August 13, 2022

Slugs and snails will not be classed as pests by the Royal Horticultural Society, regardless of being the backyard customer the charity receives essentially the most complaints about.

As a substitute, Britons ought to ‘gratefully settle for’ the gastropods and see them as ‘helpers’ as a result of they recycle useless leaves and different plant matter that may in any other case pile up.

Analysis by the RHS suggests the slimy marauders are literally misunderstood, as a result of solely 9 of the 44 recognised species of slug within the UK eat backyard vegetation. 

They ‘play an essential function in planet pleasant gardening and sustaining a wholesome ecosystem’, based on the charity’s principal entomologist, Andrew Salisbury, and are additionally a meals supply for hedgehogs and birds.

Slugs and snails will not be classed as pests by the Royal Horticultural Society, regardless of being the backyard customer the charity receives essentially the most complaints about

BIGGEST GARDEN PESTS

The RHS’s high 10 pests for 2019 when it comes to requires recommendation had been:

1. Field tree caterpillar

2. Vine weevil

3. Slugs/snails

4. Fuchsia gall mite

5. Alder leaf beetle

6. Woolly aphid

7= Rosy apple aphid

7= Viburnum beetle

9. Glasshouse crimson spider mite

10. Plum leaf-curling aphid

He stated: ‘The RHS is all too conscious of the function that gardens have in supporting biodiversity and as such will not label any backyard wildlife as “pests”.

‘As a substitute, there might be better consideration of and give attention to the function that slugs, aphids and caterpillars play in a balanced backyard ecosystem together with extra fashionable wildlife (or animals) reminiscent of birds, hedgehogs and frogs.’

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When slugs assault vegetation, as an alternative of killing them off, the RHS recommends planting a sacrificial species that slugs favor to eat close to any vegetation the gardener needs to guard.

The charity may even be attempting to do ‘constructive PR’ for slugs, aphids, ants and ladybirds, all of which have tended to be destroyed in gardens in latest a long time, usually attributable to recommendation from specialists. 

Writing within the Guardian, Mr Salisbury added: ‘We’re by no means going to get rid of slugs, aphids, caterpillars and different plant-munching invertebrates from our gardens — their existence in spite of everything predates the backyard itself — and our plots are all of the extra vigorous and beneficial due to them.

‘Amid the local weather and biodiversity emergencies, now could be the time to gracefully settle for, even actively encourage, extra of this life into our gardens.’ 

Instead, Britons should 'gratefully accept' the gastropods and see them as 'helpers' because they recycle dead leaves and other plant matter that would otherwise pile up

As a substitute, Britons ought to ‘gratefully settle for’ the gastropods and see them as ‘helpers’ as a result of they recycle useless leaves and different plant matter that may in any other case pile up

Annually the RHS releases a listing of ‘high backyard pests’ complained about by their members, however will now focus extra on the threats to gardens posed by invasive species and local weather change. 

The RHS lately has additionally referred to as for gardeners to depart their grass unmown to assist wildlife, and to depart patches of weeds.

The charity’s announcement shouldn’t be the one increase that slugs and snails have had not too long ago.

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From April 1 this 12 months, metaldehyde slug pellets might be banned from sale within the UK as a result of they’ll poison birds and different animals who eat the slugs.

Gardeners are suggested to make use of much less poisonous ferric phosphate pellets to regulate the creatures.