It’s going to be a terrible year for slug damage. 

“The signs of trouble are already out there and gardeners are leaping into action,” said chief advisor at the Royal Horticultural Society Guy Barter.

“Seedlings are being nibbled off and daffodil flowers have been devoured.”

Slugs enjoyed a bumper breeding season last summer. Although spring has been cold, soil temperatures were not low enough to kill overwintering molluscs, the RHS warned.

Guy added: “Reports coming in from agriculture indicate that slug populations are pretty high.”

The RHS told AG that gardeners can combat the threat using a variety of techniques. Traps should be set up and copper strips used to protect pots.

Applying slug-eating nematodes has been proven to be effective, but it’s not the cheapest method.

‘Greener’ iron phosphate slug pellets had also proved effective but must be spread thinly, the RHS advised.