UK Gardeners Urged To Battle Slugs With Corrugated Iron

<span class="copyright">Niklas Storm / 500px via Getty Images</span>
Niklas Storm / 500px via Getty Images

We’ve written before at HuffPost UK about how gardeners were discouraged from using slug pellets last year.

That’s because the slimy enemies of many a gardener are crucial to our dwindling bird population ― all well and good, but how do you keep them off your brassicas?

It turns out that placing a simple sheet of corrugated iron in your lawn could not only keep slugs at bay but also increase your backyard’s biodiversity, per the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).


Slow worms, which are technically lizards, are a natural predator of slugs. And because they’re reptiles, they’re cold-blooded ― meaning they need a spot to sunbathe.

The RSPB suggests that placing a handle on a sheet of corrugated iron, then leaving it in ” a sunny, quiet spot next to long grass or log pile,” could attract slow worms as it provides both cover and a sun-soaking spot for the critters.

Other creatures, such as different lizards and grass snakes, may also make a home in the area, they say. And lifting the sheet to see what’s underneath can provide a great activity for kids.

If all that sounds like too much effort, BBC Gardener’s World says that simply “laying a slat down will attract slow worms.”

Whatever brings the legless wonders to your yard will work ― and seeing as the species have just woken up from their winter slumber, now’s a good time to try attracting them.

This is a form of biological control 

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) says that biological control “is the use of natural enemies to manage unwanted organisms.” It’s about adding to your garden when you want to get rid of a garden visitor rather than removing them entirely.

The RHS says that biological controls have some advantages over pesticides, including that they don’t accidentally kill other species, they won’t encourage resistance, and they can be used where sprays cannot.

Another biological control for slugs is nematode biological controls. Before trying that, though, why not give a sheet of iron or a plank of wood a go?