Friday, October 14, 2011

Snail Control

Snails can be a real pest in the garden, especially if you have soft leaved plants or tender seedlings, which they love to eat.

There are lots of different ways of controlling snails. The most environmentally sound method is to put on some boots of a damp evening and go stomping as snails generally feed at night. Alternatively you can collect snails and slugs by hand and kill them by dropping them into soapy water. Many of us don’t have time for this so the next best thing to do is buy an environmentally friendly snail bait that won’t harm pets such as cats and dogs or the native wildlife.

Snails like to live on vertical surfaces in the heart of strappy leaved plants and in crevices. This makes targeting them easier. Simply put a few pellets into the heart of the plant out of the sight of other animals.

Another more organically sound method of snail control is to use organic sprays made from plants that will deter these pests. Quassia amara can be made into a spray that is applied to the soil to kill snails and slugs and can also be sprayed onto the leaves of trees affected by pear and cherry slugs. Sprays can also be made from wormwood, garlic and white cedar to make the leaves unpalatable to pests, but are not recommended on vegetables that are going to be eaten soon after.

A bowl of beer placed strategically in the garden can be effective against slugs and snails, which are attracted to it, crawl in and drown.

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