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in Problem solving
I have never seen so many snails in my garden ,I am collecting at least 20 a day,is there any good ideas out there for getting rid of them. I dont like using Slug pellets so hope someone has a better way of controlling them.
You need to encourage frogs, toads, hedgehogs and birds into the garden.Have you got a pond? If not maybe consider putting in a small one or make log piles to encourage them. Feed the birds too. Go out at night with a torch and you will find an awful lot more in the mean time, you can also make beer traps - you don't say what you do with the ones you collect at the moment but lobbing them into next door or releasing them into a field nearby will not work - they will return! You need to dispose of them - bag and bin or.....
The amount of rain we had recently along with all the young tender growth of plants is heaven for snails - unfortunately!
Beer traps seemed to work for my grandad, some people poopoo them but they dont cost a lot and they are easy to keep on top of.
Dig in an old marg tub or jam jar and fill up about a third of the way up with the cheapest beer you can find.. We found bitter from the slop trays at the loacl pub where best, they where chucking it down the sink at the end of the night so we just used to ask them to save it for us in a tub. It didn't matter about it being sat around all day because the slugs and snails seemed to like it more.
The other thing he used was cut oranges, they would collect on the flesh side and eat the orange and then he'd just kill them off. but it was easier that going around the garden with a torch looking for them. If I remember rightly they would hide under the skins during the day if you left them flat side down.
Someone suggested to me to put the snails in my compost bin, as they will get to work on the contents. Am I encouraging them to breed there making things worse? I suppose as the lid is a tight fit they can't get out, but not sure it's a good idea.
I find slugs in my compost bins all the time, but strangely never snails. I'm not sure if they are supposed to be there but I'm rather embarrassed to mention it in case its wrong
I'm not sure if I should be killing them or leaving them there, currently I adopt a laissez faire attitude and cross my fingers.
I use egg shells in the beds and pots in the GH, the slugs also need to cross flag stones and a gravel path before climbing up pots to get at plants in there.Slate or gravel dress pots in the garden.
I have a couple of bird stations too and attract alot of birds, some are ground feeders which go straight to the lawn and flower beds devouring any pests or bugs in sight.
I found a fat snail in my growhouse a couple of days ago.....along with a lot of munched cosmos seedlings. The snails must have thought it was a slide-thru cafe!!! I have copper-taped my growhouses now and use copper tape on my hosta pots, everything else is left to the birds and beasties.One point on beer traps....don't sink the container flush with the ground, leave a lip of a few mm, the slugs and snails will still get in but the ground beetles won't.I noticed some stuff (brown pellets) at the garden centre that is supposed to repel slugs and snails that you can use round your plants. It's allegedly organic, has anybody tried it?
There are more this year due to the mild winter not disposing of them.
I occasionally use bran, They gorge themselves and then you can dispose of them of drop in your compost. But be ever so careful. They are so fat they can burst if you squeeze too hard.
I tried an organic slug pellet that didn't work. It was utterly rubbish.
Interesting that Wintersong found the organic pellets useless, here they have been helpful - nothing will eradicate slugs and snails, neither do we want that to be so, too many things eat them (Uggghh). Copper tape on pots really does help, I nearly gave up my hosta collection a few years ago until discovering that, plus taking out the top inch or so of compost every Spring (that's where the eggs are if there are any). I have not found that grit, eggshells etc. helps, they just creep over it, albeit possibly more slowly.
No experience of the pellets you mention Botticelliwoman (another wonderful name), it probably works on the same principle of dryng the area out so they won't cross it - but they do, here at least.
We have also had a lot of casualties to the slugs and snails this spring - the only two areas which seem to have been completely untouched are our two lettuce patches, ironically enough. But they are the two areas which we had turned into the snail equivalent of Fort Knox. We surrounded one with a thick ring of sharp sand - thick enough to not be washed away even in all the rain - and the slugs and snails *really* don't like it. I watched one try to crawl across and give up within a few millimetres, I suppose it must be like walking across broken glass. It probably wouldn't be feasible to protect the whole vegetable patch like that if you've got a big area but for a small bed it might be doable.
Then the other thing we have found works is to put our lettuce into a big container with one of those wicker frames around it (the kind that you can fold up and store in the winter), with netting over it. I'm not sure whether it was the netting or the gaps in the wicker that made the snails give up, but either way it worked. So defensive measures like that might be something to try, if like me you're too squeamish to actually kill them!