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Hi, I recently asked here if some of you kill the snails and slugs in their garden by crushing them underfoot, and I noticed that there is a mixed opinion about this topic, because some find it cruel to just step on them while others do think that it is totally reasonable.

What is your opinion about this?  I personally think that it kills the snails and slugs very quickly and that they don‘t have to suffer for long, especially when using rubber boots with a rough profile that - as harsh as it sounds - tears them apart quickly. 

I would like to hear from the community because I am curious how different gardeners think about this.

Beer traps are more effective in my garden or just pick them up and in a bucket of salt water. Slice a few for the birds table. However, there are a few on here that thinks you should not touch them as I will effect the Eco system which in my opinion is silly as they breed continually and basically are a pest to all gardeners 

Generally, I don't kill them at all, just make vulnerable plants  harder for them to get to, by standing pot plants in trays of water or up on raised areas or by using copper.

I can live with a bit of slug damage.

The only exception is with young seedlings vulnerable to slug attack - where I do apply a light scattering of ferric phosphate pellets A small bottle lasts me at least two years, because I hardly ever use them.

I think opinion is generally divided on two counts:

1) TO KILL OR NOT TO KILL

2) IF YOU ANSWERED 'TO KILL', THEN THE SECOND POINT IS 'HOW TO KILL'

When it comes to actually killing slugs, the more squeamish of us would probably shudder at the thought of squashing a slug and seeing what we've done, whereas when you poison a slug, it potentially suffers as much or more, but we don't have to see it.

Personally, I don't think I could bring myself to stamp on them or snip them or anything like that... then again, I squash aphids and mealybugs, so I guess that makes me a hypocrite.

And I love snails - certainly can't bear to kill those. I feel guilt-ridden for ages if I accidently tread on one. That dreaded crunching sound....

I remember going to a restaurant one evening for my birthday with my family. When we came out to go back to the car, I found dozens of snails making their way up and down the stone steps of the veranda, around the pot plants. Many had been crushed and a woman walking ahead of us crushed one (accidently I think as it was quite shadowy) with her high-heel, which made me wince. 

So there I was, in my best clothes, bent down gathering as many snails as possible before the next diners came out and removing them to a nearby hedge.

The family realised that I was no longer with them, so came back to look for me and hastily started gathering snails too (realising it would be ages before we got home if not)!

I'm not barmy or anything....

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Check whether they are RH or LH..........RH are rare as per a fairly recent search for a RH mate .  Can't remember the organisation involved but a member of the public did eventually provide the correct one.

Moral is - Check Before You Crush

I'd never crush any snail, Philippa, whether it's right handed or left handed.

Although, I think it was a left-handed snail that was without a mate wasn't it, called Jeremy?

When they found a mate for Jeremy, all of the resulting babies were right-hand coiled, so as you say - if you look closely you can find some unusual snails out there.

I love the brown-lipped snails, they're so pretty - we nickname them 'liquorice snails'.

Britain gastropods are sadly under-appreciated - we could start a snail-lovers society - I don't know whether we'd get many members though...

Perhaps Anne could be our first convert...

Last edited: 06 December 2017 16:54:26

Kitty 2

Awww, pbff. You big softy .  Nice restaurant story.

I can't stand stepping on slugs or snails anne, far too messy .  I send mine on holiday by collecting them in a bucket and tipping it into the green recycling bin. They then get to live out their days in the giant council compost heap 🐌 😇.

pbff - you could well be right about the left rather than right snail - I can only excuse myself by saying it was the early hours of the morning when I first heard of this  It caught my attention particularly because I hadn't thought about RH/LH.

They are intriguing little beasts tho and well worth the research.

As for being a bit of a softy, I remember when I lived in rural France .....one of the nun's from the local convent took me out to a beautiful valley filled with Lilly of the Valley.  I thought that was it but what she was really after was Snails for the pot.  She left me with 3 beauties which I was supposed to do something edible with.  Needless to say, I let them go in the garden

So, yes - I'd happily be a member of a Snail Lovers Society

pansyface

PBFF,

I'M WITH YOU ON THE SNAIL THING. I PUT THEM IN A PLACE OF SAFETY TOO. I DO THE SAME WITH WORMS THAT I FIND ON THE PAVEMENT AFTER RAIN. MY FAMILY JUST KEEP ON WALKING AND IGNORE ME.

I WAS WITH A BUDDHIST ONCE IN A PARK AND HE ACCIDENTALLY STOOD ON A SNAIL. HE STOPPED, PUT HIS HANDS TOGETHER IN SUPPLICATION, BOWED AT THE LITTLE BODY, SAID A FEW WORDS UNDER HIS BREATH AND THEN WE WALKED ON.

You are not alone on the worm front PF........every one deserves rescue if at all possible.  Family members need to think on - if they were flailing around I'm sure they would like to be rescued ( tho whether you would pop them on some soil ?)

I'd always thought Buddhists respected every form of life but the Rohinga ( sp ? ) saga seems to imply otherwise.  

pansyface

I READ "ROHINGA (SP)" AS "ROHINGA SPECIES" AND THOUGHT THAT MIGHT BE HOW THE BUDDHISTS SEE THEM.

I ONCE SAW A GROUP OF JAINS WALKING ALONG THE SIDE OF A TRUNK ROAD IN INDIA (LIKE A BRITISH MOTORWAY) WITH THEIR MASKS AND LITTLE BROOMS.

THE MASKS TO PREVENT THEM ACCIDENTALLY INHALING AN INNOCENT FLYING INSECT AND THE LITTLE BROOM TO SWEEP ANY EARTHBOUND CREATURE AWAY FROM THEIR STOMPING FEET.

THEY THEMSELVES SEEMED TO BE IN IMMINENT DANGER OF BEING FLATTENED BY PASSING LORRIES THAT WERE DRIVEN BY NON JAINS.

Thanks Kitty, Phillipa and PF - at least I now feel normally abnormal!

We could form a thread specifically for members of the 'Snail Lover's Society'...what do you think?

Go for it pbff - you have at least 3 followers anyway

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Having had so many eat too many of my expensive plants, a veg carefully grown for months, I step on them or slugs chop in half when I am dead heading, am imagining this is instant, I do go round of a night with a bucket of saline, but think a quick stamp is quicker, BUT, I DO apologise to everyone, honestly!

treehugger80

I don't crush snails, they go on a short flying trip as far as my arm will let them, straight into a neighbouring farmers field. Slugs I treat with nematodes if they start getting too much

treehugger80, I saw a programme on TV where the painted the snail shells with nail varnish to identify them, and they come back a long way.

That's an old trick Nanny - I experimented with that back in the 90's.  Some snails took 3 days to return to my garden - lots of things to take into account but the majority came home safe and well

Doghouse Riley

I pointed stick is enough, same with slugs. That doesn't leave a lot of mess and the birds and the frogs, clear away what's left.