Gardeners are getting a new weapon in the war against slugs and snails as the RHS launches a year-long research project into how best to tackle our no.1 garden menace.
Slugs and snails have been top of the RHS’s annual list of worst garden pests for seven of the last 10 years. The Society is now testing six different control strategies to find out which treatment – or combination of treatments – works best.
Among the anti-slug measures they’ll be testing are mulching with loose material; both organic (ferrous phosphate) and non-organic (metaldehyde) slug pellets; and a biological control, in which a microscopic nematode which attacks slugs is watered on to at-risk areas.
RHS scientist Dr Hayley Jones, leading the research, says that the fact that slugs and snails still hog top spot in their list of most-hated garden pests means current control methods are not working as well as hoped.
‘By conducting scientifically robust research into which combination of treatments is the most effective, gardeners will for the first time have access to guidance on which method best suits their unique circumstances,’ she said. ‘What this could mean is that in years to come slugs and snails will drop down the table of gardeners’ most troublesome pests.’