I’m a gardener – here's why you shouldn’t kill slugs or snails on your property | The Sun

A GARDENER has revealed the reason why you should not kill slugs or snails in your backyard.

Every year when Spring comes around, green-fingered Brits are scrambling for advice on how to stop the pests munching on their lovingly grown fruits and vegetables.

Those who care for their plant life will be all too aware of how the little garden dwellers can leave neatly curated holes.

But a green-thumbed expert said that you should not kill them off despite the problems they can cause to your plants.

And the reason is why is due to bird populations under threat.

Our feathered friends rely on slugs and snails as a food source.

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Bird numbers in the UK have steadily declined in the UK in the past 50 years.

Data released by the government this year, 2023, showed a mammoth 48% of bird species have declined in numbers in just the five years between 2015 and 2020, a huge and sudden drop.

One reason for this is because there are fewer insects and indeed slugs and snails for birds to eat in urban environments where gardens are carefully managed and wildlife is stripped out and killed.

Killing slugs and snails also impacts on threatened hedgehog numbers, which rely on slugs as part of their diet, reports YorkshireLive.

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In 2021, slug pellets containing a toxin metaldehyde were banned from sale in the UK. That's because the toxin was also poisonous to birds who ate the slugs which had eaten the pellets.

But even if you don't use slug pellets, killing slugs with things like scissors, stamping, or beer traps is still contributing to the decline of bird species.

This in turn damages the entire food chain at a time when the environment is in crisis.

One poster said: "Please don’t use pellets. No matter what they say on the packet these things are horrible for all the wildlife in your garden as any poison will simply accumulate up the food chain and harm other creatures.

"There’s zero reason to resort to chemicals to deal with slugs or snails.

"Accepting you have to live with them as post of the garden ecosystem is a good start; no point trying to eradicate something when in most of the garden it’s doing no harm.

"They provide food for numerous creatures and even help break down vegetation."

They added that you can use natural means to get slugs out of your garden, such as putting up wool barriers, or cracking egg shells on the soil, which slugs won't want to cross.

Copper tape is another option that repels slugs and snails without harming them, to keep them off prized crops and flowers.

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It comes after one gardener revealed two common mistakes beginners make that prevent plant growth.

Meanwhile, another green-thumbed expert showed others the essential jobs you must get done in your backyard this Spring.

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