How to deal with slugs

How to deal with slugs
    Slugs can be a gardener's nightmare, but green-fingered individuals have been offered some handy advice on how to keep their numbers to a minimum.

Chief horticultural officer at Garden Organic Bob Sherman told local publication The Kirkbymoorside Town Blog that there are many ways to effectively deal with these animals, but firstly it is worthy of note that not all species of slug are pests.

Some can be extremely helpful to gardeners, as they will eat other slugs and help keep these populations in check.

However, if Brits want to see a reduction in the number of gastropods that call their garden home, they should first consider protecting young plants – as these can be a favourite nibble for slugs – by using plastic bottles that are cut in half and pressed into the soil.

Mr Sherman also advised the use of "slug pubs", whereby gardeners set out a small container containing beer, which will attract the slugs and lead them to being drowned.

The use of pellets can also help keep slug numbers in check, while placing a tile trap can also be an effective countermeasure. This entails placing a tile or slate on the surface of the soil with a few lettuce leaves in the middle. Any slugs attracted to this free meal can then be dealt with or relocated.

Finally, he added that slug parasites can be a gardener's best friend, with nematodes being microscopic worms that homeowners water into warm soil and then when the slug comes along, these parasites will handle them.

Mr Sherman's comments follow a recent announcement from Dr Richard Meredith, of Bayer Crop Science, who told the Scotsman that the wet and warm conditions that have prevailed across many areas of the UK so far this summer have been the perfect climate for a significant growth in slug populations.

He claimed that as a result of this year's damp summer, slug numbers could be twice to three-times higher than have been recorded in previous years.

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