The Battle Against Garden Snails: Effective Strategies to Protect Your Plants in June
Just like slugs, garden snails do a lot of damage to plants. They use their tongues to eat holes in plant leaves, stems, and flowers, leaving a trail of destruction behind. So how can you protect your plants from garden snails in June? Here are some effective strategies.
Which snail is invading your garden?
The snail you’ll notice most in your garden is the common garden snail, or Cornu aspersum. There’s also a smaller species called the banded snail which has bright yellow, white, and brown bands on its body. This species is not so damaging to plants however.
When are garden snails most active?
Snails are most active when it gets dark or when the weather is wet.
What do they eat?
Snails love to eat seedlings so that’s why they are bad news for gardeners who want to protect their spring and summer plants. They also eat decomposing matter like leaves, animal faeces, and even dead fellow snails.
What are the signs of a snail invasion in your garden?
· You’ll see a slimy ‘snail trail’ on plant leaves, stems, soil, and garden paths.
· There’ll be irregular shaped holes in plant shoots and leaves.
How to control garden snails
It’s very hard to completely eradicate garden snails, so any strategies for control should focus on minimising damage to your plants.
Not keen on using chemicals?
You can try:
· Getting out in the garden on mild damp evenings, picking snails up and putting them in a container. You can then move them to a compost heap or areas of your garden where you don’t have vulnerable young plants.
· Encouraging snail predators like birds, frogs, and hedgehogs in your garden. For example, planting shrubs with berries to attract blackbirds.
· Buying traps from a garden centre.
Want to try pesticides?
If your garden is overrun with slugs, you might want to try pesticides. Slug pellets work on garden snails too. Just scatter them sparingly around seedlings, veg, and other young plants. Always follow the instructions on the label and make sure you store them safely as they are harmful to children and pets if ingested.
If you’re buying slug pellets online make sure you buy them from a reputable manufacturer. Something important to note: if you see an ingredient called metaldehyde on the label, steer clear. These products have been banned in the UK in the last couple of years. Research found that metaldehyde posed ‘an unacceptable risk’ to birds and mammals so it was withdrawn.
If you do go down the slug pellet route, opt for a product containing ferric phosphate. This is an ingredient that’s approved for use by organic growers.
Need professional help and advice on garden snails?
If snails are causing widespread destruction in your garden and you’ve tried other methods to no avail, it’s time to call in the professionals. Contego’s expert technicians have access to professional grade products that aren’t available to the public, as well as the know how needed to eradicate your problem fast and effectively.
Protect your plants and reclaim your garden from the snail invaders.