Q & A

Slug Damage 

- Slugs cause significant crop damage and yield loss particularly at establishment.

- They can and do wipe out fields – particularly after wet summers and when crops are later drilled.

- Worst damage occurs in the centre of fields where soils are less compacted.


- HGCA work confirms that every slug can kill up to 50 wheat seeds in the first week of sowing. 

- Smaller slugs kill more seeds than larger slugs.  Slugs will also strip cereal shoots and leaves.

- Trials in a dry autumn show that 35% of plants can be damaged and in wet conditions this rises to over 50%.

Oilseed Rape 

- Oilseed rape seeds are not attacked but seedlings are very vulnerable to damage and can be nipped off at or below ground level.

- Yield loss in OSR could be much greater than that in cereals – some crops – have been completely wiped out due to slug damage.


- Slugs feed on tubers as they mature. They hollow out feeding cavities in the tissue.

- Prompt harvesting reduces the period that the tubers are exposed to slug attack.


- Most vegetable crops can suffer from slug damage at emergence after transplanting. 

- Some crops such as broccoli and sprouts can be grazed prior to harvest.  Carrots and parsnips suffer from root feeding leading to crop damage.

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