Slugs are gastropod molluscs that do not have an internal shell. Unlike many other insects, the young emerging from eggs is similar to adults.
A singular slug is estimated to kill around 50 wheat seeds within one week of sowing and completely destroy oilseed rape crops when seedlings are emerging.
The optimum temperature for optimum activity, reproduction and overall survival is 17 degrees centigrade.
Widespread damage can be seen in leafy crops after manure applications in the autumn. Volunteers ad weeds also provide slugs with plentiful food and shelter.
The control and monitoring of slugs are most effective when conditions are moist and between 5 and 25 degrees. Each crop will have critical control periods specific to the individual crop.
Ploughing can reduce slug numbers, minimum tillage can give a significant reduction in slug numbers in comparison to direct drilling.