Q. How do I get rid of snails?
There are several ways to deal with snails:
- Place an abrasive barrier around your plants, e.g.. grit, broken egg shells, or course sand.
- Place traps in the garden beds. A popular trap is beer. Place saucers of beer around your plants. Snails will be drawn to the taste and smell and will drown. Replace the beer every few days.
- Erect a barrier that is unattractive to snails around the plants. Copper flashing or wire is thought to be effective. You can buy it in many nurseries.
- Eliminate hiding places. Snails like to hide under boards, benches, rocks, steps etc. during the day.
- Manually pick snails from your garden beds. Wear gloves or use tongs. Some people use chopsticks! Look for them after rain or at night with a flashlight.
- Clear out debris where snails may hide.
- Change your gardening practices, e. g. water in the morning rather than at night.
- Use commercial baits. Unfortunately, most of these contain chemicals poisonous to human. (Iron phosphate is safe though.)
- Encourage predators, such as garter snakes.
- Some plants are more resistant to snails than other. Try: California poppies, fuchsias, geraniums, impatiens, lantana, ornamental grasses, and scented herbs (like rosemary and lavender).
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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