Return to the Organic Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

Posted by bella_trix z6b SE PA (My Page) on
Mon, May 4, 09 at 20:44

I normally don't have slug damage significant enough to use any type of control, but baby slugs are doing a number on my runner beans. They are ignoring the beer. I haven't been able to get to my regular gardening store before they close at night, so in desperation I bought the Ortho product at Home Depot.

Even the name Ortho makes me cringe, but the active ingredient is 1.0% Iron Phosphate. Unfortunately, the "other ingredients" (99%) aren't listed. What really has me concerned (other than the whole Ortho/Scotts thing) is the little asterisk by Ecosense Brand* which leads to "*not intended to imply environmental safety either alone or compared to other products". Cute, aye? I hate Ortho. While it says "can be used around pets and wildlife" (note: it doesn't say that it would be SAFE, just that you can use it), it also says "Keep out of reach of children".

So, do I use it or just let the slugs have the beans for now? Any one know if this product is organic (or not)?

Thanks,
Bellatrix


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

  • Posted by dicot Los Angeles (My Page) on
    Tue, May 5, 09 at 1:33

What about diatomaceous earth? I've had success with wood ash as well - both become less effective with lots of moisture though.

I hate Ortho too.


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

There are others that make slug baits containing the Iron Phosphate that are more eco friendly companies. I'd look for them if I needed that much slug control.


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

Hi, I would try either using oatmeal or bonide slug bait.


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

Does iron phosphate really work, especially for baby slugs?


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

1.0% iron phosphate is standard for this type of bait. You will also find it in the same rate in Sluggo and other brands. Bonide makes one, too. The 'other ingredients' are the insert carriers to make this bait attractive and palatable. Without that other 99%, you wouldn't be able to apply it properly AND the slugs wouldn't eat it. Yes, it should be considered organic.

You will find 'keep out of reach of children' on the label of a great many household products.


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Tue, May 5, 09 at 14:23

iron phosphate is the active ingredient in Sluggpo, Escar-go and other "natural" anti-slug products.


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

Does iron phosphate really work, especially for baby slugs?

Works like a charm. I don't have a serious slug issue, but there is one shady bed they like and hostas and such get turned into swiss cheese. A little sluggo as soon as the hostas emerge and they remain holeless all season.

With a more significant slug population I would suggest reapply it every now and then, but it is very effective and quite safe (unless you are a slug or snail ;) Little kids and pets could eat some and have no worries. Certainly I wouldn't recommend it, but that is an example of how safe it is to use.


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

  • Posted by dicot Los Angeles (My Page) on
    Tue, May 5, 09 at 20:08

"Inert" never works for me as a selling point. I need full disclosure for what I'm putting in my garden (and me).

I've also seen better result with my beer baited snail/slug traps when I dry out an affected temporarily (and drive them to drink).


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

Conservative approach, but not exactly based in reality. The inert ingredients in baits are organic (such as vegetable by-products, sugars, etc.) substances that are edible to the pest in question. The portion of the bait not ingested by a hoard of slugs or snails is quickly broken down by happy soil micro-organisms, turning it into one more part of a healthy soil system.

Food/horticultural grade DE can be effective, but it's well worth warning about the precautions needed for safe handling.

The organic baits are more effective in a garden setting, as they attract these mollusks strongly. Upon feeding upon just a little bit, the deed is done.


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

The Sluggo label also says "Keep out of reach of Children" and "store where children cannot reach this product" just as anything pedaled as a pesticide must state on the label.
If you are an environmentally aware person you would not purchase products from companies known to be unfriendly to the environment, unless there was no alternative.


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

I was tempted to buy a different Ortho ecosense product. But then I wondered if I really wanted my money going to a company that encourages so many uninformed people to pollute our planet.


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

kimmsr and maureeninmd,

That was my final decision: I just can't trust or give money to Ortho/Scott's. Who knows what nastiness might be in the inert ingredients. I let the slugs at the beans for a little longer, then bought a more environmentally friendly brand. The "ecosense brand" will be going back to Home Depot.

Thanks, everyone, for all the input,
Bellatrix


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

Here's what I do as an organic gardener, and as a believer in the chain.

The slugs are just being slugs when they look for food.

Sometimes, and especially during rainy parts of the season, the 36 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes I grow equal the dinner bell for these amazingly simple creatures. Seems they missed the signs I left for them telling them to ignore their natural instincts and look elsewhere for food.

I hate it when I have to spend almost 5 minutes flicking them into a plastic Tupperware container and then actually WALK almost 50 feet (I am exhausted almost thinking about it) to dump them in the woods, without the benefit of sprinkling salt all over them so I can watch them suffer an agonizing death.

But that's just crazy me. You can buy whatever slug control product you want. Or, you can spend the few minutes a week that it takes to be a vigilant organic gardener.

It ain't no big deal, believe me. I work 70 hour weeks and still find time to let the slugs be slugs somewhere else. And I still got more tomatoes than you got days to live.

The happy toads that find their way into my organic garden take care of the stragglers, being part of the cycle.

All is as it should be. That aisle don't exist at the Depot. So I guess you really get to make a choice when you choose to make a garden.

Live and let live, brothers and sisters...


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

I was tempted to buy a different Ortho ecosense product. But then I wondered if I really wanted my money going to a company that encourages so many uninformed people to pollute our planet.

While I am not trying to encourage supporting one brand over another, as long as you are purchasing stuff in a bottle/box you will always be sending money to companies who do things you can't trust.

There is no plant on this planet that uses more phosphorus than nitrogen or potassium. Not one. Shop the fertilizer aisle and organic/synthetic makes no difference. You will readily find products offering more phosphorus than anything else in spite of the fact that no plant on earth uses that much P.

Why? Simple. People think high P ferts organic or synthetic makes more flowers/fruits. It isn't even remotely true, but the myth is so prevalent that makers of products cater to the myth rather than risk losing a sale trying to educate the customer.

Even your favorite company is serving up what consumers demand rather than what they actually need. Organic/synthetic makes no difference here. It's just the profit motive in effect.

Neptune Harvest does it, Dyna-Gro does it. Worm's way does it, Miracle Grow does it.

I am, like you, uncomfortable with labeling laws in the US as it regards products. I don't want to see labels saying 99% inert ingredients, I want to know what they actually are.

Unfortunately the law doesn't require this and nobody volunteers this info organic or synthetic.

If you buy it in a bottle, box or bag, nobody is going to tell you what all is in it because they don't have the legal obligation to do so. Organic/synthetic makes no difference in this regard.


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

Of course, it's all about profit. That's why I use compost, nobody's profiting but the roses.

I am most bothered by the overuse of pesticides, heavily promoted by companies such as Ortho.


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

Just to give you some background, the main type of pest control that I use is hand picking and barriers (well, and encouraging all the predators, large and small). I never really wanted to use any pesticide, even organic, because I'm terrified of messing up my predator insects. I have quite the population. Unfortunately, these baby slugs are doing me (well, my beans) in. They are WAY too tiny to hand pick. And thats from me, who use to hand pick all my snails in California and release them in the lawns of the industrial complex nearby. For next year, I plan on planting sacrificial lettuces next to all the beans. My beans that are next to the lettuce are fine and I don't mind a little slug damage on lettuce. I do mind when the extremely limited number of bean seedlings of a heirloom variety are all eaten and I can not get any more seed to replace them. Sigh.

Now, toads. This years project is making my garden a more toad friendly environment! I have plans for toad houses and maybe even a temporary pool for next year's breeding season. I need more toads!!

As for fertilizer, I add compost to my beds and very rarely even side-dress during the growing season. My plants are fantastic!

Bellatrix


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

I purchased the EcoSense Brand fire and bait granules from Wal-mart because I thought it would not harm our oceans.

When I got it home where I could read the fine print it read "not intended to imply environmental safety either alone or compared to other products". In the inside label it also read "ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS: This product is toxic to aquatic invertebrates. Do not apply directly to any body of water. Do not put product or rince water down any drain."

Ortho is using deceptive marketing and I will no longer purchase their products. I will return the poison tomorrow.

Any advice on getting rid of fire ants without the use of posion? thank you


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

naturehugger, the best place to learn about Fire Ants is from Texas A & M since most any other place I have looked at quotes from them about what to do. I doubt that there is anything you can do about Fire Ants that is not a poison, and since they are not natives and do serious harm, so I understand, you probably would not want to.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Fire Ants


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

Any advice on getting rid of fire ants...?

The trouble is you can wash them out of your yard, but your neighbor is doing the same thing and his ants will pack up and move to your yard from his.

Dan


 o
RE: Ortho 'ecosense brand*' slug killer?

Naturehugger,

I think you will find most pesticides toxic to aquatic organisms. Anything that contains soaps or oils is toxic to water life. This includes plant based horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps.

The moral of the story is avoid using pesticides that won't break down into non toxic forms before they get into a public waterway.

The iron phosphate baits aren't really toxic unless they are disposed of in the water. The phosphorus leads to lots of weed growth which then leads to eutrophication. The same thing happens when any source of phosphorus whether considered organic or synthetic reach the water.

Pesticideinfo.org has not established it as a water pollutant.

Here is some more reading from the U of Washington.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Organic Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here