Slug Hour to fight against mollusks

Norway’s Socialist Left Party has proposed a national hour for hunting the invasive Spanish Slug

Photo: Xauxa Håkan Svensson A Spanish Slug in Stockholm.

Photo: Xauxa Håkan Svensson
The invasive Spanish Slug in Stockholm.

The Local

Kari Elisabeth Kaski, the party’s secretary, modeled the idea of Earth Hour, which began as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, and has since grown into a global movement.

“We have seen how well it has worked with Earth Hour, where you turn off the lights for one hour,” she told Norway’s VG newspaper. “Norwegians are happy to volunteer, and everyone who knows about Spanish Slugs is saying that we need a coordinated and concerted effort.”

Kaski warned that the warming climate in Norway was helping the oversized mollusk to spread into ever more northerly parts of the country, threatening farmers, gardeners, and nature in general.

“I think that garden centers and flower shops are too bad at checking their plants for slug eggs,” she said. “Anyone who buys plants should receive a guarantee that they are slug-free goods. We must toughen up the legislation here,” she said.

The planned “slug hour” would take place twice a year, and Kaski said she was convinced that Norwegians would get involved.

“Many people pick slugs every day because they have problems with them in their garden, and given the volunteer spirit Norwegians have, I’m sure this is something people will help with.”

VG newspaper, which has launched a campaign to combat the encroachment of the alien gastropod, on July 30 backed an all-day slug-hunting competition on the island of Stord, south of Bergen, in a bid to reduce the impact of the troublesome pest.

Jakob Bjelland, the deputy mayor, said before the event that he did not expect to eradicate the mollusk, which has plagued the island for two decades.

“If we can reduce one billion snails to 100 million, it would be a feat in itself,” he said. “Maybe we could make this a permanent arrangement every autumn.”

The Spanish or Portuguese Slug (Arion Lusitanicus) is a large slug between 70-150 mm long. Originating somewhere in Southern Europe, it first appeared in Norway in 1988, and has since spread along the coast past the city of Trondheim.

This article was originally published on The Local.

It also appeared in the Aug. 12, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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