Quick Tips What is eating my hostas slugs or snails

What’s eating my hostas – slugs or snails?

Hostas are a favourite target for pests, but what what's eating them? Watch this video to find out.

Anyone that grows hostas will know that they’re a favourite meal of choice for pests – but is it slugs, snails or both that cause the most damage? Watch this short Quick Tips video, with entomologist Richard ‘Bugman’ Jones, to find out. 


Generally it’s the snails which are doing the damage to hostas. Slugs are mostly scavengers in what’s euphemistically called ‘decaying organic matter’, which actually includes dung and carrion and all manner of other putrid unsavoury material. Some are predatory, attacking snails and each other, but they have wide food choices, so all will eat dead, or damaged leaves. The snail’s shell is useful protection, but it’s rather a burden, and can get in the way. Slugs, on the other hand, can squeeze themselves into very small spaces, so in the garden they’re mainly subterranean, burrowing in the soil, coming out to feed at night, or in wet weather.