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Giant sex-crazed ‘Spanish super slugs’ declare war on UK after emigrating

2 min read

Horny and hungry giant Spanish slugs have launched a fresh offensive on our gardens – 11 years after they first invaded here.

Experts say the slimy Mediterranean based invertebrates began to show up in damp lawns this April after hibernating during the recent hot weather.

Boffins say they are looking to mate and enjoy a good meal.

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The influx comes 11 years since the species first hit the headlines after it was discovered by scientists in Norwich.

Experts have blamed the recent surge in the Spanish invaders on the damp weather coming after a prolonged hot spell.

Paul Hetherington of conservation charity, Buglife, said: “Now the Spanish slugs need to come out and eat.

“When it is dry and hot – similar to hibernation – they go into a torpid state and borrow down into the ground as far as they can get and switch off.

“Once it gets damp again they revitalise and they have a load of energy because they have not been eating anything during that time because they have slowed their bodies down.

“You will see them much more active than they might have been. It is also a good time for them to start mating while it is damp.

“So there are two reasons for them to be out and about.”

They slugs feast on dead animals – as well as meat, plants and dog excrement – and can eat up to 20 slug pellets before they start to die.

Even drivers are at risk as the plagues of slugs are known to cause slicks on the road where they have been run over and squashed.

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Gardeners and farmers are being warned of the return of the Spanish slug (Arion vulgaris), which can grow up to 15cm long and lay between 200 and 400 eggs.

Back in 2012 it was reported a plague of “super-slugs” had arrived in the UK from Spain, travelling in on imported salads and flowers.

It was claimed the Iberian mauraders were mating with slugs already found in Britain to create a “mutant” species which threatened to eat its way through crops and native slug species.

At the time it was said the giant Spanish slug had already travelled as far as Wales.

Mr Hetherington, added: “Spanish slugs are well established in the UK now.

“The reason you are seeing them right now is because they do not like it when it is really dry like it was last summer.

“They come out and about when it is damp.”

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