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snails are eating my garden, what's the simplest why to control them?



There is no 'simple' way to control them. If you go down to the bottom of the page an click on 'S' then on slugs and snails you'll see al sorts of suggestions. There are pellets you can buy that will kill the snails and not kill any wildlife that eats them thereafter...

17 Oct, 2010


I use equine garlic powder / granules. sprinkled round the plants. I put it round my plants in spring, round the brassicas and lettuce at planting times, and I renew it after every heavy rainfall if the foliage hasn't protected it.

17 Oct, 2010


That sounds a good idea 2ndhand, but I see 1kg costs £4.49 how far does that go? Also do you notice if it repels flies or do they just breath easier?

17 Oct, 2010


I am listening to a gardening programme at the moment down here in pasty country and the advice given to a chap who phoned in because his house and plants are covered in small ones is to coat a sun wall and any plants affected in a mild salt solution either poured on or best sprayed. The chap answering the question said it was simply that the warm weather this week (11th-17th Oct ) has brought out the young ones that would have survived the frost and then seen next year.

17 Oct, 2010


Thanks Frimmy, but you would have to watch the amount of salt on plants and in the soil?

17 Oct, 2010


I would be against putting salt on soil, on gravel or paving slabs it would be fine but even a small quantity can taint the soil and harm the plants.

17 Oct, 2010


I had never thought, even heard, of garlic powder but have now looked it up on the web. I am not sure that garlic is effective for slugs and snails but our brief experiment with garlic spray this summer seemed to show some benefits against butterflies and insects. Garlic concentrate is expensive so I am wondering if the powder will dissolve into a sprayable liquid. The powder seems to be quite cheap so I will look in the garden and horsey store next time I am in Elgin. Have you done any other experiments with the powder, 2ndhand?

17 Oct, 2010


If anyone does use pellets remember to sprinkle them all over in February before the beasties lay their eggs. It certainly makes the problem more manageable for the rest of the year.

17 Oct, 2010


you could always try beer pour some in a saucer and stand a couple of bricks or something similar over the top to keep the rain off keep checking it and topping it up then get rid of the blithers any way you like or try to encourage hedgehogs into the garden.if you have them where you live sorry i didnt look where you was from.

17 Oct, 2010


A heavy boot! Or, if you don't like the squishy slime, collect them up, put them in your dustbin and they will be magically transported far away. I used this method when I lived in Essex and after a year or two I could see I had far less snails. :o)

18 Oct, 2010



I bought 2 kgs a couple of years ago, and I still have over a kg left. it cost me something like £6. I put it in an old talc bottle and powdered away. The only trouble is, the talc bottles gets sticky, so u may need to wear gloves. I have no idea if it repels flies, but it repels my OH.
The smell sticks around for a few hours, But i sprinkled it round the egde of all my staging / tables in the polytunnel and that kept the blighters away too. I also smear grease around all the legs to keep vine weevil away from my pots and have put a ring around the top of the grease with the garlic powder, just for the slimers.
My friend bought granules and found these more effective at sprinkling.
I don't know if it is soluble, I have never tried it. But you could try the following. Sometime ago on the GW programme, a woman was on who kept hostas and she had no snail damage to any of her plants. She boiled garlic in a couple of pints of water and then used the resultant liquid to water the leaves. She sprayed underneath the leaves too.
I didn't fancy boiling it in a house with 2 garlic haters around, so I just crushed a few cloves and left it soak for a week and used that. It worked, but of course every time it rained it had to be repeated.
Terry wotnot on radio 2 l/t show, swears by steeping rhubarb leaves in water to pour over his brassicas and had very little problem with caterpillars. The stink is awful, but like garlic wears off after a while, but it would be a problem for me, i'd be out watering it over all the time. we get alot of rain where i am. Like 43 days of rain from june to sept this year! and it was drier than last year.

The other trick I also use for pots outside and round my plants like delphs and lupins. is to untangle a copper scourer, and wind it loosely around the base or pot. It works as well as any copper band, but It's much cheaper. 75p for 5. I also edge my staging with it. It needs replacing every year, but I like to spend my dosh on plants and other things rather than on the slugs and snails. So I do things as cheaply as poss. Or even free. I'm fortunate that I live close to the sea. I mulch my brassicas and apasragus with seaweed, no rinsing, straight on the bed and both plants love it. That helps too, but I won't use it round anything else as the salt would be harmful.
Hi kenny boy, No we have few hedgehogs around here. Frogs and toads yes, but unfortunately they're on the ducks menu. Slugs and snails are on their menu too, but the ducks are excluded from the problem areas, like the plottie and the polytunnels. Luckily for me, theres a clump of delphs where alice, my oldest duck, snoozes and she eats the problems between dozing.

18 Oct, 2010


There are two types of slug pellets out there - ones based on Metaldehyde and Methiocarb which are potentially lethal to pets, wildlife, children etc. - and Ferramol's Advanced Slug Killer Organic slug pellets which are based on Ferrous Phosphate - which is a form of iron.

These last ones are considered to be "organic" because they are based on a naturally and widely occurring substance (iron) which is not supposed to be harmful to anything aside from slugs and snails. Having said that iron can cause acute liver damage and death in mammals in even moderate doses, so there must still be a risk attached to these too.

I read a post on another forum about a garden hedgehog that was excreting turquoise droppings due to the excessive number of slug pellets it had eaten.

Though this is what the Hedgehog Preservation Society says:

"Although hedgehogs may not necessarily eat the pellets, they are very likely to eat the poisoned slugs and snails and, although these may not be lethal to hedgehogs, they may cause serious internal damage. If you must use slug pellets, put them inside pieces of pipe or under stone slabs where hedgehogs can't get at them. We believe, however, that a "beer-trap" (i.e. a pot of stale beer sunk in the ground) is an equally effective way of killing slugs. In any case, as an extra precaution, all dead slugs should be regularly removed."

Metal (Iron or Aluminium) based pellets are at least as effective as metaldehyde in terms of dispatching slugs, so there's no need to use something as toxic and indiscriminate in it's actions these days.

If you don't want to use pellets there are all sorts of other options depending on how large an area you need to protect. Depending on the size of area/plants that you need to protect barriers can be extremely effective and are much more permanent than any pellets particularly during wet weather.

Spiky things like crushed eggshells, old scourers and sharp gravel are certainly effective. Ecocharlie recycled ceramic shard work even better since they absorb the mucous and stop the slugs getting across at all, as well as being spiky.

You can also use copper bands which give them a tiny electric shock, and placing traps - beer traps, as above, or just pieces of wood, stone, card or carpet that act as shelters - outside the barriers will allow you to collect them in the day time.

Another option are "Nemaslug" nematodes - parasites of slugs and snails that live in the soil & that you water into the ground.

18 Oct, 2010


Do everything you can to encourage birds into your garden. We found a pile of broken snail shells, next to a concrete stepping stone and it took a couple of days before we saw a Thrush using it as a breakfast plate!!!! Garden has been noticeably snail free most of the Summer.

18 Oct, 2010


I had a surprise yesterday! Partner called me to see a prettily-coloured bird under the sprouts who had 'something.' At looking through the binoculars we saw it was a Nuthatch happily pulling a large snail to pieces! Didn't know they tackled anything so big! Sadly his lunch was hi-jacked by the local blackbird, but the result was the same - bye-bye snail! ;o)

19 Oct, 2010

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