningetc. Now, she is Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home, taking care of evergreen articles aimed at inspiring people to make the most of their homes and outdoor spaces.