The Fate of Deroceras reticulatum Following Metaldehyde Poisoning
School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
Fera Science Ltd., Sand Hutton York YO41 1LZ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lukasz L. Stelinski
Received: 22 March 2021 / Revised: 2 April 2021 / Accepted: 10 April 2021 / Published: 13 April 2021
The grey field slug, Deroceras reticulatum (Müller, 1774) (Agriolimacidae), is one of the most economically important crop pests and is a particular threat to oil seed rape and winter wheat. Without effective slug control, it is estimated that the loss of yield due to slug damage could equate to over £100 million annually for the UK agricultural sector. The molluscicide metaldehyde is one of the most common active ingredients used in slug pellets across the globe; however, its application presents a high risk of surface water pollution and threatens non-target wildlife. The control of slugs by metaldehyde relies on slugs consuming or being in contact with a pellet long enough to receive a lethal dose; otherwise, a slug may recover from the dehydrating and paralysing effects of the molluscicide. This research explores the effect of different concentrations of metaldehyde on slug survival, paralysis and recovery after contact with metaldehyde, and highlights the prospect of slug paralysis being a major contributing factor to successful slug control.