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How To Remove Snails and Slugs

Snails and slugs are common pests that every gardener battles against at some stage. Unfortunately, these guys aren’t fussy and will chew their way through leaves, soft stems, flowers and ripe fruit. Both leave distinctive silvery slime trails as they move over plants and hard surfaces.

Where do Snails and Slugs Live in the Garden?

Snails and slugs need moist conditions to thrive and are most active during the wettest months of the year. During hot dry periods, they hide away biding their time until better conditions return.

These problem snails and slugs are actually introduced pests so don’t feel bad killing them! There are some Australian native snails and slugs but they are not regarded as pests.

What Attracts Snails and Slugs?

Snails and slugs attack a huge range of plants but the most susceptible are seedlings which can be completely demolished overnight. Seedlings are most at risk when first planted out and suffering transplant shock.

How to Keep Snails and Slugs Away

If you are looking for a pet friendly pellets, apply ‘Eradicate Snail & Slug’ Bait pellets around seedlings, veggies and other plants you wish to protect. Reapply as heavy rain consumes it.

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Remove hiding places

Have a clean up through the garden to remove any obvious places they can seek shelter in eg empty pots, piles of wood, bricks, rocks etc.

Seek & Destroy missions

During the clean up mentioned above, you’re bound to have already squashed many of them but unfortunately, some will remain undetected.  Get into the habit of patrolling the garden immediately after rain as both snails and slugs will be active and easy to find.

Hungry predators

Frogs, lizards, chooks, ducks and other birds find snails and slugs irresistible. If practical, introduce or encourage as many of them into your garden as you can.

Beer traps

My grandad’s favourite trick: fill a snail & slug trap, saucers or jars with beer (yes, beer!) and place them around the garden at soil level. Snails and slugs like beer and will be easily attracted to it, they end up drowning in it.  To be effective you need to keep the traps fresh by cleaning out the dead bodies regularly and replacing the beer.  To quote my grandad, “they die happy”

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Copper tape

Thin adhesive copper tape act as a barrier and works by creating a tiny electrical charge within the tape that repels them without killing them making it a friendly and safe option.  Snails and slugs simply won’t cross over the tape. Wrap a continuous line around pots or planter boxes for protection.

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Granular barriers

You may see recommendations to use various materials like diatomaceous earth, sawdust, powdered lime, crushed eggshells and wood ash. In our experience, these are not very effective. To have any chance of working the material needs to be applied as a continuous thick band around a plant and be kept dry in order to protect plants. Even in these conditions we’ve often seen snails slide right over the material. Lastly while salt will kill them it is also bad for soil health and should not be used.

When to Apply

The best time to apply snail and slug baits are when they are active and feeding, you can encourage them by sprinkling the area with water first, then applying the bait in the late afternoon or evening. Keep in mind that snails and slugs aren’t active during the hottest and driest or coldest periods.

The best places to sprinkle these baits is around their hiding places, and along the path, they cross to get to the garden, as well as the garden itself.

Protect your plants including vegetables against snails, slugs and slaters with the help of Eradicate Eco Snail & Slug Bait. Made in Australia and safe for dogs, cats and native fauna.

Additionally, click here to learn more about organic snail & slug control.