The year of the slug


This year has been a bumper year for slugs. The wet, mild conditions have been perfect for them to multiply.
They are hermaphrodites and don't need to mate, yet when the Leopard slug do they have an amazing mating ritual where they climb a suitable structure and together produce a mucus thread which they descend and whilst hanging in the air they exchange sperm.
Slugs are food for hedgehogs and some birds. They help break down vegetation in your compost heap and eat dog shit from paths, so they are not all bad and do have their uses.
However, if you want to protect your plants and vegetables by keeping the slugs down without the use of chemicals, try using the microscopic parasitic nematode worms Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita.

Nematode worms naturally live in the soil yet you can give the numbers a boost. The tiny nematode worms can be watered in to the soil where the minute worms seek out and enter the slugs in the soil. A bacteria is released, which stops the slugs from feeding and they die within 3-4 days. The nematodes reproduce in the slugs which in turn release millions more in to the soil to seek out and kill more slugs.
As there are no chemicals used this is an environmentally safe pest control which is safe to use and harmless to children, birds and wildlife.

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