When snails attack

Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, going around the house and shutting up shop (mainly so kitties can’t do bad things while we sleep),  I noticed a spot from afar on the old retro chair we have on the back patio.

I walked over to our back door and had a closer look.  Lo and behold, it was a snail!

I thought it would make a funny picture for a blog post, so I grabbed my trusty Samsung and headed out there.

Unfortunately for my herb tray, Mr. Chair Snail brought back up.

Lots of back up.

His posse was about 20 snails deep, and quite a few of them were about triple his size, too.

It was raining last night, and it rained most of today as well, so it was a pretty fun time for them!

There I was, at 2am, picking snails off my plants and chucking them into the hedges.  Ben wasn’t aware of the invasion and wondered what the hell I was doing outside for so long when I was meant to come to bed.

None of the pictures turned out very well, so please excuse the fuzziness!

If you click on this picture to the left, there are three snails in it.  See if you can find them, the bastards!

I have snail pellets, but I haven’t put them down yet because I want to try to find the ecostore variety, as they’re not dangerous to birds & cats.

I also saw some copper infused adhesive tape, but it’s $10 for 4m of tape, and that wouldn’t really get me far.  People say egg shells also help, but we don’t go through that many eggs.  And I’ve heard of the beer traps, but those count on snails wandering into them, and I’m not sure the beer would be as tasty as my basil or strawberry plants!

Luckily, an awesome lady by the name of Nitasha will be my coffee grounds faerie and give me some coffee grounds to scatter around!  I love coffee, but I don’t think I drink enough to provide enough grounds to deter these buggers.  Thank you, Nitasha!  I hope that will hold them off for a bit.

Have any of you effectively rid your garden of snails without using traditional pellets that are harmful to pets, wildlife and your soil quality?


18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. katrina
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 19:38:22

    I have to get back into snail collecting…I go out with a bucket with some salt in it….or sprinkle salt on them after collecting….I noticed hundreds of them the other day when we’d had the rain….a girl friend of mine pays her kids to collect them….we have the massive big brown ones as well as the smaller white ones so easy to collect…I’m reluctant to put snail bait out as the neighbours cats are always in our yard and they keep mice out of my house so I don’t want to harm them


    • gwen
      Nov 12, 2011 @ 20:41:21

      Yeah, we’ve got only the brown ones, and some of them are massive! If there were any kids on this blog, I’d definitely pay them to gather them up and pop them into buckets.

      I’m going to be hunting them tonight with a bucket of salt water, for sure!


  2. Krystle
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 19:41:06

    We use this stuff http://www.tuigarden.co.nz/quash it says its not harmful to pets, but then it says to contact your vet if they consume large amounts of it so I’m not really sure, but its relatively cheap


  3. Dianne Jones
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 20:34:46

    When I lived in England and had this problem we used to put porridge oats arround the borders the snails eat the oats bloat up and die then in the morning the birds came and eat the snails :) but coffee’s good too.


  4. gwen
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 20:39:39

    Oh wow, oats! I’ve never come across that before. Brilliant! And birds get to eat them and not die. I think that’s a win-win!


  5. Madeleine @ NZ Ecochick
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 20:47:07

    That’s a fantastic suggestion!! I will be doing that too.


  6. Emma - Craving Fresh
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 21:09:03

    I’d never heard of oats either. That’s a great one. I’ve had success with chickens eating them, netting snagging them, and beer traps drowning them. Although, actually, I think the beer traps mostly caught slugs.


  7. katrina
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 23:45:39

    Shallow dishes with beer in it…..I’m guessing they get drunk and drown….well at least they’d die happy http://www.ehow.com/how_5054295_make-trap-killing-slugs-snails.html


  8. gwen
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 02:11:58

    Yeah, you have to half-bury those, and my back yard and front yard is covered with stone, not dirt, so sort of hard to do! xD I have put a container out tonight already though — will check in the morning!


  9. Rilla
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 06:11:31

    I know nothing about snail trapping. We don’t really see that many around here. Although it rains very little, and I have no herb garden. Haha.
    I found the three snails in your photo, though! That third one was a little bugger, harder to find!
    Good luck getting them out!


  10. karenish
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 09:38:24

    I do beer traps and that mostly catches slugs. Earwigs are natural population control for snails, but not super effective. Egg shells work sorta.


  11. Kitty Golding (@KitttyGG)
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 13:45:14

    We have Chickens and Ducks, so we don’t have really have a snail problem. we let a few out of their run everyday, so they don,t do too much damage to the garden. Chickens may be a solution.
    I’ve never been able to put salt on them it seems so harsh, I prefer going out at night with a bucket and a torch and disposing of them in a neighbouring field.
    My friends mother (quite posh) would eat them. She would feed them for a few days on bran, lettuce or cabbage. Then just water for a couple of days, to remove toxins, after that they were ok to eat . The ultimate revenge.


    • gwen
      Nov 13, 2011 @ 13:47:36

      Ben’s Dad has mentioned that the type of snail we have is the same one that you can eat — I really don’t like eating snails, though!

      We don’t have quite enough room at this place for chickens — I don’t think it would be fair to them, really! But one day, I would love to have some!


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