Integrated slug control

  • Produce a fine, consolidated seedbed, through actions of rolling to assist in providing a fine tilth, free of clods that attract slugs.
  • Shallow cultivation to incorporate crop residues reduces numbers.
  • Ploughing considerably reduces slug populations and risk of damage.
  • At appropriate dates drill into fine, consolidated seedbeds, 3cm depth is sufficient to deny slugs access to the seed.
  • If seedbeds are more cloddy, sow deeper – at 4-5cm depth.
  • Trapping to assess slug threshold levels can demonstrate that the use of metaldehyde is justified.
  • If bait thresholds indicate a risk, apply pellets just after drilling or rolling if it is to be carried out.
  • Broadcasting pellets is better than applying with seed unless seedbeds are cloddy.
  • Secondary treatment is justified when slug activity is high and growth is slow.
  • Soil management practices can also be implemented to reduce the risk of run off. These include establishing the crop and tramlines across the slope, parallel to watercourses to minimise surface water travelling directly into the watercourse.
  • Field risk assessments and IPM options play an important role in minimising slug infestations. Consider: 
    • Slug history, previous cropping and time of year
    • Soil type and condition
    • Current and forecast weather
    • Trapping results
    • Establishing crops across the slope
    • Ploughing to bury surface trash
    • Seed treatment and drilling depth
    • Pelleting just after drilling or rolling if justified

 

For more information see the AHDB Topic Sheets available here