The UK is seeing a huge slug population explosion due to the warmest winter on record and a wet summer in 2015.

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Slugs have kept eating and breeding throughout the year, instead of going into hibernation as usual, because the temperature remained relatively high over the winter.

The warm winter has also meant an abundance of food supply for the slugs, meaning they are much bigger than usual.

Pippa Greenwood, featured on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time yesterday and urged gardeners to spend the bank holiday weekend manually hunting for slugs.

“A damp evening is ideal,” she said.

“Look out for the eggs as well as the slugs themselves.”

“They’re a couple of millimetres in diameter and are often in clumps.”

She also advised laying down natural nematodes such as Nemaslug.

“You can buy several million at a time off the internet,” she said.

“They’re totally harmless to other wildlife.”

 

Gardeners can help prevent slugs from eating their plants by:

  • Removing cover for slugs such as leaves and bricks
  • Putting copper tape around plants
  • Creating a rough area near their plants with crushed glass or sand
  • Putting plants by ponds so water-dwelling predators of slugs, such as frogs and newts, can keep their population down
  • Placing plants that repel slugs – such as those from the geranium family – next to those that attract them, such as Hostas
  • Chemicals should be avoided because they could be poisonous to other animals, such as birds, cats and dogs. If you do use slug or snail pellets, the Royal Horticultural Society recommends iron phosphate pellets because they are less toxic than Metaldehyde.
  • Nemaslug nematodes- which kill slugs by feeding off them parasitically are 100% organic and are safe for children, birds, cats and dogs and work extremely well even in wet conditions.

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Normal seasonal weather conditions, cold, frosty winters and dry summers, usually keep the slug population down, but this winter was significantly wamer with December 2015 being the warmest since records began in 1910, with temperatures sitting at an average of 7.9°C.

Fact: Slugs remain active when temperatures remain above 5C, and with little snow or frost, they have simply kept going through the cold months. They lay up to 200 eggs per cubic metre, and it’s estimated that the average UK garden could be home to up to 20,000 slugs (unless you use Nemaslug of course).

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If you have already applied Nemaslug this season then you will be already be seeing the benefits, but if you haven’t now is the time to start tackling the pests.

You can view the full range of Nematodes at Nematodes Direct where we offer both single packs of Nemaslug as well as Nemaslug programmes to keep slugs under control for the whole gardening season.

Click here to order your Nemaslug now