Join CHAP’s Great Big Slug Hunt…

CHAP’s Great Big Slug Hunt is under way, so don a pair of gloves and prepare to go on a slug safari in the cause of improving pest control for farmers, reducing pesticide use and making sure more of the crops grown end up on our plates.

CHAP is currently trying to collect as many slugs as possible for its SlugBot project, and we need your help to collect slugs from as many locations across the UK as possible!

Here are some tips to help you join in the Great Big Slug Hunt and send us some of those slimy pests:

  1. The best time of day for collecting slugs is either early or late in the day.  Slugs are most active on overcast days in temperate conditions. Damp mild conditions are very favourable for slug activity.
  2. Slugs tend to rest in crevices and under objects (eg. stones, bits of decaying wood etc.).
  3. Slug traps can be set to increase the chance of finding slugs. Traps consist of a cover about 20cm across, such as a plant pot saucer, with bait underneath. Bait can include two heaped spoonful of cereal grain-based food or dry dog food. Leave a small gap between the trap and the soil to allow slugs to enter. Then review trap early in the morning.
  4. The simplest way of collecting slugs is to use a spoon or gloves and place in a storage tub (e.g. ice cream tub).
  5. Ensure storage tub has holes for the molluscs to breathe, a damp tissue to keep them moist and some food (e.g. carrot disc) to keep them alive.
  6. More than one slug from a single site can be stored in one storage tub.  If slugs are collected from more than one site please use separate containers.  This will enable the precise location of the recovery of the slug to be identified.
  7. Record location (GPS if possible), date and time of collection on the container(s) and store in a cool place until ready to post.
  8. Please post your samples (Royal Mail is fine) to: Great Big Slug Hunt, Dr Tom Ashfield (CHAP Lab) Rothamsted Research, West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2JQ.

For details of CHAP’s SlugBot Project, in partnership with Small Robot Company (SRC),  COSMONiO and AV and N Lee go to Slugs.

If you have any questions about working with CHAP, please send us an email using the enquiries form at the bottom of our homepage.