Slugs can turn a perfectly promising garden into a mangled mess, but just how do these tiny gastropods inflict so much damage? Well, for starters, their mouths contain thousands of microscopic tooth-like protrusions known as denticles, which help them to consume up to twice their body weight in food every day. Slugs are also known to lay as many as 100 eggs several times a year, so a small plot of land can contain thousands of the creatures. And while they may move slowly, little is left intact in their wake. During particularly wet summers, slugs can multiply in such large numbers that they devastate entire crop fields, leaving little for humans to harvest and enjoy.
The slimy truth about slugs:
- Although they can be frustrating when destroying plants or crops, slugs play an important ecological role by breaking down decaying plant matter and fungi.
- Slugs are hermaphrodites, and thus possess male and female sex organs. For every slug you see on the ground or on a plant, there are around 20 more underground.
- "Beer traps" or "slug pubs" are a non-toxic form of slug control. Slugs are attracted to the smell of beer and fall into the container.