03 February 1999
Do slugs drown?

Question

DO slugs drown?

Most autumns, slug damage is apparent until frosts or bait reduce slug activity. However, as soon as it warms up the little devils are at it again pronto.

I have noticed that in very wet winters slug activity stops and does not re-start to any degree. I believe that the slugs drown in the waterlogged soil.

Most people laugh at the idea; who is right?

Response

Debbie Beaton, Crops magazine

Answer

Yes, slugs do drown.

Gardeners use beer traps; the smell and moisture attract the slugs and then they drown in it.

This year many slugs will have drowned in flooded fields – but clearly not enough of them, because arable growers have used several applications of slug pellets this year – yet the pests keep coming back.

Experts are slightly puzzled and currently investigating the reasons for their ineffectiveness.