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Agency puts its foot down in Sweden's battle with killer slugs

Agency puts its foot down in Sweden's battle with killer slugs

Published: 18 Jun 2009 07:39 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Jun 2009 07:39 GMT+02:00

Agriculture authorities in Sweden are setting up battle stations in the country’s continuing struggle to fight off killer slugs.

This year, the Swedish Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket) has set aside 500,000 kronor ($63,000) in an effort to get control over the situation.

Officials are hopeful that they will finally get an answer to the question of how to reduce the number of killer slugs, also known as Spanish slugs (Arion Lusitanicus).

“Today we don’t have enough knowledge about what dose is necessary to combat the slugs or if the substance used has a strong enough effect,” said Eva Mellqvist of the agency’s Plant Protection Division, to the TT news agency.

The killer slugs mainly affect farmers in Halland and Bohuslän near Sweden’s west coast, but recreational vegetable growers also have trouble with the slugs.

The Agriculture Board is participating in one project which examines different silage harvesting methods to see how they affect the number of slugs in the fodder.

Another project involves looking into the effects of the iron phosphate pesticide Ferramol in mixed-grass pastures.

A third project will attempt to uncover what aids the slugs’ survival and reproduction.

When asked about predictions for the scope of this year's killer slug infestation, Mellqvist said a lot depends on the weather.

“I don’t think it will be like 2007. Then there were a huge number of slugs following all the spring rains,” she explained.

“As long as there isn’t any more rain [it shouldn’t be as bad this year].”

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:04 June 18, 2009 by Malmoimm
Maybe if they would post a clear picture of what is a Swedish slug and what is a 'killer' slug one could actually do something about them in ones' own garden!!
09:42 June 18, 2009 by DAVID T
Isn't it about time they tried looking at ways to get rid of ticks as well?
09:47 June 18, 2009 by Puffin
"killer slugs" are just those red-brown slugs

The Swedes are just getting hysterical
09:48 June 18, 2009 by Puffin
That would be far more useful - but the ticks are ethnically Swedish whereas the slugs are immigrants
11:02 June 18, 2009 by jack sprat
Those big juicy black beggars shown in the photo have their uses.

In days of old when a farmers horse and cart developed a squeaky axle in the middle of nowhere they would grab a handful of the big black ones and stuff them in the bearing for lubrication.

Not sure how well they would do in a modern car axle,.......maybe they would come out well done,fried, cooked,and ready to eat.
11:23 June 18, 2009 by bnryden
I don't know about there, but here and in Oregon where I spent a few years slugs were a problem. The US Agriculture has two suggestions, putting out saucers of beer attracts them and they end up drowning or sprinkling a good dose of salt on them does them in quick. Of course you end up with a little mess in the latter but it seems these are cheap alternatives.
15:35 June 18, 2009 by Hessian
problem solved :)
15:57 June 18, 2009 by Fishtank
Killer Slugs
16:13 June 18, 2009 by Johno
As far as I have been gathering from the newspapers for some time, they seem to refer to a different and much larger species of slug.

I heard the story about slugs years ago when the guide at a waterwheel claimed that they gathered slugs to use for bearing lubrication. Of course someone obligingly went outside and gathered some up.

ps Funny that Swedes call both slugs and snails sniglar. Pity cos I rather like snails, at least the small ones, but definitely not slugs. Its like them sometimes calling both a butterfly and a moth en fjäril (ok - moths nattfjäril, but not always)
21:06 June 18, 2009 by jack sprat
"" putting out saucers of beer attracts them and they end up drowning.""

Well at least they'll die happy.

The Spanish know how to deal with them.

They either put them in a pot and cook them with some garlic or else poison them with some pretty lethal stuff.

Always bring some back with me ...poison that is.

Like many things down, there from medications, to fireworks, to slug and weedkillers it is mighty powerful and needs to be used with care.
23:11 June 18, 2009 by Mzungu
Simplest environmentally freindly method...Take a spade chop them in half,return in a half and hour,one will find half dozen or so eating the manged remains,repeat the process.

*simple really*
00:53 June 19, 2009 by lingonberrie
There origin is Spain?

When did they immigrate, how, and how do they survive the Swedish winters?
01:18 June 19, 2009 by jack sprat
Maybe not quite the difference you imagine.

Even on the Costas the temperature occasionally drops below zero.

Much of Spain is on high ground and snow into April is not unusual....

and I am not just talking about the tops of the Pyrannees.

In recent years during bad Winter weather the police set up road checks on many roads leading inland and turn back any vehicles not carrying snow-chains.

Having spent a few years in the temperate Canaries,very different, I was surprised to find Peninsula shops stocked up with large amounts of anti-freeze at the start of the Winter, just as in Sweden.
07:44 June 19, 2009 by Marley420
The Agency is working with ICA now, will be marketing and selling a new korv product. Yum Yum!
08:13 June 19, 2009 by Mzungu
^

Initially read that as CIA! Second thought,probably couldn't arrive at a solution either.

*gross little buggers they are,slugs that is*
00:13 June 20, 2009 by Clinton
Exercise caution the beer tray solution mentioned earlier - we don't want to wipe out the rest of the snail population at the same time. As least collateral damage (other species) as possible please.

Some reasonably fine wire mesh over the beer tray will at least keep out the house toting varieties.
00:50 June 22, 2009 by Coalbanks
Hmmm. Considered ducks? Perhaps Hollywood has the solution? I recall they published a public service film in the '50's called: "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" which resolved that problem nicely.
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