How To Get Rid of Snails in The Garden?

Do slugs and snails eat your plants and turn their leaves into Swiss cheese overnight? Animals that look like snails are very dangerous because they eat a lot and move very slowly, but they can do a lot of damage very quickly. People know them for chewing ugly holes in hosta leaves, but they will happily eat the tender leaves of any plant and fruits and veggies that are about to ripen.

What Damage Can Snails Cause?

Even though they are small, snails can do a lot of damage. Snails scrape the tips of plant leaves with their rough, rasp-like tongues. This leaves the plant with big holes and chips all over its surface, which can hurt or kill your plants.

But that’s not all they do.

When You See Snails, Get Rid Of Them Right Away For These Reasons:

How To Get Rid of Snails in The GardenHow To Get Rid of Snails in The Garden

  • Snails hurt the output of crops. The snails will eat your plants and crops if you have a flower or vegetable garden on your land. They are especially bad for leafy greens.
  • They can damage bodies of water. Slugs and snails feed on fish and can kill them in ponds and other water features that are just for looks. Also, these mollusks that like water have a lot of babies very quickly. They can damage your electronics and clog filters and pipes in your pond or pool.
  • They make people sick. Schistosomiasis is one of the diseases and parasitic worms that snails carry that can be harmful to people and pets. They might be bad for your health if they are on your land.
  • They don’t look good. No one wants to pick a fresh lettuce leaf from the yard and find a snail on it. Snails look bad and smell bad, and they will make your garden or yard less fun to be in.

Even though they like to damage things, slugs are an important part of the environment because they eat dead plants and provide food for toads, turtles, snakes, and birds. Many of these ways to get rid of slugs won’t hurt the plants, so you can use them to keep them away from certain plants instead of getting rid of them completely.

1. Identify Their Presence

If you have had slugs in the past, you should keep an eye out for them often to keep your plants from getting seriously hurt. They are most busy at night or on cloudy days when it is cool and damp, so you might need a flashlight to find them. Check the soil under plants and the low-growing leaves, especially in places that get shade. They may hide under rocks and flat stones as well.

Slugs and snails come in different sizes and colors, but their eyestalks, which can grow longer and look a bit like alien antennae, make them easy to spot. As these two bugs move, they leave behind a silvery slime trail that shows there are more of them.

2. Pick Them Off By Hand

This choice is not for people who are easily grossed out, but if you do it regularly, it can work very well. If you see a slug or snail, you should pick it off by hand (gloves will make the job less gross) and throw it into a bucket of clean water to get rid of it. Because slugs like to hide during the day, picking them by hand works best at night or early in the morning.

Visit the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) to learn more about how to catch slugs and snails.

3. Set A Trap

Set up simple slug and snail traps all over your yard to catch a lot of these pests at once and make them easier to get rid of. This will save you time from having to remove slugs from each plant individually. Slugs can hide in upside-down grapefruit or melon rinds, or you can make a cool place for them to stay by putting flat boards on the ground and slightly raising them so they can crawl under them.

Putting beer in a shallow container, like a pie tin, is another good home fix. Slugs and snails will crawl into the trap and die because they like the smell of yeast. It works just as well with a mix of sugar, water, and yeast. Not so great things about beer traps are that they only work within a few feet and need to be refilled every day to really work.

4. Create An Unfavorable Habitat

Slugs and snails like to hang out in the yard in places that are wet, shady, and have a lot of mulch on the ground. They will also hide under logs, trees, and piles of leaves during the day when it is too hot.

Clean up your yard by getting rid of dead leaves and other plant matter. This is especially important in the fall, when slugs and snails are most likely to lay their eggs. If you use mulch, don’t put it down more than 3 inches thick, and keep it away from the plants’ bases so that slugs can’t dig through it to get to the roots that are covered.

Tip: To improve air flow in your garden, divide and thin your plants. This will make it easier for the soil to dry out on top. Slugs and snails will not use the spaces between plants as paths through the yard if you keep those areas dry.

5. Put Up A Barrier

To keep snails and slugs away from raised beds used for a vegetable or herb garden, you can use copper tape along the sides or on top of the frames. When their slime mixes with the copper, it makes them feel bad, like getting a small electric shock. If you don’t have raised beds, you can also put plants on the ground and wrap copper rings around them. Just make sure that none of the leaves hit the ground around the copper.

Dry diatomaceous earth spread around the garden’s edges can also work as a barrier since slugs don’t like the way it feels, which is sharp and gritty. But you have to put it down again after it rains or when you water because it gets washed into the ground. For gardening, make sure to use diatomaceous earth that is safe for food or a product made to get rid of pests.

Tip: Some farmers say that coffee grounds or crushed eggshells work well to keep slugs and snails away, but UC IPM says there is no clear evidence that they do. You should use the tried-and-true ways above instead.

6. Switch To Drip Irrigation

For another good way to keep slugs and snails off your plants, water them from above with a soaker hose or a drip irrigation system. This way, water won’t pool on the leaves. It’s also important when you drink. If you want to avoid slugs in the evening, always water your plants in the morning. If you want to keep your yard dry, you can also grow plants that can handle not getting much water.

7. Grow Plants They Don’t Like

Little garden pests like slugs and snails will eat almost anything, but their favorite foods are basil, beans, cabbage, hostas, leafy veggies, dahlias, marigolds, and strawberries. If you grow plants that slugs and snails won’t eat, you can get rid of them from parts of your garden where they are a big problem. In general, they will stay away from plants whose leaves smell strong (like lavender, rosemary, and sage), most woody plants, decorative grasses, and plants whose leaves are leathery, fuzzy, or prickly.

Tip: Plant plants that slugs and snails like, like marigolds, around the edges of your yard to catch them. They will keep slugs away from plants that are weak, making it easy to find and get rid of them.

8. Apply An Organic Slug Bait

Using an organic slug and snail bait in the spring is one of the best ways to start keeping slugs away. These baits are safe for pets, wildlife, and fruits and veggies that are ready to be picked. Most of these products have iron phosphate in them, which is a plant food that naturally happens in soil. They will still work after it rains or when you water, so you don’t have to keep applying them.

Chemical slug pellets or traps that contain metaldehyde should not be used. This poison can be harmful to both people and animals if they eat it. Since snails and slugs are most busy at these times, late afternoon or evening is the best time to put out slug bait.

What Do Snails Eat?

Snails eat organic matter, which includes many kinds of live plants as well as dead plants, crops, and plant leaves. They will also eat plants and flowers, but these are their favorite foods:

  • Beans with basil
  • Bowel of cabbage
  • Hista Dahlia Delphinium
  • Bibb lettuce
  • Flowering plants
  • Different vegetables

The brown garden snail is the most common snail that gets into California homes and gardens. It eats herbs, plants, and turfgrass.

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