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The slugs this year have been something else, haven’t they? A combination of the mild winter and wet weather has brought them out in their thousands. They have decimated many of my plants, loving my soft, sandy soil.

Slugs and snails play a crucial role in the ecosystem. They help decompose organic matter, returning nutrients to the soil, and serve as a food source for various predators. There are 40 different types of slug in the British Isles. Most of them are detritivores preferring decaying matter to living plants only 9 cause damage.

As much as I hate them, I also hate killing them, they are nocturnal creature so I make evening forays collecting them in a bucket and throw them into my compost heap to have a good old munch!

So how else do we control these blighters? I could go through all the various deterrents, but to be honest, none of them are fail safe, I’ve seen slugs use leaves or even each other as a bridge to cross my very expensive copper slug rings.

The best way is first, to encourage their predators like beetles, frogs, toads and birds. It’s a popular misconception that hedgehogs eat slugs, they will only eat them if they are desperate, slugs are really bad for hedgehogs, they have very little nutritional value to them and are carriers of lungworm parasites.

The other method is to either plant sacrificial plants in one area to keep them distracted, or better still, go for plants they don’t like: Plants with toxic leaves like Foxgloves and Euphorbia; Spiky plants, like Erigeron; Succulent leaves like Sedum and Sempervivum, and hairy plants like Hardy Geranium, Stachys and Alchemilla Mollis, if you are trying to grow vegetables try Chard, Celery, Peas, Chicory, Endive and Artichoke. Molluscs hate plants with a strong smell, such as onions and garlic. Surround your veg patch with aromatic bitter leaved plants, like Lavender and Thyme.

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