March 08, 2009

Weird and wonderful ways to naturally control garden snails and slugs

Weird and wonderful ways to naturally control garden snails and slugs
Excellent ideas on how to control an over population of garden snails. Important information to have as you really don't want to spend your time and money preparing a garden only to wake up and find it all eaten. In the case of my Raised Garden Bed - No Dig Garden I knew I would have a problem with these little critters. There were small shrubs nearby and it had also been raining, I had seen the tell tale signs of snail trails heading for the new garden. Combine that with a few dozen seedlings and it was the chance for a feast.
There was no way I wanted to use any commercially prepared snail bait as I had the pets and local birds etc to consider. These natural organic gardening techniques have been around for many years - maybe you have some of your own and would like to share with the rest of us. Please fill in the form below and you can get your idea published on this site.

NATURAL GARDEN SNAIL SOLUTIONS

Snail Salt Trap - a classic
It is always more beneficial to manage garden pests with natural and sustainable solutions. This just has to be one to the easiest ways to manage garden pests such as snails and slugs - and it is something you more than likely have in the kitchen and is a wonderful snail bait solution.

They will NOT walk over salt, they hate the stuff

When I plant new seedlings and I know they are going to be attacked by slugs and snails I always place salt on the paths that lead to the new bed.
I sprinkle the salt just on dark as they are more active then. This is a fantastic ecological solution and really fits in line with organic gardening advice no matter where you live.

This is how I place the salt over the path at my home. It is thick and wide. I am very generous with the amount of salt I use as I know it works well and I really want to protect the plants.
The salt will blow away quite a lot in a strong wind I found.
Naturally this snail and slug trap won't work at all during wet weather. I use the beer trap on those occasions as another home pest control idea

Human or Animal Hair
Organic Garden Pest Control For Snails and Slugs

One of the most natural organic garden pest control ideas you can use to help stop a snail is hair - human or animal hair. It even works in controlling slugs. Imagine that!
If you are 'hair challenged' fear not.
You can always ask your local hairdresser or pet groomer for their supplies. I imagine they would be more than happy to see the fruits of their labor being used for such a worthy cause.

I have used this natural method and can say it worked quite well for a while.
After grooming our giant schnauzer I placed his hair around some new lettuce plants. I had a reasonable amount of hair and it came out about 5 inches from the base of the plant so it was good coverage. Because there was a fair amount of hair it held together well and did not blow away.
However, I did find after rain the hair became flat and wet. The snails were then able to wander over the hair onto the plants so it was not that effective when I needed it most.
I do use this method still though and mix egg shells with the hair as the eggshells are not effected by rain.

Crushed Eggshells
Eggshells can prevent snails from eating your young plants


Yet another use for old eggshells. Snails and slugs have a soft underbelly which makes it difficult for them to travel over crushed eggshells.

I have never had enough egg shells to be able to put this theory to the test but you could always ask a local cafe or restaurant if you could collect from them.
I have combined eggshells and hair to deter these pests and that has been successful, I do think it is a better slug catcher than many I have seen.
I always wash the eggshells in clear water before I crush them too much as the mucus from the eggshell may attract other pests. No point in getting rid of one vegetable garden pest only to end up with another one. hair to deter these pests and that has been successful.
I always wash the eggshells in clear water before I crush them too much as the mucus from the eggshell may attract other pests.

Bird Netting is a great idea also
What Do Snails Eat?
New gardeners often ask 'what do snails eat'? I guess gardeners are keen to have early success and I can understand that. Gardening is as much about the actual act of gardening as it is being able to eventually see the product of your labors.
I am never really sure exactly which specific plants snails do eat, I just work on the premise they will eat any new plants and work from there.

I have found amazing success when dealing with garden pests that bird netting placed around the base of pots when the plants are young is a great way to keep snails and slugs away. Once the plants are older I really find they are not as interested.
I place the bird netting all around the base of the pots right up against the side of the pot. These areas can often remain moist for long periods of time and can also attract slugs.
I have never had a snail climb over the bird netting to get to the plant - not once - 100% success. It can look a little untidy in the beginning but as the plant grows the leaves tend to cover the visible netting.

Let them eat porridge / oats
Garden slugs are a real menace and threat to young plants

I really think garden slugs and snails are tuned to know when you plant new seedlings - they must be watching from under some shrub!
This idea was sent to me from Susan who has great success with it - I have not tried it myself - I can't imagine giving my porridge away. But I guess if it came down to a choice of slug and lettuce or slug and porridge, I would choose the porridge every time.

Apparently you place the porridge / oats around the new plants or along the border. If I was to use this idea I would make sure I had a relatively thick spread of porridge / oats.
The snails come along and devour the porridge - this makes them bloat up and die!!!!
In the morning the birds come along and eat them all, a treat for the birds as they get their protein and grain in one meal.
I have never had enough egg shells to be able to put this theory to the test but you could always ask a local cafe or restaurant if you could collect from them.
I have combined eggshells and hair to deter these pests and that has been successful, I do think it is a better slug catcher than many I have seen.
I always wash the eggshells in clear water before I crush them too much as the mucus from the eggshell may attract other pests. No point in getting rid of one vegetable garden pest only to end up with another one. hair to deter these pests and that has been successful.
I always wash the eggshells in clear water before I crush them too much as the mucus from the eggshell may attract other pests.

Give them a shock with copper wire
Vegetable Garden Pest in for a shock
This vegetable garden pest idea is about the most effective I have heard of so far for controlling slugs.
Up until now it has always been me getting a shock over the state of the new plants – not any more, it seems the shock can go both ways.
If the snails or slugs try to wander over the copper wire they get a very small zap. This causes them to backtrack and leave your young plants alone.
Where possible try to secure a small copper wire around the perimeter of your garden bed.
The raised garden bed style of gardening is ideal for this as it has raised edges which can hold the wire. Please have a look at my other pages for more organic gardening advice.

2 comments:

Loretta DiOrio said...

Thanks for all the natural ways to get rid of snails. I have a real problem with them in the garden and they even get in my house. I don't want to use poison since we have a cat.I have some of my flower beds lined with large rocks. I wondered if the snails are living under the rocks. I don't want to get rid of my rocks. Do you have any ideas? Thanks

puadi said...

thank's for comment before! the little snails get to your house.... oooh.. maybe i have idea for your problem. just for anticipated.
put salt on the slug that passed by, often leaving the impression of white snail (mucus). slug usually hatch at the beginning of the rainy season and the eggs hatch in the wet but not too wet. to distract attention slug is their favorite place to eat like the rest of the vegetables that are not used and put away from you out of your plant or near their nest. may help you.
sorry if my English is less fluent

thank's

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