Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Research Finds Garlic Kills Slugs

Date:
September 15, 2003
Source:
University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Summary:
It was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, was said to keep vampires at bay, and is good for keeping you healthy. Scientists from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne have now found the pungent herb garlic could win the costly worldwide war against slugs and snails as an environmentally friendly pesticide.

September 12, 2003 -- It was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, was said to keep vampires at bay, and is good for keeping you healthy. Scientists from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne have now found the pungent herb garlic could win the costly worldwide war against slugs and snails as an environmentally friendly pesticide.

Related Articles


The findings are published in the current edition of the academic journal, Crop Protection. Lead researcher Dr Gordon Port will speak about the effective alternatives to chemical pesticides, with special reference to slugs, at approximately 11am at the BA Festival of Science TODAY, Friday September 12 2003.

Laboratory tests on nine potential molluscicides – the technical term for substances that kill slugs and snails - revealed that a highly refined garlic product (ECOguard produced by ECOspray Ltd.) was one of the most effective killers.

The research was carried out at the request of the crop growing industry and sponsored by the Horticultural Development Council and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It provides scientific proof of garlic's pest controlling properties, and should help businesses developing new treatment products for widespread use.

The scientists, Ingo Schόder and Gordon Port from Newcastle University's School of Biology, suspect garlic may have an adverse affect on the creatures' nervous systems but say it is difficult to say exactly why they die without further investigation.

Garlic has long been used in 'companion planting' strategies for hundreds of years. Monks used to site garlic next to their vegetable crops to keep unwanted pests away.

Slugs and snails cause millions of pounds worth of damage as they munch their way through food crops and plants, particularly those in cool, temperate climates like those of the UK, Northern Europe and North West America. Even more millions of pounds are spent trying to control them - the estimated overall cost to the UK is around £30m.

Growers are increasingly seeking alternative solutions to traditional pesticides, however, as ever-tightening regulations governing the use of chemicals may mean that some products could be withdrawn.

Garlic is already being used in some products as a mollusc repellent but this research takes it a step further. Earlier work by Newcastle University also found that garlic kills slug eggs laid in the soil.

The Newcastle University scientists looked at how applying a liquid containing garlic extract to soil affected slugs and snails' movement through it. They also measured damage to a Chinese cabbage leaf. Garlic largely prevented the leaf from being eaten and killed a very high percentage of the creatures.

Tests also revealed that ureaformaldehyde, a chemical used in the manufacture of chipboard, was a very effective molluscicide.

Lead researcher Dr Gordon Port said:

"Nobody has really found a definitive solution to the problem of slugs and snails. There are lots of products on the market but the real difficulty is actually getting to them in the field. They are very well adapted to their habitat, live hidden away in the soil, and are coated with layer of mucus that can help protect them from substances.

"Farmers and growers have difficulty controlling them with conventional bait pellets, which are particularly ineffective in very wet or very dry weather. Poison baits can also be toxic to other creatures living in the soil, as well as birds and mammals such as shrews and field mice.

"We need to find new environmentally and cost-effective ways of controlling molluscs, and garlic could be our answer. The tests show that it is certainly a potent chemical where slugs and snails are concerned and if used appropriately we know it's mostly harmless to man because it is used as a cooking ingredient.

"We need to carry out more tests to find out its commercial potential. We want to find out how garlic affects other creatures living in the soil, the right concentration to use, how it affects the taste of food once it has been used on crops, and many other things.

Dr Port added the findings may be welcomed by organic gardeners looking for alternatives to pesticides. He said: "The research suggests that a home-made recipe of crushed garlic bulbs mixed with water could work on small-scale gardens."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne. "New Research Finds Garlic Kills Slugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030912071959.htm>.
University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne. (2003, September 15). New Research Finds Garlic Kills Slugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030912071959.htm
University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne. "New Research Finds Garlic Kills Slugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030912071959.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) — Video of pandas play fighting at the Chengdu Research Base in China will make your day. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) — 3-D printing helps another two-legged dog run around with his four-legged friends. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the adorable video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

RightThisMinute (Jan. 28, 2015) — From new-puppy happy tears to helpful-grocery-carrying-dog laughter, our four-legged best friends can make us feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins