Milton Keynes, UK, 2014-7-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — A record number of slugs are chopping their way through areas of Britain, new figures have revealed.
Brits certainly aren’t sluggish when it comes to slug prevention. In the past 3 months, Homebase has seen an 83 per cent year on year increase in the sales of slug deterrents as gardeners rushed to the shops to gather armoury to protect their plants.
Millions of pounds worth of flowers and vegetables have been destroyed, because the comparatively warm wet winter weather has sent slug populations soaring, says retailer Homebase.
The South of England is the hardest hit, followed by West London and then Kent.
But for the first time, British gardeners are turning to more environmentally friendly ways of controlling them, sales figures show.
Sales of copper tape which can be fixed around plant pots have soared 400 per cent year on year in the last three months. Gravel barriers around prized plants can also help keep the ravenous raiders at bay, as slugs hate crawling across dry uneven ground.
Bird food continues to be a firm favourite, with people looking to attract blackbirds, thrushes, robins and starlings to the garden as a natural deterrent.
Homebase garden buyer Heidi Towse said: “While gardeners may still regard slugs as their greatest enemy, they also recognise that they are part of a balanced environment – helping to breakdown organic matter.
“Nevertheless, seeing months of hard work gobbled up in a single night can be heart-breaking.”
Hostas, begonias and delphiniums are just some of the wide range of plants which slugs and snails can devour in a matter of hours.
Vegetables, herbs and even fruit are also a slug’s gourmet meals, with their huge appetite destroying tender growth quicker than it can grow.
With a nursery-reared young plant costing, on average of 50 pence each, the bill for a slug’s night time feasts can be enormous.
The top five most affected areas are:
- Sussex & Surrey
- West London
- SE London & Kent
- South Central
- South Wales & West
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Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has 322 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland serving around 60 million customers a year, and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2014, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 18,000 people across the business.
Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.