You find them in your vegetable garden or yard hiding under a board, or rock, or pile of leaves, or under dense low ground cover.
You know you have them when you see their telltale sign, a long silvery mucous trail shining clearly in the morning.
Similar to slugs ( snails without shells), they are incredibly hungry eaters of your vegetable garden plants, young leaves and new bark, and flowers, and fruit plant shoots and leaves chewing irregular holes in them. And for those of you with ornamental gardens, they will eat a lot of your young plantings. They are active at night, foggy and on cloudy days and right after rain.
So how do you get rid of snails and slugs?
PREVENTION: How to get rid of snails is slow but not hard process.
1. Remove their hiding places. The best key is to remove the places where they hide from the sun. Logs, boards, rocks, and low ground cover. You can remove many of these places but probably not all of them. But this is needed if you want to get rid of snails and slugs.
2. Watering: Another important organic pest control deterrent is to switch from sprinkler type watering to drip watering which removes collected water and moisture pockets they like so much.
3. Get chickens or other foul. They will remove them all snails and slugs naturally very quickly.
4. You can plant flowers that act as a natural pest control garden defense. Flowers such as begonias, poppies, fuchsias, impatiens, rosemary, wormwood, and other scented plants are not favorites of snails and slugs and that will tend to get the snails to move elsewhere.
5. Set up a barrier. A thin line of dry organic DE (diatomacious earth), eggshells, or copper tape products that they have to cross are trick. Also iron phosphate in a line kills snails and slugs when they eat it.
WHEN YOU HAVE THEM: How to kill snail and slugs.
6. Hand pick the snails and slugs daily. After picking them, this is how you kill snails and slugs. Crush them under you foot. Or put them in a can of soapy water.
7. How to trap snails and slugs.
- Commercial Traps: They are available locally or on the internet.
- DIY- (NO COST TIP) Make your own trap: Wet an area in the evening, place a board about an inch off the ground (on stones) and in the morning or even during the day, turn over the board and clean the board of the snails and slugs that are clinging to it. Or just wet an area in the late afternoon, and come out after dark with a flashlight and pick and kill what you see. And beer, yes, set up a bar for them to visit. Pour beer in shallow dishes, set them out in the garden buried to the rim for easy access and the snails and slugs will crawl in and drown.
8. Bait the snails and slugs:
- Baits designed for slugs and snails can be purchased locally or on the internet.
9. Spray the snails and slugs: to keep them out of the garden. Use a 10% amonia mixture to kill snails and slugs.