Hybrid ‘super-slugs’ are invading British gardens and we can’t stop them

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The Daily Mail calls it a “slime wave”. The Sun calls them “an army”. Either way, both papers have reported 500 billion slugs are set to invade British gardens, after a mild winter created perfect breeding conditions.

So is the UK really about to be overwhelmed by slimy slugs? The simple answer is no, but there could be something far worse in store.

Headline numbers alone aren’t necessarily something to get in a lather over. A typical garden can contain several thousand slugs, and the “500 billion” figure is derived from estimates of maximum numbers per area. In any case, slug numbers can rise and fall a great deal across time and space, in natural cycles, and even astonishingly dramatic increases are not always cause for concern. Like waves crashing against a beach, the rise is often transient and local – usually slug numbers will drop back to normal, with the disturbance hardly noticed beyond a few local gardeners.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2017


  • Invasive species
  • Pests
  • Molluscs
  • Hybrid species
  • Gardening
  • Slugs


Dive into the research topics of 'Hybrid ‘super-slugs’ are invading British gardens and we can’t stop them'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this