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Common Name:Slugs

Introduction:Snails and Slugs both belong to the class Mollusca and are amongst the most easily recognised members of the invertebrates. They occur in every continent of the world. The vast majority of them are phytophagus (plant -eating) although a few are predatory on arthropods and other invertebrates. The main distinguishing feature between slugs and snails is the possession by the latter group of a calcareous spiral shell into which the animal can retreat when conditions are difficult or feel frighten.

Biology : Both slugs and snail lay a cluster of shinny whitish eggs covered in a water retaining mucous. The hatching of the eggs may delay due to the onset of winter. Young slug and snail very closely resemble the adult and while some species will reach maturity in less than a season, other may take up to 2 years before becoming adults.

Nearly all slugs and snails feed on plants materials and some slugs species in particular are significant pest of agriculture and horticulture, while snail are less of a pest problem. They both feed by rasping the surface of plant material with a long roughened tongue. Both groups excude copious quantities of mucous over which they glide on their sole ( the toughened under-body of the animal). Slugs are more affected by dry conditions.

Control measures should seldom be necessary. In recurrent domestic invasion, some relief may be gain by clearing outside vegetation and debris from near to indoor access points. Slug pellets can be applied locally if clearance is detailed on the product label. In damp cellars there is no simple answer t o slug problem unless measures are taken to adjusted the water or moisture which causes the dampness in the cellar.