Slug Invasion

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Slug Invasion

Post by kata » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:34 pm

Hmm, I best get to Homebase for slug pellets and small stones.. :(

The warmer weather is set to bring a rush of colour to gardens - but also an invasion of slugs, experts have warned.

Spring has been held back by the cold conditions but now longer days and rising temperatures are bringing out blooms from magnolias and flowering cherries to tulips, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) said.

However, after last year's washout summer provided perfect conditions for slugs, there is also likely to be an unusually large number around this year, RHS chief horticultural adviser Guy Barter said.

"Last year slugs had a field day. Slugs wander around on a trail of slime and can't stand dryness. It set in to rain last April and carried on raining throughout the breeding time for slugs," he said.

As a result, slugs had a booming breeding year last year, and although they will have had a "thin time" of it in winter, when there is little to eat, many will still have survived. "There were so many slugs, an unusually large number are bound to have survived," he said.

So gardeners should expect to find the warmer weather brings out the slugs, along with the blooms, especially if it is a showery April, which will provide perfect conditions for the pests.

The RHS recommends various ways of tackling the invasion, including using nematodes, microscopic worms which can be watered over the garden, where they infect the slugs and kill them.

And while spring may be very late this year, the RHS said there was still time to catch up on jobs during this week's National Gardening Week, in order to have a great-looking garden later in the summer - if the weather allows.

Mr Barter added: "Now the temperature's up, the plants will be able to take a chance and put their flowers out, and brave whatever the elements throw at them."

Gardeners can get to work clearing away old beds and borders to make room for new plants, feeding and re-potting plants and planting hardy bedding plants such as primroses, pansies and primulas to keep up the colour going until the summer.

Rain...nowt but rain...Welcome to Lancashire............ :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Slug Invasion

Post by Lys » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:03 pm

Saw a few of the pesky varmints basking under a cloche of emerging Eccremocarpus scaber today. Needless to say they aren't sun bathing there any more! :P ...Yes, a few rays of sun :!:

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Re: Slug Invasion

Post by Steady » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:16 pm

Is they're any evidence published that birds eat the pellet poisoned slugs and die because of it? I've used some in the garden lately and have been worrying a bit, would hate to harm the robins and such..

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Re: Slug Invasion

Post by Vagetarian » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:11 pm

Steady wrote:Is they're any evidence published that birds eat the pellet poisoned slugs and die because of it? I've used some in the garden lately and have been worrying a bit, would hate to harm the robins and such..
It looks like research is lacking in this area.

The common chemical is metaldehyde and all sorts of animals have died from it. The lethal dose for a mollusc, per unit body mass, is much much lower than for other animals so they have to eat an awful lot of poisoned slugs or pellets. Smaller, non lethal doses can cause health problems.

I think the reality is that while it's possible, it is quite unlikely to cause any harm. If you're still concerned you could try switching to the nematode products mentioned in katas article instead.

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Re: Slug Invasion

Post by cordyman » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:47 pm

Every day i'm pelletin! pelletin, pelletin! :lol: :lol: (sung to the shufflin song)

been out daily getting my shake on with slug pellets, hostas are just starting to pop up and i'll be damned if after waiting this long the slugs get them :lol:

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