Hybrid ‘super-slugs’ are invading British gardens and we can’t stop them

  • Noble Leslie

Press/Media: Articles in 'The Conversation'

Description

The Daily Mail calls it a “slime wave”. The Sun calls them “an army”. Either way, both papers have reported 500 billion slugs are set to invade British gardens, after a mild winter created perfect breeding conditions.

So is the UK really about to be overwhelmed by slimy slugs? The simple answer is no, but there could be something far worse in store.

Headline numbers alone aren’t necessarily something to get in a lather over. A typical garden can contain several thousand slugs, and the “500 billion” figure is derived from estimates of maximum numbers per area. In any case, slug numbers can rise and fall a great deal across time and space, in natural cycles, and even astonishingly dramatic increases are not always cause for concern. Like waves crashing against a beach, the rise is often transient and local – usually slug numbers will drop back to normal, with the disturbance hardly noticed beyond a few local gardeners.

Period19 Apr 2017

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