April 10, 2012

Snail Control in Your Lawn & Garden

Whether you are an expert gardener or you are someone who is just getting started, you’ll find that you need to think about how you are going to get rid of snails! Plenty of people think that snails are cute until they get them in their garden, and if you have never dealt with snails on your property before, you may be a little hesitant to kill them. However, once you learn a little more about what snails can do to your plants, you’ll be reaching for the bait!

Snails attack your plants when they are at their most vulnerable. In the early spring, they can be found going after your tender new shoots and when you have a real infestation, they can devastate your garden and any hopes you had for a gorgeous property for the entire year! One of the rough problems related to snails is that they work so fast. You’ll find that a really dedicated crop of snails can cause lots of ragged leaves in the space of a single night.

While snails are evident all year round, you’ll find that the time that you want to kill snails the most is going to be in the early spring. Snail hatchlings take about 10 days to hatch, and after that, they are incredibly voracious. This is when they can damage your garden the most severely, but it is important to remember that you can act quickly. Even if your infestation has been going on for a while, you’ll find that it is possible to make sure that the snails gets halted in their tracks.

There are two types of baits that you may use when you want to get rid of snails. Metaldehyde is fairly common, but it is poisonous to dogs and cats. DO NOT use this bait if you have small children who play in the yard or outdoor pets. A safer bait is one that is made out of iron phosphate. Both of these substances are widely available at a garden store, but be sure that you choose the one that best suits your situation.

Place the bait in places where you see a lot of snails. Sprinkle it gently around areas like your sprinkler heads or in other places where you see a lot of snail traffic. It is always most effective to apply the snail bait right after you water the area. Avoid placing it when the weather has been very hot or very cold. Dry temperatures also make the bait less effective. Remember to refresh the bait every seven days, and also if it rains heavily.

If you are committed to learning how to kill snails, take a moment to think about where your snail bait is and where you can put it. The end result of killing snails will be a garden that is blissfully free of ragged leaves and destroyed young plants. It is always better to act sooner than later, so find out how you can get rid of your snail population today.


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

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