The Best Slug Killers

Treat the yard and garden with a slug killer to ensure that your lawn, flowers, and vegetables are protected from these slimy pests.

Best Overall

The Best Slug Killer Option: Monterey LG6500 Sluggo Wildlife and Pet Safe Slug

Monterey Sluggo Wildlife and Pet Safe Slug Killer

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Runner Up

The Best Slug Killer Option: Natria 706190A Snail and Slug Killer Bait

Natria 706190A Snail and Slug Killer Bait Granules

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Best Bang for the Buck

Safer Brand SB125 Slug & Snail Killer

Safer Brand SB125 Slug u0026amp; Snail Killer

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Slugs are great for cleaning up dead garden debris and providing nitrogen-rich fertilizer that can help a garden thrive, but when the population of these pests increases rapidly, users have an infestation on their hands that can destroy flower bulbs, eat seedlings, chew through leaves, and make a mess of a vegetable garden.

The best slug killer depends on several factors, including the active ingredient, the affected area, and whether kids or pets use the treated area. The top slug killers listed below are a good place to start the search for some of the best slug killers for the yard and garden.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Monterey Sluggo Wildlife and Pet Safe Slug Killer
  2. RUNNER-UP: Natria 706190A Snail and Slug Killer Bait Granules
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Safer Brand SB125 Slug & Snail Killer
  4. BEST PELLET: Garden Safe Slug & Snail Bait
  5. BEST LIQUID: Monterey 32 Ounce All Natural Snail and Slug Spray
  6. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Bonide Captain Jack’s Bug and Slug Killer Bait
  7. BEST FAST-ACTING: Corry’s Slug & Snail Killer
The Best Slug Killers

Before You Buy Slug Killer

Slugs and snails can damage flowers, vegetables, and other plants that are growing in the garden, so it’s important to kill slugs when they appear instead of waiting until there is a full-blown slug infestation taking over the yard. Methods of control include slug bait, natural pest-control sprays, slug and snail traps, and organic snail killer that also effectively kills slugs.

However, it’s necessary to mention that some slug and snail killers use harmful active ingredients that can pose a significant risk to kids, pets, birds, mammals, and other nearby wildlife. To get rid of slugs and snails without putting the family at risk, it’s recommended to avoid handling slugs and snails with sulfur or metaldehyde.

Additionally, it’s important to read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for use to ensure that the slug baits and snail control products are safe and effective at ridding the yard of slug and snail infestations.

How We Chose the Best Slug Killers 

We researched the most sought-after products for slug control in their respective categories and discovered that the best options are determined by their form, ingredients, coverage area, ease of application, and other special features included by top brands.

While searching for the best slug killers available, the most popular type among users is the granular options for their effectiveness and ease of use. Made with powerful iron phosphate, sodium ferric EDTA, and spinosad, these formulas are able to deter slugs, and even snails, within 1,000 to 17,000 feet and within a number of days.

As for ease of use, selected products included in our list come with precision applicators. Plus, many of the formulas are safe to use around homes with children and pets.

Our Top Picks

The products below have been selected based on coverage, form, and the active ingredient. The longevity of the product, safety concerns, and the overall quality were also important in selecting products for this list. These products are among the best slug killer options for keeping the yard and garden protected.

Best Overall

Monterey Sluggo Wildlife and Pet Safe Slug Killer

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The Monterey Sluggo Wildlife and Pet Safe Slug Killer is an excellent option for homes with kids or pets because the active ingredient that is used to kill slugs and snails is iron phosphate. Iron phosphate is very effective at destroying the digestive system of slugs, killing the pests within a week. Despite its ability to kill slugs, this product is relatively safe around humans, cats, dogs, and other small pets.

After the initial application, the slug killer will last for up to 40 days. Since it is resistant to rain, it can be applied to the yard and garden without concern that the pellets will be dissolved or washed away. The 2.5-pound container comes with enough slug killer to treat an area up to 5,000 square feet in size. This is based on a ratio of 0.5 to 1 pound of slug killer per 1,000 square feet.

Product Specs 

  • Form: Pellets
  • Active ingredient: Iron phosphate
  • Coverage: Up to 5,000 square feet


  • Safe around kids and pets after initial application
  • Lasts for up to 40 days
  • Treats about 1,000 square feet per pound
  • Resistant to rain


  • Pellets are attractive to pets and other animals

Get the Monterey Sluggo slug killer on Amazon or at The Home Depot

Runner Up

Natria 706190A Snail and Slug Killer Bait Granules

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One of the most important factors to consider when looking for any type of insecticide or pesticide product is that the treatment may be harmful to kids, pets, and wildlife. However, this snail and slug killer uses iron phosphate-based pellets to attract and kill slugs and snails without posing a risk to children, adults, cats, dogs, and other animals.

The slug killer can be used to treat about 1,500 to 3,000 feet, based on a ratio of 0.5 pounds to 1 pound of slug killer per 1,000 feet. Simply apply the slug killer by sprinkling the pellets carefully from the package using the twist-cap spout. The narrow opening makes it easy to control the flow of pellets from the package. This product is rain-resistant and lasts up to 2 weeks.

Product Specs 

  • Form: Pellets
  • Active ingredient: Iron phosphate
  • Coverage: 1,500 to 3,000 square feet


  • Safe for homes with kids and pets
  • Keeps working for up to 4 weeks
  • Easy-to-use twist-cap spout
  • Highly resistant to rain


  • Birds and other wildlife may eat the pellets

Get the Natria slug killer on Amazon

Best Bang for the Buck

Safer Brand SB125 Slug u0026 Snail Killer

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Many slug baits use iron phosphate to kill slugs and snails, but these products can take up to a week before users begin to see results. This product by Safer Brand uses sodium ferric EDTA in place of iron phosphate. This alternative active ingredient kills slugs and snails within a few days and is still safe for use around kids, pets, and other wildlife.

The slug killer can treat up to 3,400 square feet when the pellets are properly spread out over the target area. Avoid creating piles of pellets, as these piles tend to attract pets and other animals that are drawn to the wheat-based composition of the slug killer. This product is safe to use around a variety of vegetables and fruits, including tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, corn, blueberries, raspberries, peas, and peppers.

Product Specs 

  • Form: Pellets
  • Active ingredient: Sodium ferric EDTA
  • Coverage: 3,400 square feet


  • Inexpensive
  • Safe to use on more than 40 plant types
  • Safe around kids and pets
  • Resistant to rain


  • Piles of pellets may draw in other animals

Get the Safer Brand slug killer on Amazon or Safer Brand.

Best Pellet

Garden Safe Slug u0026 Snail Bait

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This package of slug and snail bait contains about 2 pounds of slug pellets, which is enough to treat an area of about 4,000 square feet, as long as the pellets are scattered evenly across the target area. However, it’s important to avoid creating piles of pellets that may attract pets and other nearby animals. It also works best when the ground is moist but not soaking wet.

The iron-phosphate formula takes about 3 to 6 days to take effect, but after application, the treatment lasts for up to 3 weeks. This slug bait is listed for organic use by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), meaning that it can be applied in and around fruits and vegetables without harmful effects. The active ingredient, iron phosphate, doesn’t cause lasting harm to humans or pets, but it should be kept out of reach because it can still result in nausea and mild to moderate eye irritation.

Product Specs 

  • Form: Pellets
  • Active ingredient: Iron phosphate
  • Coverage: 4,000 square feet


  • Listed for organic use by the OMRI
  • Only takes about 3 to 6 days to work
  • Lasts for up to 3 weeks
  • Safe for use outside homes with kids and pets


  • Some animals may be attracted to the pellets

Get the Garden Safe slug killer on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Liquid

Monterey 32 Ounce All Natural Snail and Slug Spray

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Pellet slug and snail baits are the most commonly used option due to their longevity, but pellets are primarily made up of wheat, which attract birds, squirrels, chipmunks, dogs, and other animals. This liquid slug treatment by Monterey doesn’t pose the same risks because it is a simple spray that doesn’t require a wheat-based medium.

The spray comes in a ready-to-use spray bottle and contains all-natural active ingredients, including rosemary oil, clove oil, and cottonseed oil. This all-natural formula kills slugs on contact and also works as a repellent for up to 2 weeks. It’s safe to use around kids and pets, though it isn’t the right choice for broad-area application. Instead, the snail and slug killer can be applied directly to the plants that need protecting without any harmful effects.

Product Specs 

  • Form: Liquid
  • Active ingredient: Rosemary oil, clove oil, and cottonseed oil
  • Coverage: Not listed


  • Safe for use around kids and pets
  • Not as attractive to other animals as pellets
  • Works for up to 2 weeks
  • For use on fruits, vegetables, citrus plants, and ornamentals


  • Not suitable for broad-area application

Get the Monterey All-Natural slug killer at The Home Depot or Monterey Lawn & Garden.

Best Heavy-Duty

Bonide Captain Jack's Bug and Slug Killer Bait

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The Bonide Captain Jack’s Bug and Slug Killer Bait comes with 1.5 pounds of slug killer pellets that can be used to treat from 1,500 to 3,000 square feet, depending on how densely or sparsely the pellets are spread. Keep in mind that piles of pellets tend to attract the attention of pets and other animals, so it’s recommended to spread the pellets thinly over the target area.

Use the easy-pour lid to apply the slug bait on lawns, flower gardens, vegetables, and around fruit trees. The slug killer uses both iron phosphate and spinosad to kill slugs and other bugs. It keeps working for up to 4 weeks. It’s relatively safe for homes with kids and pets, though spinosad is known to cause skin irritation and redness, so it’s important to keep the pellets stored safely out of reach.

Product Specs 

  • Form: Pellets
  • Active ingredient: Iron phosphate and spinosad
  • Coverage: 1,500 to 3,000 square feet


  • Easy-to-pour lid
  • Protects lawns, flowers, vegetables, and fruit trees
  • Safe for use in homes with kids and pets
  • Lasts for up to 4 weeks


  • Spinosad can cause skin irritation and redness

Get the Bonide slug killer on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Fast-Acting

Corry’s Slug u0026 Snail Killer

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This fast-acting treatment uses sodium ferric EDTA as an active ingredient, which is relatively safe for use around kids and pets, but it effectively kills both slugs and snails faster than iron phosphate. Additionally, Corry’s Slug & Snail Killer is able to treat a broad area of up to 17,500 square feet, making it ideal for large yards and garden areas.

Apply this slug-killing product about once every 2 weeks to resolve the slug infestations. Once a slug consumes the pellets, it typically takes just 3 to 6 days for the slug to die. The pellets are resistant to heavy rain, and they are safe to use in vegetable gardens and areas surrounding fruit trees.

Product Specs 

  • Form: Pellets
  • Active ingredient: Sodium ferric EDTA
  • Coverage: 17,500 square feet


  • Broad coverage over about 17,500 square feet
  • Takes just 3 to 6 days to work
  • Suitable for use in vegetable gardens and around fruit trees
  • Kid- and pet-friendly option


  • Pellets may attract pets and other animals

Get the Corry’s slug killer on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Or, DIY Your Own Slug Killer

There are also many options for making a DIY slug killer, slug trap, or slug repellent that can help to protect the yard and garden without relying on manufactured slug and snail killers. Individuals can make simple beer traps for small slug populations by filling a plastic cup about halfway with beer and then burying the cup in the garden, leaving the top half of the cup exposed. Slugs will climb the cup and fall into the beer, where they drown.

Another option is to spread coffee grounds around the garden. Slugs are highly sensitive to the coffee grounds, so this method works as a great slug repellent. Users can also opt to create a barrier around the garden with copper tape. When slugs move over the copper, they can receive a light shock that deters them from advancing.

For a slug killer that also acts as a repellent, mix about 10 to 20 drops of pine oil, cedarwood oil, or hyssop oil with about 2 cups of water. Alone, this solution acts as a repellent, but when it is mixed with soap or salt, the spray will kill slugs on contact.

Our Verdict

Our top pick is the Monterey Sluggo slug killer. This product relies on the active ingredient iron phosphate, which can be used on properties with children and pets and lasts for more than 40 days. An alternative option that is just as safe for homes with kids and pets is the Natria slug killer with a rain-resistant formula and an easy-to-use twist-cap spout.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Slug Killer 

Slug killers are used to control slug infestations in the yard and garden so people enjoy the flowers and any fruit or vegetables yielded from the garden without concern for slimy pests. Criteria to keep in mind when selecting a slug killer include coverage, form, ingredients, and several other features detailed below.


The coverage of a slug killer refers to the area of effectiveness. Outside this space, slugs may still be drawn to the bait, but it’s less likely. The coverage is a product-specific feature that varies in range from 50 feet to more than 1,000 feet, so it’s important to read the product information and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use.

Keep in mind that the coverage measurement provided by manufacturers refers to an area based on a specified amount of slug killer. To protect an area larger than the stated coverage, just use more slug killer, but be sure to apply the pellets or liquid slug killer according to the product’s directions.


Slug killers usually come in one of two forms: pellet (or granular) or liquid.

  • Pellet slug killers, also referred to as granular, are the most common form for slug killers. The pellets are distributed evenly around the garden and then placed strategically in areas where water pools. The pellets can last for up to 40 days before they need to be replaced and are designed to be resistant to rain. Pellet slug killers pose a higher risk to homes with kids and pets because the pellets are more attractive to kids, pets, and other wildlife than liquid killers.
  • Liquid slug killers typically come in a concentrated form that needs to be mixed with water before treating the garden or lawn. They can be applied similarly to pellet slug killers; however, liquid formulas are more vulnerable to being washed away than pellets. It may be a good idea to retreat the yard and garden after heavy rain.

Active Ingredients

Slug killers are designed with several different active ingredients, each intended to kill these invading pests by using different mechanisms with varying degrees of success. However, certain slug killer ingredients, like metaldehyde and sulfur, can be harmful to small children and pets, so it’s recommended to steer clear of these potent products. The most common active ingredients in slug killers are sodium ferric EDTA and iron phosphate.

  • Sodium ferric EDTA destroys hemocyanin, which is a copper compound in the blood of slugs that helps to carry oxygen. This active ingredient takes 3 to 4 days to kill an affected slug, but it’s relatively safe for children and pets because vertebrates use hemoglobin for this function, not hemocyanin.
  • Iron phosphate damages the digestive tissue of a slug’s stomach and causes it to stop eating altogether. This type of slug killer may take up to 1 week to kill the slug, but there are no adverse human health effects from iron phosphate beyond slight to moderate eye irritation if it comes in contact with an eye. Iron phosphate is also safe around pets and other wildlife.


The longevity of a slug killer refers to the maximum length of time during which the slug killer will remain effective at luring and killing slugs. Beyond this point in time, the slug killer may still have some potency, but it is significantly reduced and will continue to decline in efficacy. Typically, a slug killer will last for up to 30 to 40 days; however, this depends on the specific product.

Check the product information and the manufacturer’s directions to determine the slug killer’s longevity, but also keep in mind that weather conditions can be an influencing factor. Pellets are resistant to rain and running water, but freezing temperatures can reduce their effectiveness. Liquid slug killers aren’t affected by freezing temperature changes, but heavy rain can wash them away.


Any time a pest problem is being treated, safety should be a primary concern, especially in homes with kids or pets. Children can find, handle, and eat slug pellets that have been applied to the garden if parents aren’t watchful. The same situation can occur with pets that are left out in the yard unattended. Liquid slug killers don’t carry the same risk because they seep into the ground quickly and don’t draw attention, but pets can still lick or eat the soil, ingesting the slug killer.

Slug killers that use sodium ferric EDTA and iron phosphate as active ingredients are relatively safe for children and pets; however, metaldehyde and sulfur products can be harmful, and even fatal, in large-enough quantities.


Read on to find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about slug killers and how to use them to keep pests out of your yard and garden.

Q. Are slug killers safe around my pets and children?

Any pest-killing product should be kept away from kids and pets. Even if the active ingredient won’t cause significant harm, these are toxins designed to kill; in high-enough quantities, slug killers have been known to be fatal to small pets.

Metaldehyde slug killers are the most dangerous type. Although sodium ferric EDTA and iron phosphate slug killers shouldn’t be ingested or handled, it’s less likely they will cause lasting harm.

Q. How do I apply slug and snail killer?

Applying slug and snail killer to the garden is an effective way to get rid of slugs. And it’s a quick process that isn’t difficult for DIYers to handle on their own. Follow these simple steps to treat your garden.

  1. Before doing anything else, read the instructions on the product packaging as well as the manufacturer’s recommendations for use to ensure that you follow all safety requirements.
  2. Water the garden beforehand, especially if it hasn’t rained for a few days and the ground is very dry.
  3. Sprinkle an even layer of pellets from the box to create a perimeter around the garden. If you are using a liquid slug killer, follow the same process, except you will be spraying the solution. Keep in mind that the goal is to sprinkle or spray as close to the ground as possible to avoid getting the slug killer on the leaves of the plants.
  4. After surrounding the garden, apply additional bait to particularly moist areas of the garden where water tends to pool.
  5. Leave the garden for 24 hours, then check back the next day. Remove all visible snails, as they can continue to lay eggs even when they are paralyzed by the slug killer.
  6. Repeat these steps as necessary.

Q. How often should I put down slug pellets?

Slug pellets are only needed when there is an active slug problem in a garden. During an infestation, pellets should be applied once every 30 to 40 days in order to keep out slugs.

Q. Will slug pellets kill rats?

It depends on the type of slug pellets and how much the rat consumes. If they chow down on enough metaldehyde slug killer, then they will eventually die, but it won’t happen quickly since this pest killer isn’t designed for mammals. Sodium ferric EDTA and iron-phosphate products are even less effective against rats, so if you have a real rat problem, invest in rat traps or rat poisons.

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Timothy Dale

Contributing Writer

Timothy Dale is a home improvement writer who has been in the industry for several years. In his work for, he has written a number of how-to articles related to yard maintenance, vehicle repair, and home renovation, not to mention a wide variety of buying guides and articles on DIY projects. He always ensures readers get the information they need to tackle their next project.