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Gray Field Slug

Deroceras reticulatum

Gray Field Slug, Field Slug, Grey Garden Slug, Milky Slug

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A Field Slug (Deroceras reticulatum) is a small air-breathing mollusc. Slugs have smooth, slimy bodies with no shells. They move using a single muscle from their foot, located under the body. These slugs are familiar garden visitors but are also common in grassland and woodland habitats. They're an invasive species originating in Europe. Their distribution now spreads as far as Australasia.


Can completely consume plants- seedlings.
Slugs are food for predatory insects, hedgehogs and birds.


Adults: Ranging from 4-6cm and can vary in colour. Field slugs are cream, brown, grey with some possible spotting. They appear slimy from the transparent mucous layer that coats them. Eggs: Spherical, laid in clusters and slightly translucent but may be perceived as pearly white. They are typically found in dark, damp places in the garden. They're sometimes found in the soil, too.


Leave behind silvery slime trails. Irregular holes and tears in foliage. New growth in herbaceous plants are particularly at risk.









Europe, America and Australasia. Also present in the countries Turkey and Argentina.

Biological treatment

Pests active at night are best controlled by regular night searches with torches, especially during damp evenings. Beer traps placed in parts of the garden can be effective at catching slugs. It's been proposed that spraying beer on weeds attract the slugs to the weeds, which they then munch down. Diatomaceous earth, a fine powder that is very sharp microscopically and the edges easily cut through slug skin and desiccate them as they crawl over it. Replenish it after every rain or heavy dew. Other barriers include hair, eggshells, soot and wood chippings. Chickens and ducks will eat any slugs and snails that you have in your garden. Hedgehogs and toads are the main predators of slugs and snails in the UK. Attract these garden predators to your green spaces by incorporating small water features (for toads) or habitats like a large pile of logs for hedgehogs. These animals adore wild patches of grass and dense undergrowth. Here, they can stay concealed. You’ll require some exit and entrance points too.


A red flower on a Tulipa plant growing in the wild


Tulipa spp.


Dahlia spp.


Brassica spp.


Lactuca spp.


Trifolium spp.


Solanum spp.


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