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A literature review of biological and bio-rational control strategies for slugs: Current research and future prospects

Barua, A, Williams, CD and Ross, JL (2021) A literature review of biological and bio-rational control strategies for slugs: Current research and future prospects. Insects, 12 (6). ISSN 2075-4450

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Terrestrial gastropod molluscs (slugs and snails) (Mollusca: Gastropoda) cause significant crop damage around the world. There is no formal approach for differentiating between slugs and snails; however, an organism is usually considered a slug when there is no external shell, or when the shell is small in comparison to the body, and a snail when there is a large external shell. Although snails are an important pest of many crops, this review focuses on slug pests and their nonchemical control measures. A recent study by the UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board concluded that the failure to control slugs could cost the UK agriculture industry over GBP 100 million annually, with similar figures reported around the world. Whilst slugs are mostly controlled using chemical molluscicide products, some actives have come under scrutiny due to their detrimental environmental effects and impact on nontarget organisms. This has resulted in the ban of actives such as methiocarb in the UK and EU, and, more recently, the ban of metaldehyde in the UK. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find alternative and effective nontoxic solutions in the interest of global food security. In this paper, we have integrated extant literature on the three main biological control agents of slugs, namely nematodes, carabid beetles and sciomyzid flies, and various promising bio-rational slug control strategies. The review also highlights current research gaps and indicates some relevant potential future directions towards developing environmentally benign slug control solutions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0608 Zoology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: MDPI
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2021 11:35
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 05:16
DOI or ID number: 10.3390/insects12060541
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15219
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