Slugs damaged a lot of my flowers and vegetables last year right after I planted them. They also riddled my hostas. Are there controls that will not be harmful to my children and pets? Are there any other pests which I should be aware of?
I would definitely recommend applying bait for slugs and snails the minute you plant new plants.
Slugs and snails hide in the soil during the daytime and feed at night. They hide in moist areas and under materials sitting on the soil. Apply slug bait in those areas and around perennials as they start to grow and when planting new annuals and vegetables.
The best time to apply slug bait is in the late afternoon. A light sprinkling of water just after application enhances the attractiveness of the bait to them.
Baits containing metaldehyde are the cheapest. Baits that contain iron phosphate are safe to use around children, pets and wildlife. Bait uneaten by slugs and snails will degrade and become part of the soil. Deadline is another very effective product for snail and slug control.