No matter how hard you try to maintain your garden, slugs and snails can wreak havoc in any garden.
They thrive in mild and damp soil conditions and target tender leaves. There are various ways by which you can control them naturally. Their rounded brown shells and gray bodies often pay our garden an unexpected visit.
Are you facing a problem with snails attacking your garden? In this article, you will get to know about 10 ways in which you can get rid of snails naturally.
Why Do Snails Attack Plants in My Garden?
Before getting into the details of how to get rid of snails, let us first take a look at why they are attracted to plants. Like most pests and insects, if they find food and shelter, they’ll keep coming. They do not like sunny and dry locations. Instead, they target damp and moist places away from direct sunlight, especially under plant foliage.
Snails feed on organic matter such as living plants, foliage, and decaying wood. The brown garden snail is the most common snail found in most home gardens, even among resilient plants that are low maintenance. It targets succulents, green foliage plants, herbs, and grasses.
10 Natural Ways To Get Rid of Snails
Let us take a closer look at 10 ways by which you can control snails in your home garden.
Removing by Hand
Using hands to remove snails is easy but not a long-term solution. You can pick up snails using a tweezer and put them in an alcohol solution or baking soda water. If you have the patience and time to individually pick each snail, check the garden regularly and pick the unwanted insects.
Baits and Traps
Use a beer-filled can to set up bait to catch snails. Fill a wide jar with beer and place it in spots where you suspect the presence of snails. Bury the jar slightly in the soil so that it is easier for snails to access it. It is the beer smell that the snails are attracted to. Once they smell the beer, they will crawl into it and drown.
Using baits is cost-effective and a non-toxic way of controlling snails making it safe to keep near pets and children. But you will have to use bait regularly to control the snail population.
Eggshells might not be the most fool-proof way of getting rid of snails but they work well in deterring because of their sharp edges. They are more effective when clean and dry.
Egg shells do not necessarily kill snails but they slow down snail movement making the garden unattractive for them.
Coffee grounds help in not just deter snails but also add nutrients to the soil. Using grounds is a fantastic home remedy to keep these slimy creatures at bay. Upon contact with caffeinated soil, slugs turn back and hardly come back. Caffeine is considered more effective than commercially available metaldehyde.
Instead of using chemical treatments, using coffee grounds is better used in domestic gardens where the snail population is not very high. Creating such barriers helps prevent their growth to a huge extent.
Diatomaceous earth or DE is a fossil remains of freshwater diatoms that is quite effective in killing snails. Diatoms are green algae with silica-based shells. These diatoms are used in killing bugs, insects, and cockroaches.
Similar to egg shells, you need to apply Diatomaceous earth again after rain or when it gets wet. It is super effective when dry. The silica present in it works its way under the snail’s shell and dehydrates it.
If you sprinkle wheat or corn bran around your plants, the snail population will drastically fall. When snails feed on bran, they either desiccate or die.
But make sure you reapply it after it rains as it becomes ineffective in wet soil conditions.
Copper strips create electric shocks in snails making it difficult for them to cross and move around. Place copper strips or sprinkle copper fragments around the areas that you want to protect from snails. Apart from copper tapes, you can keep your pots on copper mats.
Predators such as frogs and birds feed on snails. You can try introducing any of these predators to keep snails at bay. These natural snail feeders are effective and safe to use around kids but it can be difficult to manage another animal in some home gardens.
Snail Resistant Plants
Introduce some snail-resistant plants and herbs in your gardens such as rosemary, sage, lavender, hostas, geranium, garlic, and chive. These beautiful plants do not kill snails but when used with other methods of control can be quite fruitful.
If you are from a temperate country, avoid growing plants like marigolds. Even though marigolds are known for being natural pest controllers, snails are attracted to them. If your garden is susceptible to being attacked by snails.
Using organic slug pellets is an off-the-shelf solution to get rid of snails and is recommended in organic gardening to deal with snails. Do not use pellets too frequently, unlike organic fertilizers much can be very beneficial when used consistently. These organic pellets are non-toxic but there have been reports of dogs ingesting them and becoming ill. Avoid using them if you have pets at home.
Now that you know all about how snail attacks can be controlled, try using preventative measures such as not watering the garden at night as snails are most active at night, avoiding growing plants like marigolds, using drip irrigation systems, and eliminating hiding spots of snails.
Getting rid of snails in natural ways can be difficult. We would recommend taking care of your garden and avoiding keeping the soil damp at all times to prevent snails from attacking your garden. Follow our tips and techniques to prevent snails from infecting your garden.