If you have been gardening for some time now then you should be aware about the problem posed by smails to the plants that you are taking care of. These are little feeding machines that together with their even more annoying cousins the slug can cause a lot of trouble to your garden. They can either make your garden look bad by chewing on the tender leaves of the plants or they can completely eliminate a row of newly grown vegetables.
How Do Garden Snails Eat?- As mentioned before these small, slimy fellows are practically eating machines that have insatiable appetites. They go from plant to plant eating off the parts that are edible to them. They can eat vegetables, fruits and herbs. If they find themselves in a tight spot they can then feed on lichens, algae. They can even feed on fruits like apples.
Ways of Controlling Garden Snails– Garden snails are pests and while some people might think that it is easy enough to control them by picking them up one by one, that is not as easy as it sounds because it is very easy to miss them especially when they are mixed up with the foliage of your garden. The good news is that there are plenty of methods used for controlling them which are currently in use.
Natural Predators– One organic and natural way of controlling snails is by introducing and encouraging the presence of their natural predators in your garden. The garter snake is one of the best natural predator that you can use because it feeds on other pests as well. The decollate snail is another good natural predator to use. It feeds on the ordinary garden snail but it does not harm your plants at all.
Gritty Substance– Since the soft body of the snails touch the ground as it moves along, you can actually kill it by spreading gritty substances like sand or crushed egg shells around the plants that snails are particularly fond of eating. The substance can cut their bodies eventually killing them.
Traps- You can actually construct some traps for snails and these are all proven to be effective. One of the best traps is called the beer pan. For some reason snails are attracted by the scent of the beer and when you place some on a vessel and leave it in the garden, snails are going to be attracted towards it. The thing is that snails when they reach the vessel get drowned in the beer. Another good trap is to use a board or some other material that you can moisten. You can leave it in a damp spot and after a few days you can harvest and destroy the snails that are going to be attracted towards it.
Barrier- Copper wire is a good repellent for snails and they are not going to pass through that. There are also other materials that you can use which can serve the purpose of a good barrier for snails.