Stop snails?

seeker.nancy - Central Texas
seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Pest & Weed Problems/Solutions

Before moving here I had never encountered many snails. I've been doing the manual squishing thing which I hate but I cannot seem to get ahead. They aren't as big a problem once the plants have gotten bigger but they decimate the new ones transplanted or sown. I tried a snail product that is marked as organic - it has iron in it. But that doesn't even come close except for a day or two and I am not comfortable applying it that often nor can I afford that much lol. I would love to hear how any of you overcame this or suggestions you might have. Thank you!

Comments

  • DebiB
    DebiB Posts: 92 ✭✭✭

    2 ideas

    1. If you have beer, or water with some yeast mixed in, you can set up snail and slug traps in the garden. You use a shallow cup or small dish ( disposable cups work great, you can cut them down to size) put it in the ground with the lip about ground level, and pour in some beer. Slugs and snails love beer (or yeast water) and will happily drown themselves in it.
    2. another idea is to place some pieces of wood in the garden and check the underside of them in the morning. You should have quite a collection of slugs to squish
  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've heard that ducks eat a lot of them, if you can/want to deal with ducks. They bring their own issues...according to friends who had them for a while. Duck poop, mostly, so beware before you get them.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    @seeker.nancy Have you heard of Agrohomeopathy? There are a few books about it, including Homeopathy for Farm and Garden, Homeopathy for Plants, etc. (available at Amazon). Helix tosta is the remedy used for snails. Following is a link to a Homeopathy+ newsletter article on how to use. Where it says one pill, use one dose as per label instructions. Different pharmacies use differing numbers of pellets as a single dose.

    https://homeopathyplus.com/helix-tosta-information/

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,455 admin

    Beer traps, diatomaceous earth and ducks are all options.... but I prefer to catch them and eat them! You can scout for snails with a flashlight at night, or make snail traps with boxes and a few old lettuce leaves) etc.... add a little dish of water and they will likely stay in the box during the day for shade. Snails are excellent, true gourmet food!

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have tried the organic bait and also but crushed, cooked eggshells around plants I want to protect. I have not found snails there although one plant is dying anyway. I think birds may have been nibbling on that succulent.

  • Jens the Beekeeper
    Jens the Beekeeper Posts: 651 admin

    I would either suggest squishing or cutting by hand or get runner ducks as proposed by several others.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 , are all snails edible? Not that I'm inclined to try them unless they were deep fried, but I just wondered...

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,455 admin

    Apparently there are a few, very rare snails in equatorial jungles that are poisonous.... but, apparently, they are also quite huge! The common brown and turban garden snails have been cultivated for human consumption since, at least, ancient Greece. The snails in our gardens... so long as they are not the size of basketballs... are both edible and non-native, having been introduced by immigrants who brought them throughout Europe and North America for food. Snails go dormant in the winter and will not awake until exposed to both water and warmth... so, snails were the one livestock that could be transported anywhere, in perfect suspended animation. To my knowledge, North America has no native land snails... only water snails... so we should eat anything that crawls. Slugs, of course, are an entirely different species and most should not be used as food. Snails have shells and are closely related to clams and mussels.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am guessing the snails here in the desert are native. They are also very small, so not much meat on them.

    Reminds me of the story of too much vino in Greece, walking down a dark road and the migration of extra large snails in the dark....yuk. Those snails had some meat on them.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    I have tried the beer traps, DE, egg shells sadly without any positive results. @judsoncarroll4 I am not inclined to eat them lol. They seem to be able to survive quite a while longer than I would have though under water. I know this because I soak my greens in ice water for a couple of hours to make sure all the snails exit lol. I check it every 5 minutes or so for about the first 20. Even at the 15 minute mark I am finding live snails that have crawled to the top of the greens that may be sticking out or on the dish pan I soak them in. Some of the people around here use them for fish bait in the lake but I don't currently fish. Ducks...I remember growing up have them for a while. WAY too messy lol, and there are too many dogs allowed to roam around here so they wouldn't last a week. The snails are cute but less so when they have devoured a new plant I put in or removed a lot of bark from my fig tree this past winter. I do hate squishing them because I hate the killing part. It's not that I'm squeamish, I grew up on a farm and I also hunted (deer) and fished. But I have just never liked killing things. I have to put a "wall" up when I do it and with as many snails as I have lol... Maybe I should gather them and see if I can sell them to fishermen. A couple of years ago a guy was advertising he would pay $10 for a coffee can of snails if any kids wanted to make a buck.

    I really do appreciate all of the suggestions everyone, thank you!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,505 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 to the rescue.🍴🐌🍴Haha! My kids are amazed at the things you eat. Thing is, they'd try anything at least once.

    @seeker.nancy I really enjoy ducks. Yes, they can be noisy, & yes, they poop a lot. But they give eggs (some give meat too) and will eat all types of things. They all have personalities and will chat with you.

    We have muscovy, Indian runners and calls. I want west indies ducks because they lay black to charcoal grey colored eggs. A good cayuga should give this color too. It really depends on what you are looking for in a duck that would determine which you might want...if you choose ducks. I can give a comparison of a lot of breeds if you decide to go that route.

    Heavy muscovy drakes & runners are the only ones that won't fly.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,455 admin

    Snails make good fish bait... if common sense still has a place. Around my home in the Appalachian mountains, all streams are now stocked with trout, and only artificial bait allowed... no worms, etc. To paraphrase an old saying, many laws make many outlaws....

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    @seeker.nancy I was reading today in an essential oil book that Cedarwood, Sassafras, Pine, Patchouli and Garlic all repel slugs.

    I have not tried it but I have never had slugs in my garlic! I don’t see snails very often in my garden; fortunately.

  • csinclair461
    csinclair461 Posts: 159 ✭✭✭

    I put a circle of crushed eggshells and some used coffee grounds around my plants and slugs and snails leave them alone. Thats in the flower bed. Gardens can have quite a bit more robust leafiness, but i have saved up a large bag of shells and gone all around my raised garden before. It was a small garden.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy it's worth a shot, thanks!

    @csinclair461 unfortunately I have too many things to do that with but on small scale I did not find it to be effective. I guess these snails are tougher. But at the same time, most of them regardless of size have had very thin shells this past year. Maybe I need to try again lol. I'm trying to get rid of fireants in one bed by dumping all our grounds on the nest every few days. They don't seem to care lol. I also tried soapy water as I was told it would dissolve their outer shell and they would die. No such luck. I may just have to pour some boiling water on them...repeatedly. I don't have anything planted their yet. It's an old bed and I actually plan to dismantle it and use the soil in my other beds. But not until those darn ants are gone!

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @csinclair461 I put crashed egg shells all around my lettuce plants tonight. I sure hope it works! Went outside and found an entire lettuce plant eaten to about an inch from the ground & found 2 slugs on it munching! 😡

  • csinclair461
    csinclair461 Posts: 159 ✭✭✭

    Oooh, sorry to hear that @kbmbillups1! Perhaps for me it was the combo of eggshells/coffee grounds, or maybe I could have just used the coffee grounds alone. Where I noticed it most was around the primroses, which our snails/slugs normally power thru. They left the protected ones alone all spring. I have also tried copper tape around my garden. It is supposed to work too, but it didn’t work for me. I was actually kind of amazed at how the primroses were left to grow.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sounds like it is time to break out the beer -- some for you, a little for the snails.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl I put a container of beer out last night and found quite a few tiny slugs floating this morning. It's getting down to 38 degrees tonight. Probably won't find any slugs again until later this week when it will be warmer again at night. I'll put more beer out then to see what I catch.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 945 ✭✭✭✭

    Beer, water, salt and dish soap combined in a shallow pan, like a pie pan, and set it in the center of your plants. They get attracted to it, slither in and get stuck in the mixture.