Gardeners using coffee granules to keep slugs at bay may be breaking EU laws

Gardeners that are using coffee granules to keep slugs at bay may be breaking EU laws. The Royal Horticultural Society issued a warning to gardeners that are opting for coffee granules as a method of pest removal in order to avoid having to use insect repellents that do not contain chemicals.

The RHS has said that gardeners opting for this method may be going against EU regulations and could face a heavy fine.

The society issued the warning in response to gardeners sending in inquiries. Caffeine is thought to deter slugs and snails and local gardeners have been using old granules provided by coffee shops.

However, Dr Andrew Halstead, scientist for plant health at the RHS, said that “any home-made” methods that have not been approved by Brussels bureaucrats is against the law.

“All chemicals being used to control or deter animals are classed as pesticides in the UK and EU, and must be registered and approved for this purpose by our own government and the EU,” he said.

He added that whilst gardeners using coffee granules as a deterrent could be fined, it is unlikely that they will be prosecuted and said that gardeners can still use the granules as a compost instead.