29 March 1996

Metaldehyde works in wet

CLAIMS that metaldehyde slug pellets are less effective in wet conditions because moisture allows slugs and snails to recover have been refuted.

Laboratory findings show the compound causes irreversible cell damage leading to death regardless of environmental moisture or temperature, according to a report published by metaldehyde maker Lonza.

The intensive mucous secretion which is associated with metaldehyde poisoning is an effect of that poisoning, rather than a defence mechanism.

Recent field studies at the Rice Research Institute in Manila, Philippines, showed that a 6% bait pellet formulation almost eliminated crop damage caused by water snails even in flooded fields.

Further work in Germany and Switzerland shows that metaldehyde is equally lethal under cool conditions. The reason fewer dead slugs are found when temperatures fall below 5-7C (41-45F) is because they are less active and, therefore, less likely to feed on bait. &#42