Snails and slugs are the slimiest pests that can invade your vegetable garden, and lawn. That means they don’t stop at destroying your leafy vegetables, but are an eyesore, leaving their mucus like trails all over the yard – it’s not something you want your house guests to see as they visit.
If you have an aquarium or a fish pond, you would not want snails and slugs around them. Mostly, some of them are parasitic while others will compete with aquarium life for resources. Furthermore, they are by themselves a clog risk in your aquarium and pond pipework.
Are there other Reasons to Get Rid of Slugs and Snails?
Well, some of us love all kind of wildlife and would not mind an occasional slug and snail in our yard. It is not a bad thing for the ecosystem to have a variety of insects and animals roaming around. However, the mollusks and their entire clan are not always the best thing to have around.
Apart from being an eyesore, the mollusks can be carriers of deadly micro-organisms and parasites – not fun at all. Much like the mosquitoes, no one wants mosquitoes around their house, and it is the same thing for the snails and slugs. For example, the gastropods are hosts to bilharzia worms and liver flukes.
The Different ways you can Get Rid of Mollusks
The good thing is that you can control the different varieties of gastropods much the same way. No need to figure out which slug or snail is hanging around the fishes. You don’t need to know the scientific description and behaviors to remove them from your garden. Typically, there are natural, organic, as well as, chemical ways of evicting our slimy friends from our yard spaces and gardens – a great thing!
- Traps: some of the best mollusk traps include the overturned grapefruit halves. They can’t resist the delicious grapefruit scent. The slugs and snails crawl under the fruit and can’t get out thereafter. Other great ideas include the inverted cabbage, melon rids and oranges.Overturned flowerpots function much the same way and can be useful in infested areas. Just leave them overnight to catch as many as possible. You can also leave a carpet or wooden material on the floor close to the infested areas. They will crawl under them after a night of feeding to hide, and you will find them in the morning and exterminate them.
- Biological Methods: introducing predators in the infested spaces is a safe and quite an effective method. For example, the ducks, geese and the chicken will enjoy searching them out and having them as snacks. Other good predators include turtles, tortoises, and snakes. The hedgehogs, salamanders, and newts will all do a decent job in removing the mollusk problem.There are also predatory snails you can introduce into your homestead, and get rid of the gastropods. These snails are not as unappealing and are not hosts to parasites. However, don’t employ any other methods such as traps and chemical as you use the predatory snails. And if the mollusk problem is around the fishpond, the catfish and other predatory fish will feed on the snails and slugs.
- Barriers and Repellents: among the many barriers and repellents that you can use around the garden include a simple electric fence. Such a fence creates an unpleasant feeling on the body of the snails and slugs, and they keep off it. Diatomaceous earth material has a cutting effect on the body of the mollusks. All you need to do is sprinkle some of it in suspected areas, and it will do the rest.Alternatively, you can use copper, which is an excellent repellent. You see, copper creates an electric shock on the body of the snails and slugs, and will avoid it under all costs. A strip of copper or tape along the perimeter of the pond or garden is a capable control method. Sprinkling copper powder around these areas will also have the same impact. Common spices and foods such as sage, ginger, coffee, and vinegar can act as effective repellents. They can as well kill the mollusks. Place a solution of any of these homestead substances around the areas the snails frequent for control.
Ash will limit their slimy movement, and they can’t get around well enough to source for food and other essentials for survival.
- Resistant Plants: for gardeners, there are plants they can cultivate and keep the gastropods at bay. Among the most effective gastropod-resistant plants include hosta and seaweed.Seaweed is a bit salty, a condition that snails and slugs don’t like. Other good candidates to include in the garden include fuchsias, lavender, sage, rosemary, geraniums and California poppy.
- Using Chemicals and Other Substances: sprinkling salt on the mollusks is one the quickest ways of killing them. Typically, salt has a dehydrating effect on them, but you will need to be careful about plants. Salt is not good around plants.Garlic solution will also kill the snails upon contact. Ideally, spray the garlic solution around all mollusk infested areas, and the substance will do the trick.If you are after a quick and effective commercial chemical mollusk control method, then iron phosphate is your best bet. The chemical is safe around plants and deadly against the pests – talk of a silent killer, literally.Other useful chemicals include ordinary breach, alum, and potassium permanganate. Spray the substances on the infested areas to kill the pests.
- Cultivation Methods: the best cultivation practices to control the mollusks include frequent tilling and removal of debris from the garden. Frequent tilling will expose the snails and slugs’ eggs to predation and make breeding hard. You can introduce wood chips and gravel in the garden to make it unfavorable for infestation.You will need to change your watering ways. Instead of water in the evening, change it to early morning. Mollusks are active during the night, and they love moist conditions. As a result, dry gardens during the nights are unfavorable for them.