Brown garden snails and slugs are cousins and members of the mollusk phylum family. They are known for terrorizing gardens, flowers, water tanks, and plants by chewing up leaves of the outer layer.
This can result in an unpleasant appearance and severe damage to the plants. Sometimes, it costs you a lot to replace your plants and crops. If these plant killers have you wondering, “How do I get rid of these snails and save my plant?” then you have come to the right place.
Having snails in your home and garden can be challenging as they tend to eat away all your flowers and plants and leave a sticky residue. Luckily, you have the power to rid yourself of these creatures, whether using chemicals, such as pesticides or natural remedies.
Table of Contents
- How Do Snails Survive
- 8 Ways to Get Rid of Snails in Your Garden
How Do Snails Survive
These snails can strive in moist and wet environments hidden away from heat and sunlight. They come out mostly during rainy days when the area is damp. Brown garden snails feed on living and decaying plant matter. For example, ripe fruits, leaves, and young trees and plants. The plants they consume include:
8 Ways to Get Rid of Snails in Your Garden
Garden snails are very unappealing to the eyes with their mucus-like bodies and slime trail. Not only do they cause damages to plants and crops, but they threaten water bodies, such as ponds, and they also host parasites.
It is well-known that these creatures are annoying, and you want them gone from your property. Here are some ways to get rid of them once and for all:
1. Use Chemicals, Killer Substances, and Pesticides
You can opt to use a natural pest control spray to repel snails and slugs. It is not recommended that you spray it directly on the plants, as doing so may cause leaf burns. Salt is also a good substance used in killing slugs and snails. Other chemicals include chlorine (bleach), aluminum sulfate, and potassium permanganate.
You must be careful when using salt as it can harm other animals and plants. Salt absorbs the water from slugs and snails, dehydrating and eventually killing them. You can sprinkle the salt directly on the snail or create a barrier so it can’t go near the plants.
Garlic is also useful in killing snails and slugs. The garlic can be mixed with water in a spray bottle and then applied to or on the infested area.
2. Get Snail-Resistant Plants
Garden snails often stray away from plants and flowers that are highly scented and ornamental grasses and plants. That’s because they are not seedlings and succulent vegetation. These types of plants include:
- California Poppy
3. Introduce Predators
This is known as one of the most effective organic ways to eliminate or control garden snails. You can introduce small garter snakes, decollate snails, frogs, chickens, beetles, newts, and other predators. Garter snakes love eating snails and other garden pests that may be in your garden. The decollate snail would not harm the plants in your garden but only eat the snails that give you a hard time.
If there is a small pond or water feature in your garden, scavenging fishes such as loaches and putter fish can eat and obliterate the troublesome snails. By introducing predators into your garden, you can reduce the use of any other pest control methods such as pesticides, bait, and traps.
4. Use Bait
When using bait, you have the choice of liquid or powdered baits. For liquid baits, the most efficient ones are beer and iron phosphate baits. Other good options are grape juices and yeast and sugar or honey. To achieve this, you need a bowl or container filled half up with the mixture in a spot where the snails are customarily based. The bait’s sweet scent attracts the snails to come out of the hiding spot, crawl into the bowl, and die.
Dry bait, such as methiocarb and metaldehyde, is very dangerous. It is advised to be careful when using either because this type of bait can kill domestic animals and wildlife and even harm people. However, they are good at controlling snails and other pests. All you need to do is sprinkle a small amount in the areas where the snails are and leave it to the bait to take care of the rest.
5. Use Repellents and Barriers
To repel, control or get rid of brown garden snails, you can use the following barriers and repellents:
- Diatomaceous earth
- Electric Fence
These barriers can help manage snail presence whether you sprinkle them on infested areas, apply a small amount of unpleasant sensation, or restrict the snail’s movement. They can all get the job done. Some options can even repel and kill at the same time.
6. Prevention of Snail Activity
Watering your soil in the mornings can reduce egg-laying. Snails require moisture to lay eggs. They usually begin to do so at night, so you want the soil to be dry before then. Watering during morning hours gives enough time throughout the day for the ground to become stiff and dry. An irrigation or sprinkler system would be ideal, especially if you are not always around to water the plants. This makes the environment less favorable for snails to lay eggs.
Another good way to prevent snail activity is to till your garden regularly to kill the eggs. Tilling or plowing can kill the eggs left on the soil’s surface, remove the rubble, and make for even more unfavorable living conditions for snails. What you can do afterward is to add gravel, small rocks, and wood chips to restrict movement.
7. Set Traps
If you are looking for a different method from baiting and poisoning the creatures, a trap is the best option. The most commonly house-based traps include boards, grapefruit halves, and overturned flowerpots.
Slugs and snails love to hide in damp, dark spaces. You can place a wet piece of wooden plank or carpet near an area where snails frequent. After their busy night, the snails are likely to hide under it. In the morning, you can lift the plank or carpet and kill or dispose of the critters.
As simple as it sounds, grapefruits can be used to catch snails and slugs, thanks to the citrus scent. Cut the grapefruit in two halves, enjoy its contents, then save the skins and place them near affected plants or places. Snails crawl under the halves, become trapped and die. You can also use inverted cabbages, orange rinds, and watermelon to create the same effect.
Your overturned flowerpots can do the job too. Snails, slugs, and other pests crawl into pots when they are crooked or tilted. Place your flowerpots in the most affected areas, and to capture as many snails as possible, you can leave the flowerpots overnight.
Another simple way to trap snails and slugs is to use any inverted saucers or containers filled with leaves or other bait types. Remember, pests, such as snails, are attracted to certain food items, and it’s up to you to capitalize.
Get Rid of Snails and Slugs with This Trap – Video Guide
8. Manually Kill and Dispose of the Snails
This is not the easiest thing to do, but if you have a strong stomach and some time on your hands, you can opt for this method. During the early mornings or late in the evenings, you can put your gloves on, take out your tweezers and handpick, then kill and discard the snails or any slugs you may encounter during the process.
There are many ways to control, prevent and get rid of snails and slugs in your home and garden. You can employ various methods for the very best results, which depend on your preferences and tolerance. It all boils down to which one you can implement most conveniently and effectively.