Do You Need to Get Rid of Snails?

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated June 13, 2014)

Snails and slugs are a common sight in most gardens across the country, and around the world. In fact, it could easily be said that it would be more surprising to not find some than it is to find them. But do you really need to get rid of snails? Surprisingly, the answer isn't a simple yes and no. The most accurate answer would be "It depends." The reason that the most accurate answer is that it depends, is due to the fact that not all gardens are the same, and not all snails will affect all gardens the same.

For example, if you happen to have a water garden then having a few snails and slugs around can actually be very beneficial and helpful. In such situations snails can help promote a healthy ecosystem by stirring up gravel, and eating decomposing material. Not all snails though are beneficial. In fact, about the only time that you will find very much benefit from having snails and slugs in your garden is if you do have a water garden. Otherwise, snails will most often eat and destroy most types of flowers and crops that you may be trying to grow.

If you find that your garden has unwanted snails and slugs, then there are several options available for removing them. While you can always purchase chemicals to do the job, it could easily be argued that it would be better for your plants and the environment if you went the natural method. Here are a few natural methods that you can use to remove these pests.

  • Use your hands. Perhaps the single most traditional method for removing snails and slugs is to do it by hand. It can be a little bit easier to find them at night, then during the day. The reason for this is that since it is cooler at night, the slugs and snails are more active. Take a flashlight, and look through your garden for any shiny trails. When you find them, simply follow the trail to the snail and then remove them. You can dispose of them by squishing them or throwing them away, though you may want to wear gloves while doing this.
  • Specialized soil. You can purchase a special type of soil called diatomaceous earth from your local nursery or garden supply store. Simply spread this type of soil around your garden, or around specific plants that have been bothered by the snails. Wait for a few days, and then you will find the slugs and snails dead around the soil. The reason for this is that this soil has sharp edged granules that will pierce, slash, or otherwise damage the skin of the slugs which will cause the slugs to dehydrate and die. You will need to reapply the soil each time it rains though.
  • Make some traps. Snails and slugs love yeast and sugar, and other things like that so why not use it against them? Put a shallow jar or ceramic pot into the soil of the garden, and make sure that the top is flush with the surrounding soil. Fill this trap with either beer (doesn't matter what kind) or some water that has 1/2 teaspoon of baking yeast and 1 table spoon of sugar until the fluid is 1/2 inch away from the top. Periodically check the traps over the next few days, and remove any dead slugs and snails that you find.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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