Fluffy and cute they may be, but rabbits cause around £115m worth of damage to UK crops annually. New research suggests that a quick and cheap method for repelling the fuzzy little menaces is to dust a wheat crop with slag – a readily available and cheap-as-chips byproduct of blast furnaces. The scientists at Central Science Laboratory saw their wheat plants take up the calcium silicate slag and produce spiky structures on their leaves, making them unappealing to rabbits. The grain is unaffected by the treatment and remains suitable for human consumption. Since there’s no active chemical component to slag, it’s thought that it could be fast-tracked through approval procedures and put into use soon.

As you’d expect, CAB Abstracts will feature this article (from Chemistry & Industry) soon. In the meantime, searching the database with the terms "slag and fertilizer" and "rabbits and pest control" will turn up related records.

Alternative bunny control methods anyone? ->

Leave a Reply