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Ferrous phosphide (ferric phosphate)

Ferrous phosphide may be used to control slugs
Photo: Thomas Quaritsch

The information below is intended only as a guide. Always read product labels carefully.

Product description

Ferrous phosphide is a mineral compound naturally present in the soil. Products available commercially, however, contain synthetic ferrous phosphide, mixed with a granular bait. These pesticides are used to control molluscs.

Target pests

Products with ferrous phosphide as the active ingredient may be used to control slugs and snails.

NB: The product label lists the plants on which the pesticide may be used, along with the target organisms. 

How it works

After eating the product, molluscs stop feeding. They then hide and die within a few days.


The molluscicide should be spread around the base of affected plants. Moisten the soil, without wetting it thoroughly, before applying the product.

Evening is the best time to apply it, because slugs and snails are active mainly at night and early in the morning.


The product may be irritating, so it is best to wear gloves, long sleeves and pants and goggles when applying it.

Do not use near any body of water or wetland, or dump any pesticide or rinse your equipment there, as this will contaminate the water. Never dump pesticides down sewers.

Keep out of reach of children.

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