UK Gardeners Warned To Stop Using Slug Pellets Immediately

Here's why you should put away your pesticides ASAP – and eat a melon instead.
Christopher Laszlo Bonis / 500px via Getty Images

Some creations, it seems, are created enemies. Tom and Jerry. Montagues and Capulets. Liz Truss and the Prime Minister position.

And if you’ve ever so much as grown some watercress from a cotton ball, you’ll probably know that gardeners and slugs are one such pair.

Slugs are notorious for damaging and even killing plants, often stalling new growth in its tracks. As a result, gardeners have resorted to killing the unwanted guests – often by using pellets.

But UK gardeners have recently been warned to set aside the sprays, pause the pellets, and even ban the boot when it comes to slugs and snails. In other words, don’t kill the slimy invaders at all.

Why the slug love all of a sudden?

The advice comes from data which shows that the UK bird population has been slashed by as much as 50% over the past 50 years.

Factors like the recent avian flu epidemic don’t get anywhere close to explaining the “steady” decline of UK birds over decades, the Natural History Museum says.

Instead, longer-standing environmental factors – like a lack of plant diversity, and habitat loss – have contributed much more to the decrease. And yes, our love of slug and snail pellets and other methods of mollusc massacre has also had its impact.

No wonder the Royal Horticultural Society decided to do away with slugs and snails’ status as pests last year, right?

OK, so I can’t use pellets. How am I meant to keep my lawn snail and slug-free?

Not sure how to keep your garden looking luscious while also supporting the slug and snail population?

Thankfully, Yorkshire Live offers some green-fingered advice; cut a melon in half, eat the fruit, and then place the empty rinds in your lawn.

Slugs and snails will flock to the sweet treat and become trapped in its bowl shape – after that, you can carry the gross gauntlet as far away as you like from your beloved crops.

Other advice includes surrounding your plants with slug-repelling copper tape, storing plant pots in a tray of water, and creating physical barriers around your leaf babies.

So basically, so long as you repel or remove slugs and snails from your lawn rather than killing them, you’re A-OK with the beleaguered birds of the country. Worth eating a bit of melon for, right?