Slug warning as warmer, wetter weather kicks in

Britain is set for a slug invasion claims the Royal Horticultural Society, while slug pellet sellers are expecting another big sales year after last year's bumper sales.

RHS adviser Guy Barter said: "Last year, slugs had a field day...It set in to rain last April and carried on raining through the breeding time for slugs...There were so many slugs, an unnatural number would have survived. They are climbing up daffodils and eating the flowers, gardeners’ baby seedlings are being munched and they are making their way into greenhouses and feasting on tender young plants."

The average UK garden is estimated to be home to around 30,000 slugs. Only five per cent of the slug population is above ground at any one time. The other 95 per cent is under­ground eating seedlings, laying eggs, and feeding on roots and seedlings.

British gardeners used an estimated 700 billion slug pellets last year.

Growing Success category control manager Steve Chalk said sales of slug killer doubled in 2012 because of the wet weather. "Records suggest that a late onset year is generally followed by an early onset one," he added.

GfK figures show that sales of Westland's Eraza grew 9.7 per cent year-on-year in January to May 2012, 19.5 per cent up in May alone.

B&Q reported a 44 per cent year-on-year increase in slug-pellet sales in June and a 74 per cent increase in July 2012.

Tests at Scotland’s Rural College (formerly Scottish Agricultural College) proved an 86 per cent efficacy of new slug barrier Molluskit. The creators say the product is well placed to help gardeners with this year's slug invasion.

  • We are pleased to point out that in an earlier version of this story we incorrectly stated that Nemaslug was unavailable - it is in fact widely available. 

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