GARDENERS who use coffee granules to deter slugs could face heavy fines under EU law.

The seemingly harmless method, popular with organic gardeners looking to avoid chemicals, is deemed to breach regulations on the use of pesticides.

European law states that only registered and approved methods can be used to control pests.

In an effort to prevent potentially dangerous chemical mixes entering the food chain, a blanket ban is imposed on all other deterrents.

“All chemicals being used to control or deter animals are classed as pesticides in the EU, and must be registered and approved for this purpose by the EU,” said Dr Andrew Halstead from the Royal Horticultural Society.

“Legislation requires potential pesticides to be extensively tested for effectiveness and environmental safety before they can be sold or used.”

In theory, the rules mean other popular home-made remedies including beer traps, salt and soaking cigarette butts in water are also banned, although Halstead concedes the chances of being prosecuted are ‘remote’.


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