Collaborating with industry, scientists associated with the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University developed the use of Iron EDTA complex baits. They pioneered a new range of slug and snail pellets that are posed to change the way snails and slugs are controlled throughout the world.
These products are based on patented molecular wrap technology which can be used to produce an effective snails, slug and woodlice killer with low toxicity to non-target animals such as dogs, cats, birds, earthworms. The first of this range uses ferric sodium EDTA oxo dimer, an iron EDTA complex as the active ingredient. ERADICATE is based on this active ingredient.
Extensive scientific trials show that ERADICATE is effective on all Australian pest snails and slugs. In over 90 trials ERADICATE has been shown to be more effective compared with a number of metaldehyde baits with 1.5% active ingredients. In all cases ERADICATE gave higher kill rates. Although another bait is available with the same active ingredient, ERADICATE has smaller diameter pellets providing more potential baiting points.
Extensive research, often sponsored by the suppliers of metaldehyde has been under taken on the toxicity of various iron compounds and various iron EDTA complexes. This is in addition to the extensive scientific literature developed as a result of the use and potential use of some iron EDTA complexes in food stuffs (including work by Kelloggs for inclusion of iron EDTA complexes in breakfast cereals) and in medical applications to treat anaemia due to iron deficiencies which effects about 60% of the world’s population.
The results of these studies may be summarised as there is no significant harm to the environment and human health.
Furthermore, provided label instructions are adhered to, no significant potential to cause harm to non target animal or plant species. Despite claims by various organisations and interest groups there is no evidence for death of family pets due to iron poisoning arising from the use of molluscicides. In comparison products based on metaldehyde have been responsible for literally hundreds of dog deaths in Australia. Whilst there is some evidence that excessive consumption of Iron EDTA complex baits by dogs leads to vomiting and diarrhoea these effects are probably due to the alkaline nature of the product rather than the iron content. Reports by some veterinary publications claiming toxicity due to iron poisoning are based on invalid assumptions, incorrect calculations and a lack scientific knowledge.
In Europe and USA products based on iron phosphate and EDTA have been investigated for the potential threat to earthworms. These trials show that at very high dose rates there is a potential to reduce earthworm growth rates but the results were not statistically significant.