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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Vicious Spanish Slugs Eating Our Veggies



As if winning the European Championships were not enough, the Spanish are launching an invasion on British Gardens this year. The unsettled weather recently is causing an explosion of Spanish Slugs eating their wat though our gardens.

Heavy rain and warm spells have provided the perfect conditions for the giant alien pest, which can grow to more than 10cm (4in) long (Thats pretty big for a slug!) and also can produces hundred more eggs than the typical British slug.

The olive green creature is breeding with our own good old British slugs to create powerful, highly fertile super slugs that can outpace and take over from the natives. In the North West of the USA, the hybrid slugs have even been known to be a threat to motorists as they leave behind huge slimy patches of squashed slug when they are driven over, incresed by cannibal slugs devouring their own type.

Slug expert Les Noble, from Aberdeen University, told The Times that the UK was not taking the threat of the super slug Arion Flagellus seriously enough, However DIY chain B&Q has reported a 74% increase in sales of slug pellets and Dr Noble says squashed slugs have been covering the streets of North Wales and upland in the West Country. 'The invasive species is carrying diseases and parasites that are going to wipe out our native slugs', said Dr Noble. 'Our slugs self-fertilise and are so highly inbred they can't keep pace with new diseases and parasites, and together with several other snails may become extinct.'

Another super slug, called Arion vulgaris, has taken a strong hold in parts of northern Europe, such as Norway. They have been eating their way through various crops and its even feared that the invasion could push up the price of chips because of its negative impact on the potato harvest. Organic growers are finding it increasingly difficult to keep the pests under control because they do not use chemicals or pesticides to spray on their crops. All they can do is cut back vegetation around their crops to remove hiding places for slugs and snails, or encourage birds who feed on them.

Have you been affected by super slugs, whats your best tip for getting rid of them? Do you use pellets, or perhaps a beer trap?

6 comments:

  1. Fortunately we are under no threats from hybrid slugs, however, our regular garden slug does enough damage. Whenever I come across one in the garden, it gets tossed into the the fish pond where the koi go mad for it.

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    Replies
    1. Les, I love the idea of feeding them to the Koi!

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  2. I first though that the slugs were getting obese! lol. Till a neighbor told me about this super slugs. I was growing organic and have tested everything I can with out success. I had to end up buying slug pellets non organic, as they were eating all my little crop, now at least I barely have any of the other slugs, and I can concentrate on picking up the super slugs, unfortunately I can't say now that I have only organic food, I have always being prepare to loss part of my veggies to slugs, but at this point was using non-organic methods or no food at all. ;-(

    ReplyDelete
  3. I first though that the slugs were getting obese! lol. Till a neighbor told me about this super slugs. I was growing organic and have tested everything I can with out success. I had to end up buying slug pellets non organic, as they were eating all my little crop, now at least I barely have any of the other slugs, and I can concentrate on picking up the super slugs, unfortunately I can't say now that I have only organic food, I have always being prepare to loss part of my veggies to slugs, but at this point was using non-organic methods or no food at all. ;-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes you have to have a little help. Nearly organic is still better than not trying to be.

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  4. Grapefruit halves - eat the fruit and leave them cut side down, turn them over in the mornings and the birds eat the slugs who have gathered there overnight. After a few mornings you wont have to tip them up, as the birds will do it themselves knowing they will get breakfast. Just put them face down again every evening.

    ReplyDelete

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