Spring Valley Snails Are Garden Pests
Although Spring has not yet sprung, it's not that far away. You need to be ready to protect your precious plants and seedlings from the ravages of spring garden pests.
Your garden will attract a lot of spring pests. Snails and slugs will be your most frequent visitors, especially after rain. They will emerge to feed on your greens, plant seeds, seedlings, underground tubers, leaves and fruit. Damage to seedlings often results in the death of the plant.
The natural way to get rid of Spring Valley snails and slugs is to encourage predators such as toads, frogs, birds, ground-beetles and hedgehogs in a controlled manner, as they eat these pests.
Here are some other ways to get rid of snails.
A Pet Chicken Will Eat Snails
Here is a 100% win-win situation.
First of all, make sure your local laws and ordinances allow you to keep a chicken in your back yard.
Then buy a chick, so that it knows and trusts you as it grows up and becomes like a pet.
Make sure that you get a pullet. This is a young female that will grow up to be a hen. There are two reasons for this. One, if you get a rooster, you will soon have neighbors complaining about its early morning crowing. And second, your hen will supply you with 4 or 5 beautiful fresh eggs a week.
You'll almost forget that the reason you got her was to keep the snail population in check!
Chickens enjoy munching on snails, so allowing one to roam around your yard or garden is a great natural solution for snail control.
You don't even have to find the snails yourself. The chicken will do that for you. You don't have to do any of the snail removal yourself.
Note that ducks will also eat snails, but they generally prefer slugs.
It's best to release your chicken or chickens into the snail and slug filled garden early in the morning before the slugs and snails go into hiding and preferably before planting.
Let the birds enjoy their feast and get rid of the snails and slugs permanently. Then plant and keep your birds away from the young seedlings.
A Beer Trap for Snails
An interesting fact about snails is that they like beer! You can use this fact to create a beer trap.
Pour beer into a small container, such as an old can, a plastic cup, yogurt container, bowl, or pie dish.. Bury the container in your garden near the place where you saw snails, but leave about 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the soil. The smell of the beer will attract the snails, which will drown in the container. Tip: Use Spring Valley beer to control a Spring Valley snail problem 🙂
Adding yeast will make the traps more enticing to the snails.
As only the snails close to the beer trap will find it easily, you should put out multiple traps, to entice as many as possible.
Don’t bury your beer trap at soil level, as other beneficial bugs might accidentally die in it.
Iron Phosphate Snail Bait
There are many snail baits available, but one of the best to use is iron phosphate, as it is non-toxic to humans and pets.
Iron phosphate is a molluscicide, which means it kills snails and slugs. Simply place the trap in your garden or near the location where you’ve noticed snails, and they’ll be attracted to the bait on it. After they come into contact with the iron phosphate, the snails will die.
You an find iron phosphate snail and slug bait at your local gardening store or from an online supplier.
This bait will make the snails stop eating, but they may take as long as a week to die.
Coffee to Kill Spring Valley Snails
A high concentration of caffeine spayed onto slugs and snails will kill them.
Low concentrations of caffeine will make the slugs and snails leave your garden and stop feeding on your plants.
Spraying plant leaves with caffeine will also prevent slugs and snails from eating them.
One of the best ways of getting the caffeine into your garden is used coffee grounds. If you have your own espresso coffee machine you will have plenty of those that you normally throw out or compost. Otherwise, you can get them from your local coffee shop. Pour the used coffee grounds onto the soil and spread them. The caffeine is also beneficial to the garden soil. It is organic matter and will enrich the soil.
You may also buy caffeine based commercial sprays. These have high concentrations of caffeine and will kill the snails and slugs instantly.
Plants Your Spring Valley Snails Don't Like
Slugs and snails love plants with tender and succulent leaves. and no scent. Inter-cropping with woody and aromatic plants will get rid of your unwelcome slimy guests. You can plant
- Peruvian Lily
- Cushion Spurge
- All Ferns
Most of these slug and snail resistant plants are grasses and ferns. They are easy to grow, don't compete with other garden plants and dissuade your Spring Valley snails and slugs.