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Shell-less gastropod mollusks that cause serious damage in many vegetable crops, fruit crops and ornamentals? That must be slimy slugs such as the brown slug Derocerus laeve, the grey field slug Derocerus reticulatum and the garden slug Arion hortensis. Slugs feed on plant tissue and eat up to half of their body weight within 24 hours. Are you ready to save your crop from this harmful pest with biological control?

What damage can slugs cause?

  • Slugs cause severe damage in warm and humid periods as these conditions are optimal for this pest.
  • In young crops, they hollow seeds, strip leaves and feed on roots and cotyledons.
  • In older crops, damaged flowers, tubers and roots lead to important quality reductions.
  • Several plant diseases can enter the crop due to the feeding damage.
  • In flowers and salad crops, mucous secretion leads to quality losses.

How to control slugs?

For biological control of slugs, you can introduce the beneficial nematodes Phasmarhabditis-System.

What are the characteristics of slugs?

  • Slugs have a brown to black elongated body and are 30 to 150 mm long depending on the species.
  • They have no shell and are slimy, due to which they leave a trail behind as they move.
  • They have 2 pairs of feelers on their head and a saddle-shaped mantel on their back.
  • 90 % of the population can be found in the soil. Only 10 % feed on plant material at night.

What about the slug’s life cycle?

  • Most slug species have both male and female genitals as they are hermaphroditic.
  • They lay eggs 3 times a year in groups of 15 to 50 in the soil or under plant waste after 2 slugs have mated.
  • The eggs hatch immediately under favourable conditions.
  • Slugs survive, reproduce and move around in humid environments.
  • They can survive for a long time under unfavourable conditions.

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