Saturday, August 2, 2008

Drunken Snails


That's right, those nasty, slimey creatures will one day rule your garden! They will slime their way onto your most prized plant, gnawing and gnashing it's teeth, eating every leaf and flower in it's path! Run away! Run away!

Ok, don't run away, but definately do something about them. And of course, there are plenty of organic and natural ways to rid your garden of these nasty pests.

Most folks know this one; to get rid of your garden snails, put a shallow pan on the ground by the plants the snails are eating. Fill the inside with beer. That's Now I don't think the snails have a preference to which type of beer, but if you have picky snails, stick with domestic. It's cheaper. Snails love the hops that is in beer. They will flock to that pan like New Year's revelers to the local bar. They will snail on up into the pan and will drown there. Yes, you'll have to collect them and get rid of their sad little carcasses, but you will be happy doing it! Be sure to change the beer every few days or the snails will start to avoid it.

Another, quite effective way to rid your garden of the common garden snail is to get a few "decollate snails". (see below) These little guys will feast on your garden snails.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The decollate snail (Rumina decollata) is a medium-sized predatory land snail, a species of terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk which is native to the Mediterranean region. It has been introduced into North America and other areas as biological control agent against the brown garden snail.
The decollate snail is a voracious predator, and feeds readily upon common garden snails and slugs and their eggs. The snail eats plant matter as well, but the damage it causes to plants is considered minor when compared with the benefit of its predation on garden snails and other pest species of snails. Unfortunately it will also consume harmless local species of land gastropods and beneficial
The shell of the decollate snail is long and roughly cone-shaped. It grows to approximately 40 mm in length, and upon reaching mature size, grinds or chips off the end of its own shell by moving its body roughly against hard surfaces, so that the shell takes on a decollate shape, tapering to a blunt end.
Decollate snails are tolerant of dry and cold conditions, during which they burrow deep into the soil. They are most active during the night and during rainfall.

Cool, huh? Now if you don't want to kill the little buggers, follow a few of these tips:

Egg Shells - put crushed up egg shells around your plants. Snails hate the rough surface and will likely avoid the plant. Don't leave the shells too big though, or the snails will use them like stepping stones straight to your beloved plant! Sand or diatomaceous earth will do the same thing.

Curved Barriers - place a metal strip either around your plant, or around your entire garden. Make sure the top of the strip curves towards you so the snails can't climb over. They won't like the sharp edge of the metal.

Ducks - That's right...ducks! Ducks love snails and snails HATE ducks! Put a duck in your backyard and watch the snails disappear!

Well, that's all for today. It's early morning, the dew is out....and so are the snails. Time to go hunting!
Happy Gardening!

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