The RHS has released its top 10 garden pests of 2012 (based on the number of enquiries received by its Entomology Department), and, perhaps unsurprisingly, slugs and snails have skyrocketed to the top of the list for the second year in a row.
As their impact on our gardening activities seems to be growing year on year, we thought it was time we learnt a bit more about these persistent garden pests; and here’s what we found, compiled into some weird and wonderful slug & snail facts…
1. Snails, slugs and their relatives are the most common form of mollusc with over 60,000 species alive today.
2. Slugs can stretch to an incredible 20 times their normal length, enabling them to squeeze through the tiniest of openings in search of food!
3. Slugs & snails are hermaphrodites; they can mate with any other slug or snail. One slug can produce over 400 eggs per year!
4. Slugs & snails have a great sense of smell and can find their way back to a site by following their slime trail.
5. Slugs feed in cycles. There is never more than 5% of a slug population above ground at one time.
6. Slugs & snails must live in moist conditions in order to be able to survive.
7. Slug & snail eggs can lay dormant for several years before hatching if conditions aren’t right. They require the right soil conditions and moisture levels to hatch.
8. When conditions are dry, snails retreat into their shell and seal their entrance. They can survive in this state of ‘suspended animation’ for several months.
P.S – TOP RECOMMENDATION TO COMBAT SLUGS & SNAILS – SLUG GONE
A natural, environmentally friendly way to control slugs and snails in the garden, consisting of only wool pellets; so no harmful chemicals or pesticides. In addition, Slug Gone (by GrowAid) acts as a soil enricher, adding goodness into the soil, and in combination with soil and compost, provides a fantastic mulch. Used at Trevena Cross Nurseries!