Pesticide potential damage to wildlife and Yeast contamination in soil ? #198874 - Ask Extension

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Pesticide potential damage to wildlife and Yeast contamination in soil ? #198874

Asked July 13, 2014, 3:05 AM EDT

Two part question about control of slugs/snails: 1. Do any current slug bait formulations, kill snakes and frogs? I'm considering application in a partially covered saucer instead of on the soil and removing it from bed every few days. I've read research about fatalities to mammals and earworms, but not seen info about reptiles or amphibians. 2. Or, does using beer/yeast mix in saucers poured into soil with dead slugs and other bugs every few days damage the soil microbe horizon? I brought in 8 yards of "organic" compost and soil mix in March and have experienced the worst slug infestation since being on this two acre creek site in 9 years. Also, out of control are sow/pill bugs and earwigs damage to plants - veggies and ornamentals, so I'm using yeast mixes in saucers, oil in saucers, and nightly flashlight expeditions to remove all the afore mentioned munching bugs. I've removed several thousand different species of non native slugs, and two species of snail in the last 6 weeks. Thanks, Cece

Washington County Oregon

Expert Response

Thank you for your question to Ask an Expert.

For slug baits, there are two choices available to the home gardener including:
  1. Metaldahyde, which is toxic to people, pets, and wildlife http://extoxnet.orst.edu/pips/metaldeh.htm
  2. Iron phosphate, which is much less toxic to people and wildlife http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/ironphosphategen.html but there is some concern about it affecting earthworms http://www.biosci.ohio-state.edu/~soilecol/Full%20articles/2008/Crop%20Protection%2028.pdf
You can call the National Pesticide Information Center for more details regarding these different pesticide materials http://npic.orst.edu/

Using containers with beer or yeast to lure slugs is a valid trapping procedure. Adding that mixture to the soil will not kill slugs, but will likely not harm soil organisms, which will break down organic materials.

Your best management options with slugs are to use a variety of tactics including trapping, hunting at night, and baits as needed.  In particular, try to find the slug and snail eggs, which are laid in the fall, which will help to knock back the population for next year.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Weston

Weston Miller Replied July 15, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT

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