Alarming media reports of a new generation of ‘sleepless’ slugs predict a 10% increase in slug populations this summer.
‘Sleepless’, it turns out, doesn’t actually mean that the slugs are feeding 24/7, but that they didn’t hibernate. Last year’s wet summer, followed by the mild winter, meant that they continued to breed through the winter months.
Conservation charity Buglife is warning that this could spell trouble for gardeners this season. Chief Executive Matt Shardlow says, “Due to climate shifts, warmer winters and wetter summers, we’re seeing slugs become active all year round. Whereas key predators like amphibians will only lay their eggs once a year, slugs are not so restricted. Coupled with the fact that general slug varieties are also reaching full size earlier than ever, gardeners are simply not getting any respite and need innovative management solutions.”
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