'Killer' slugs make journey north

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson
TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson - [email protected]
'Killer' slugs make journey north

'Killer' slugs which have previously only been a pest in southern Sweden have now been found in the northern reaches of the country. Umeå is the furthest north the voracious pests have been spotted.


Local newspaper Västerbottens-Kuriren reported on Friday that one of the infamous 'killer' slugs, so named for the destruction that they wreak on town and country gardens alike, had been spotted in the open, in Umeå.

"A very interesting find. I am 90 percent certain that it is a 'killer' slug," said Ted von Proschwitz at the Natural History Museum in Gothenburg.

The question is now whether the slug is here to stay in the north or whether the find was an exceptional event.

"The 'killer' slug won't survive a normal winter. But if climate changes make the winters mild then there is naturally a risk that it survives and makes itself at home," said Ted von Proschwitz.

The Spanish 'killer' slug, or Arion lusitanicus as it is formally known, is a species foreign to traditional Swedish fauna.

The slug is a regular topic of discussion for Sweden's gardeners each spring and the opposition Social Democrats have even called for a national strategy to defeat the scourge.

The Local reported in April that the slug issue was dividing parliament and was at risk of being besmirched by party political interests.


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