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Are Slugs good or bad?

Updated: Apr 6





The phylum Mollusca contains around 85,000 species, accounting for 23% of named marine organisms. These animals are made up of a visceral or unsegmented body mass containing organs, a muscular foot, and a head, as well as a respiratory opening on the side, a tail, and sensory/optical tentacles. Snails unlike slugs develop a calcareous shell out of a fleshy mantle. Slugs and snails eat foliage using a rasping tongue, and may effect all crop types all year round. During humid nights and on damp soil, slugs may generate a protective mucus to avoid desiccation. The chemicals molluscs produce can contain anti carcinogenic bioactive peptides. Slugs do not undergo metamorphosis and the egg hatched juveniles resemble adults.


According to the RHS, they will no longer classify slugs as pests in the garden, and will instead label them as beneficial organisms. Their explanation is based on the fact that the majority of slug species only eat already decaying matter in the garden. So in the case of slugs, a small minority has ruined their reputation by scoffing on Hostas.


Not only are they not as herbivorous as once thought, but they also provide food for other beneficial organisms in the garden, such as hedgehogs.


It leads to the question: Perhaps it's better to not interfere with ecosystems, and let them self regulate in the garden?


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