Metaldehyde is used widely around the world as a molluscicide to kill slugs and snails, although it is toxic to all animals that ingest it. There is widespread concern that there has been an unacceptable number of poisoning incidents especially involving domestic pets, wild animals and birds.
Metaldehyde is applied as a molluscicide bait for controlling slugs and snails in a very wide range of agricultural and horticultural crops, and by members of the public to control slugs and snails in their gardens and allotments. In the UK, along with methiocarb (another slug and snail killer), metaldehyde is the only pesticide approved for use on all crops.
Metaldehyde is toxic to all organisms that ingest it, either directly or as a result of secondary poisoning from consuming poisoned prey. Poisoning results in the depression or excitement of the central nervous system. Molluscs (slugs and snails) are poisoned either by absorption of poison through the skin or by ingestion. As a reaction to the poison molluscs overproduce mucous which causes dehydration and an inability to move, therefore remaining open to predation.
It is dangerous to game, wild birds and animals. Some products contain proprietary cat and dog deterrent in order to avoid poisoning of these domestic animalshttp://www.pan-uk.org/pestnews/Actives/Metaldeh.htmhttp://toxipedia.org/display/toxipedia/Metaldehydehttp://bobmckee.com/Client%20Info/Poiso