Temperatures are rising in Britain. The last decade was the second hottest in the past 100 years and in 2019 London recorded its highest February daytime temperature ever with a mercury topping 21.2C.
One group of creatures that delight in warm, wet winters are slugs and if this trend continues, we can confidently expect a population explosion this spring that will run into tens of millions of additional plant munchers roaming our gardens and greenhouses.
The time to take action and get the slug population under control before the serious plant damage begins is now, says BASF, which produces the UK’s leading brand of organic, nematode-based slug control, Nemaslug.
Nematodes are microscopic worm-like creatures that occur naturally in garden soil. Each different nematode species has its own unique prey and Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita is the one bred by BASF for Nemaslug.
“The vast majority of slugs live in the soil and rarely, if ever, come to the surface. Therefore, surface-only controls will only ever deal with a minority of the population. And its is a significant population, as the average British garden is home to *20,000 slugs and snails with each cubic meter of soil housing approximately 200,” says BASF’s Anthony O’Hare.
“Nemaslug is watered around plants from a watering can or hose feed and the nematodes go down into the soil seeking out their prey. The treatment needs repeating at six weekly intervals throughout the growing period and it will control slug numbers, even with a population explosion.”
There is no risk to children or pets and the nematodes will not attack non target species. There is no problem if nematodes accidentally get into water courses and once the number of prey species has been reduced, nematodes numbers in the soil simply revert back to natural pre-treatment levels.