I love my volunteer garden. I hate the snails. What I want is to be able to go to my kitchen and find a non-toxic way to get rid of these pesky things that are eating up my veggies. Snails are important to the food chain as they are food for many other animals. The funny thing is you can actually eat these snails, escargots are considered a delicacy. To learn how to harvest and cook your snails see Mother Earth News.
I might try that one day, as I love Escargot, but I think what I am going to do, it serve it sometime for guests and let them eat Escargot and tell them after the fact…
That said, in my endeavor on how to get rid of those slimy snails, I have collected all the information online on how to get rid of snails and slugs. Some things you might have to buy, but many solutions are readily available in your kitchen. The review on this list are varied, you will have to try what works best for you.
1.) Hand Pick the snails and slugs in early evening and dispose of them. If you are vigilant about this for awhile, eventually the infestation will go away. I just throw the snails into the trash.
2.) Animals– If you have geese, ducks or chickens, they like snails. Hedghogs, Frogs and Birds all like snails.
3.) Dry dog or cat food. This will not work at my house, as the raccoons and possums will eat it and have enough problems with them as it is. Get a tin pie pan, cut some notches in the sides for the snails to get in. Put it upside down in an focussed area for the snails to come to. Next day, pick up the tin and dispose of the snails.
4.) Beer– This definitely works. I just put a semi shallow container of cheap beer and the snails crawl in. It works only if I don’t drink the beer first. But I save the dregs and fill in strategically placed containers.
5. ) Yeast and Honey– Haven’t try this yet. Boil honey and yeast in water. Fill up a shallow container, the snails and slugs will crawl in. The key is to make sure they don’t crawl back out again.
6.) Grape Juice. Same concept.
7.) Egg Shells: I use this, but you have to use a lot of egg shells. I now have several neighbors saving their eggshells for me. You have to chop them up, as the snails/slugs don’t like starchy surfaces. When you water or it rains, the egg shells get dissolved into the shells. You have to keep putting in more. This is not a one off time. One of my neighbors keeps all her egg shells, smashes them up in a plastic bag and put in the Fridge.
8.) Sandpaper: Since Snails don’t like harsh surfaces, it is recommended you make sandpaper collars around your plants. This might be a good way to reuse older sandpaper.
9.) Wood Ashes– another scratchy surface that you can use. Don’t put too close to the plants.
10.) Vinegar and Water– This the next step on my list. I have vinegar and water. Use equal parts vinegar and water.
11.) Ammonia and Water. Ammonia is good for the soil (Nitrogen). 1 part ammonia to 4 parts of water. The Snails dissolve.
12.) Cornmeal– Get some glass jars add a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal in each jar. Lay the jars by their sides and the snails crawl in and die. You just empty out the jars.
13.) Red Bush Tea- I guess you spray it on.
14.) Crushed Sea Shells– This is very viable for me, as I live at the beach. Once again this is a harsh surface.
15.) Coffee Grounds- This hasn’t seemed to work for me. Others say it works for them.
16.) Coffee– pour or spray excess coffee on the plants.
17.) Gravel– More harsh surface treatments. You can always just circle gravel around the plants.
18.) Orange or Grapefruit– Place rinds around the plants and the snails are attracted to them. This might be OK in a small garden, but that is a lot of fruit.
19.) Salt– Sprinkling salt on snails makes them dissolve. I don’t know about you, I can’t do that.
20.) Powdered Ginger– use like egg shells and place around plants. Also will add calcium to the soil. This makes sense as the snails do not go to my Ginger plants.
21.) Talcum Powder– Use like egg Shells.
22.) Seaweed– Also on my list, we have an abundance. Plus it is good for the soil. Due to high salt content snail hate it. Mulch it around the base of the plant.
23.) Sand– Another harsh surface. Make a thick circle of sand around the base of the plant.
24.) Garlic and Slug Mixture– gather 1/2 cup of slugs, 2 cups of water and a couple cloves of garlic. Blend, and spray on plants. The extra mixture can be frozen for later use.
25.) Cardboard Strips– Place strips of 6 x12 inch cardboard among the plants. The provide the dark and moist hideaways that slugs love. Pick them up in the morning to dispose of.
26.) Copper– put strips of copper around pots. Supposedly they give snails a little shock. Another suggestion is to use copper pennies.
27.) Herbs– Put sage or mint into your mulch. It works as a barrier.
28.) Vaseline– Put vaseline on the rims of your pots. This would only work if you have plants that don’t dangle over the rims of the plants.
29.) Nematodes– These microscopic worms (Nemaslug) attack snails by invading their body. Once in their body they release a bacteria that stops the slugs from being able to eat.
30.) Plant Snail repellant plants: Freesia, daylilies, mint, rosemary, azaleas, fennel, cosmos, parsley, basil, foxglove, tansy and hibiscus. This is funny list, my Rosemary, parsley, mint and basil died. I took down the hibiscus, due to to many white flies. Will have to relook at the others.
31.) Diatomaceous– (Insect Dust) this you have to buy at a garden center. A spread that will kill snails and other pests.