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aquaholic 07-29-2012 07:43 PM

Snail Invasion!!
 
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My yard has been invaded by snails. I've asked my gardener and pest control guy and neither have seen these before nor do they have any ideas on how to deal with them. As you can see in the photo they're much smaller than normal snails.

Everywhere I go in my yard they're there, lawn, planters, etc. Normally I wouldn't care but they seem to be growing in numbers. A couple of questions:

1) Are these snails harmful to my yard?

2) How do I get rid of them?

Thanks!

shadytrake 07-29-2012 10:57 PM

If I had that much infestation of snails, I would be looking for the water leak. Seriously, snails like shady wet areas so if that were close to my home, I would be worried about moisture.

They will snack on your best flowers and buds so I don't let them hang around (I grow orchids). I would check your drainage to make sure you don't have wet spots. You can throw out some salt, but too much will damage plants.

If you don't have a water problem, then you might be watering at the wrong time. Best to water in the early morning and then let the sun dry the soil by the evening. Of course this is a general recommendation.

If you live in a rural area or on a farm, get a duck or two. They are effective snail eaters. I live in the city so no ducks here but the Memphis Botanic Garden has ducks and they help control snails.

user1007 07-30-2012 07:48 AM

Placing pie tins of beer is on old trick. It dulls them so they do not move under cover and the sun gets them when exposed.

I had a terrible problem with snails in N California largely because the neighbors didn't do much to abate them. I had to buying snail poison in fairly large quantities when the boxes of pellets you can get at the nursery stopped working. Try the pellets first though.

I too raised orchids and they were notorious for chewing stems in half.

It looks like you might have brought the snails to your environment on nursery stock. You should update your profile so we know where you are.

aquaholic 07-30-2012 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadytrake (Post 977318)
If I had that much infestation of snails, I would be looking for the water leak. Seriously, snails like shady wet areas so if that were close to my home, I would be worried about moisture.

They will snack on your best flowers and buds so I don't let them hang around (I grow orchids). I would check your drainage to make sure you don't have wet spots. You can throw out some salt, but too much will damage plants.

If you don't have a water problem, then you might be watering at the wrong time. Best to water in the early morning and then let the sun dry the soil by the evening. Of course this is a general recommendation.

If you live in a rural area or on a farm, get a duck or two. They are effective snail eaters. I live in the city so no ducks here but the Memphis Botanic Garden has ducks and they help control snails.

Thanks for the feedback. I live in Las Vegas so it gets pretty hot here, we water in the early morning but that's an island/planter so if the soil isn't kept moist, my plants will die. But these are everywhere, even along the edges of the lawn.

Regarding the salt, are you referring to standard table salt? I might actually try that in a part of the yard and see how it affects the lawn/plants.

aquaholic 07-30-2012 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdsester (Post 977443)
Placing pie tins of beer is on old trick. It dulls them so they do not move under cover and the sun gets them when exposed.

I had a terrible problem with snails in N California largely because the neighbors didn't do much to abate them. I had to buying snail poison in fairly large quantities when the boxes of pellets you can get at the nursery stopped working. Try the pellets first though.

I too raised orchids and they were notorious for chewing stems in half.

It looks like you might have brought the snails to your environment on nursery stock. You should update your profile so we know where you are.

Sorry, I had to actually log into my computer to update my profile. I'm in Vegas so during the day it gets pretty hot here, problem is where they are the worst is in our planters where we've added wood mulch to keep the moisture in the soil. I think I'm back to the nursery today and look into that snail poison! :)

user1007 07-30-2012 09:34 AM

The snail pellets the nursery will have in boxes work well. They break down fast when they get wet though.

I honestly forget the name of the stuff I used in California but I got it from the supplier of other pesticides. I don't remember if I needed my license to buy it or not. It was a grey granule you could put on with a spreader and it did not break down with water like the pellets. I had to buy it in large sacks though so it may be overkill for you.

Good luck!

shadytrake 07-30-2012 12:50 PM

Yes, they are attracted to those planters for sure and since you need to keep them moist to survive, it's a good hangout for the snails too. Kind of like an oasis in a desert. LOL.

I never had much luck with the pellets myself but that is because they lose effectiveness if you wet them too much. At the MBG, they put the pellets in small tins that get removed when the orchids are watered. I'm too lazy for that. I keep my orchids in a screened shadehouse and I quarantine new plants before they go inside. That way, I keep them out.

I would put the pellets down like sdsester recommends but put them in a tin so you can remove them when watering. That way they last longer.

user1007 07-30-2012 01:08 PM

Here is a piece from University of California extension. I had forgotten that copper can be effective.

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7427.html

You might call the ag extension office for Nevada or see if the library has any bulletins?

DIYtestdummy 08-09-2012 08:42 PM

Get a couple of boxturtles - they love to eat snails and they can help fertilize the plants. Mine tore down a prickly pear cactus because he got mad at it, but hasn't harmed any of the flowers or even weeds.

Copper works well too. Don't rely on salt, except to burn your plants. I'm a brownthumb, but someone told me to get a predator of a pest.

user1007 08-11-2012 06:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DIYtestdummy (Post 985266)
Get a couple of boxturtles - they love to eat snails and they can help fertilize the plants. Mine tore down a prickly pear cactus because he got mad at it, but hasn't harmed any of the flowers or even weeds.

Copper works well too. Don't rely on salt, except to burn your plants. I'm a brownthumb, but someone told me to get a predator of a pest.

Turtles would be fun but I suspect they would bake to death in the Las Vegas desert heat.:huh:

Just to comment on the general idea of getting a predator for pests. Sure as long as it fits and is a natural component of the existing ecosystem. Many the horror stories of how predators were introduced to environments as pest control only to become worse and sometimes more dangerous pests, with no predators themselves! Be careful. :yes:

DIYtestdummy 08-11-2012 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdsester (Post 986037)
Turtles would be fun but I suspect they would bake to death in the Las Vegas desert heat.:huh:

Naw, he hasn't baked to death in the AZ desert heat yet, so he'd be fine in Vegas.


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