Slugs and snails worst pests of 2013 finds RHS


Slugs and snails have topped the RHS top 10 garden pests for 2013 based on enquiries received by the charity’s entomologists. As in 2012, slugs and snails topped the list with enquiries remaining at their highest since 2002.

Exceptional levels of rainfall in 2012 that produced one of the wettest summers on record created the perfect mild, damp conditions for slugs and snails to thrive and this appears to have ensured their traditional dominance of the list continued into 2013, say the RHS.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the 2013 list was the appearance of plum moths (eighth) which had never before featured among the top 10 garden pests.

Mice and voles (fourth) also saw a sharp increase in enquiries with numbers hitting a 24-year high.

Vine weevil took the number two spot. Others pests which increased in the number of enquiries were capsid bugs (third) – in 2013 enquiries reached the highest level for 25 years.

Other top 10 pests included cushion scale (fifth), glasshouse red (two spotted) spider mite (sixth), mealybug (seventh), ants (=ninth) and lily beetle (=ninth).

RHS senior entomologist Andrew Salisbury said: "By identifying and understanding the pests that are damaging garden plants the RHS can really focus its scientific expertise to deliver relevant, world-leading advice to all garden lovers."

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