Swedish scientists are developing a new way to trap and kill slugs and snails by the shedload

‘We’re trying to create a new kind of trap that can catch several slugs or snails simultaneously’

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Scientists in Sweden believe they are on the brink of stopping slugs and snails in their slimy tracks and can stop them from slithering across peoples' beloved plants and vegetables – by trapping and killing them en masse.

Researchers at the Swedish University of the Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp have discovered a chemical that both attracts and kills snails, meaning that frustrated gardeners would be able to trap large amounts of snails or slugs in one place, The Local reports.

“We’re trying to create a new kind of trap that can catch several slugs or snails simultaneously,” Abigail Walter, a researcher at the university, told TT news agency.

“We have started in a laboratory environment, but hope to soon be able to test it out in real life, too.”


Walter’s work on slugs appears to centre around the Iberian slug, a “recent invader to Sweden and one of the most problematic invasive pests in Europe,” for which many pest controls methods attempting to control its invasion are “relatively inefficient,” she has previously said.

In the UK, last year’s mild winter signalled a potential nightmare for British gardeners this summer.

“[Slugs and snails] ususally survive the winter in our gardens as eggs,” Dr Ian Bedford, the head of entomology at the John Innes Centre for research and training on microbial science told The Daily Telegraph.

“Without a cold snap, it’s fair to say that slug numbers, especially the invading Spanish slug which can lay up to 400 eggs, will escalate this year,” he said.