Slug and Snail Control

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Slug & Snail Biology

Slugs and snails are one of the world’s more challenging and resilient pests. They are more common in perennial crops and undisturbed soil such as no-till. Cultivation disrupts the slug habitat in the soil. It kills slugs by mechanical damage. It also can prevent slugs from moving to the soil surface, by blocking the pores and other channels that they normally use to move through the soil.

Since they are hermaphrodites, a single pair of slugs or snails can breed and lay a clutch of
from 80-120 eggs. Breeding cycles can occur as often as once approximately every 4-8 weeks. These reproductive cycles, that can overlap are known as a slug or snail pulse. Pulse frequency is a function of vegetative and moisture conditions as well as predation and other “pressure” on the slug or snail population.

Slug breeding cycle

Slug and Snail Control

Photo credit (lower left): Dr. Robert Hollingsworth – USDA Hawaii

Slugs are like “icebergs”: many more slugs and eggs can be found beneath the soil surface than can be observed from baiting and trapping on the surface. Slugs and eggs can be found distributed throughout the soil profile down to several inches below the soil surface.Slug eggs can remain dormant for long periods and are resistant to drought, heat and cold.

Slug and Snail Control

Slug counts from baiting & trapping on the surface represent only a fraction of the total population.
Generations of slugs remain up to several inches below the soil in various states of maturity.
Photo credits: Glenn Fisher OSU Emeritus - OSGL Conv. Pres’n 12-2007

Slug and Snail Control

Molluscicidal bait pellets kill the slugs and snails that are active on the surface. These slugs and snails may be later replaced by other mollusks which had been dormant or emerging and living in the soil at the time the molluscicide was applied. As a result, baiting and other control methods need to maintained without interruption to successfully control successive generations of slugs and snails on the surface - until the egg load throughout the soil profile has been reduced. Slug and snail populations must be reduced more quickly than they can breed and recover. These are some of the primary challenges of controlling slugs and snails.

Slug & Snail Experts

Liphatech has over 30 years of know-how in the formulation of slug and snail baits (mollusicicides). We are specialists in developing bait carriers, and optimizing these formulations for palatability, weatherability (moisture resistance), density and uniform spread for different applications. In our laboratories, we maintain a breeding and testing population of over 1,000 slugs & snails and a constantly testing new “recipes” to improve acceptance by all species of slug and snails.

Metarex is a key product for Liphatech, manufactured in our primary facility. Metarex is sold in over 15 countries worldwide. We market different formulations for different species, climates, crops and application methods. Our painstaking manufacturing process uses food-grade grain from select suppliers, and gradually hardens the bait. This takes greater time and expense, but ensures a consistent product: a wide, even spread pattern, moisture resistance, and long field life.

Learn More About Metarex

Our objective is to assist growers in best practices of slug and snail control.  We investigate ALL control methods and best practices, and ask the right questions:

  • What has been tried?
  • What works well?
  • Where have there been control failures?
  • What can be improved?, etc.
  • What are growers’ preferred (labeled) use patterns and use sites?
  • What crops are most affected?
  • What is the optimal seasonal timing based on landowner preference and mollusk behavior?

We work collaboratively with entomologists, biologists, pest control advisors, and State Department of Agriculture, ag extension, and APHIS representatives to produce bait formulations and product label improvements that balance the needs of different stakeholders. We are committed to the environment, public health, and disease prevention by controlling vector-borne disease transmission.

At Liphatech, we develop tailored stewardship programs including educational materials on “best grower practices”, and offer stewardship meetings with Ag. dealers, grower associations and packing houses to ensure the most effective use of our product according to the EPA pesticide label. Contact your District Sales Representative to learn more.

We support our brands with best-in-class marketing via agricultural publications and web-media to reach our target markets. This helps prospective new users find dealers and chose the correct Liphatech product for the target pest.