Slugs & Snails Come Top Of Garden Pest List

If you enjoy a spot of gardening and love watching the landscape change with the seasons, you’re sure to know that there are many garden pests out there that seem to delight in ruining all your hard work.

And now the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has revealed the worst of all these garden pests, with slugs, snails and honey fungus coming top of the rundown for 2016. The year before, slugs and snails were actually pushed off the top of the list by the box tree moth, but it seems that gardeners the UK over are finding them troublesome once again.

Others featured in the top ten included glasshouse thrips and fuchsia gall mite. The latter was first spotted in the UK back in 2007 and has since become widespread in southern England. These mites infest at the tips of the shoots, where they suck sap and give out chemicals to prevent normal development of leaves and flowers.

Thrips (also known as thunder flies) are small insects that suck the sap out of leaves and flowers. Typically, they only cause problems within a greenhouse environment, but more were seen in sheltered places in warm urban areas last year, hence why they’re now in the top ten.

“Gardeners are not powerless against the threats posed by pests and diseases. Simple steps such as choosing more resistant varieties and taking an integrated approach to dealing with them, which could involve using a combination of controls together such as biological and cultural, can help gardeners fight back,” RHS head of plant health Gerard Clover said.

Maintaining a healthy garden will help to keep pests at bay, so try to keep the borders and edges of your garden tidy, remove any old or decaying leaves, weed properly on a regular basis and don’t grow slug food like lettuce close to your walls.

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