Britain’s gardens have turned into killing fields – as gardeners battle to protect their plants from an invasion of slugs and snails.

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Manufacturers of chemical and organic slug controls are reporting huge rises in sales of their products this season.

As predicted by AG last month, breeding conditions were ideal for molluscs earlier this year, leading to high populations of larger-than-average slugs in gardens.

Bosses of The Organic Gardening Catalogue said sales of its slug controls have “broken records”.

Sales of its Slug Gone and Grazers G2 products are up by over 48 per cent on 2013 – the “largest recorded rise in this type of slug control products in the company’s history”.

Managing director Michael Hedges (pictured) said: “This year’s extraordinary weather conditions of intermittent heavy rainfall and warm temperatures have created perfect conditions for slugs.”

Business analyst Gfk said the garden market’s ‘slug category’ had increased by 50 per cent so far this year – pushing the value of the sector up from 3.7million in 2013 to £5.6million to date this year.

But plant protection giant Bayer Garden said there was no evidence to suggest a switch to organic deterrents.

It’s volume of slug killer controls sold has increased by 43 per cent year-on-year – with its chemical Slug and Snail Killer (1kg) taking top spot as UK market leader.

The second best-selling slug control is Eraza, a chemical brand made by Westland.

A spokeswoman said: “The leading products remain chemical solutions.”

And Scotts Miracle-Gro agreed that gardeners had been reaching for chemicals to protect plants this summer.

A spokesman told AG: “There has been a very high demand for our SlugClear products [metaldehyde] which are growing ahead of the market at 16 per cent.”