Rory Mc Donnell interview: The slug hunter with a strange new weapon

Invasive slugs and snails are not only troublesome for gardeners – they cause millions of dollars’ worth of damage to crops every year. Ecologist Rory Mc Donnell is on a mission to find evidence-based ways to get rid of these pesky gastropods

Life 2 March 2022

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Jennie Edwards

SLUGS and snails may not look frightening, but don’t be fooled. Poking out from beneath their slimy bodies is a tongue-like appendage called a radula, covered with thousands of tiny teeth. As gardeners know to their cost, this is a tool of extreme destructive power, which can shred stems and leaves like a grater. From dandelions to dahlias, few plants are safe.

Native slugs and snails are a vital part of ecosystems. They provide a food source to other animals, digest dead and decaying matter and eat pests. But invasive species can throw things off balance and it can be …

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