Gardeners advised to use beer to deter slimy visitors as slug pellets banned across UK

Slug pellets have been outlawed in the UK.
Slug pellets have been banned in the UK. Credit: PA

Slug pellets have been banned in the UK as of April 1 due to their risk to animals such as birds, dogs and other mammals.

Following guidance from the UK Expert Committee on Pesticides and the Health and Safety Executive, Methaldehyde pellets will no longer be sold to control garden pests.

Alongside their removal from shop shelves, the government has prohibited the use of the controversial pesticide.It comes just a few weeks after the Royal Horticultural Society announced that they would no longer class slugs and snails as pests.

Promoting their important role in maintaining as organic gardeners and place in a healthy ecosystem, the society has been advocating the benefits of slugs and snails in the garden.

Charity Garden Organic has said the toxins from pellets can find their way into rivers and freshwaters, posing wider harm to the environment and other wildlife.

And that there have been cases of dogs ingesting pellets leading to sickness and even death.

Gardeners will now have to rely on other methods such as beer or water traps to capture the slimy visitors.

Slugs and snails are attracted to the yeast smell given off by beer. Credit: PA

Talks to remove Methaldehyde pellets from the market were originally mooted over three years ago.

Original plans would have seen sales phased out after six months and use after 12 months, but the ban was withdrawn in the face of mounting legal challenges.

How can you stop slugs now?

Now that slug pellets are no longer available, gardening experts have advised that DIY beer traps are the best way to contain the slimy critters.

According to experts, slugs and snails love the yeasty aromas given off by beer.

By filling up a plastic container with a small amount of beer and burying the trap an inch or two below the soil line, slugs will fall in and drown.

Emma O’Neill, Head Gardener at Garden Organic said: "Slugs and snails like dark, damp conditions so you can attract them to specific areas.

"Putting down a roof tile, for example, will entice them under, then you can check at regular intervals and simply remove any that congregate there. This is a good way to clear an area before planting, especially if you use lettuce as bait under the traps.

"You can also make your own DIY barriers. Make slug collars from plastic rings with a lip - slugs find these difficult to cross. Place these around individual plants such as lettuce. Or you could make cloches by cutting the bottom off a clear plastic bottle and firming these into the soil."