Snails can be useful animals. They clean up plant and other garden waste and feed the birds and hedgehogs. However, they can also be a real nuisance, especially when they become pests and feed on the sprouting plants in your vegetable garden. Here are some tips to help you get rid of them naturally and without any chemical pesticides.
Start Controlling Slugs in March
March is the ideal time to start controlling slugs. Once the temperature outside is 5°C or warmer, they will appear. Even though there are only a few in March, they will still start to mate during that time and lay up to 300 or 400 eggs. Hence, every snail you begin getting rid of during that specific time will help you eliminate many more.
Fight Off Slugs By Cleaning Traps
Snails do not tolerate drought and sun. They often retreat to moist and shady parts of the garden when the weather is warm. For instance, these may include under ground covers, such as perennials, stones, pots, trees, and a crack next to the garden floor. If, for example, you have a pile of old rocks in a corner, it’s most likely to be a good habitat for slugs. Removing the stones means one less spot for them to hide!
Scaring Snails With Smell
Snails hate strong smells. Garlic is particularly notorious to them. However, other herbs and plants, such as onions and chives, also seem to help. The same goes for some plants in the lace family, such as fennel and dill. Tomatoes and herbs such as thyme and mint can also repel slugs. Most of these are annual plants and have a relatively shorter growing season than those of slugs. However, they will surely be helpful during summer if you scatter them in the garden. Garlic extract can also be made by crushing garlic bulbs and briefly boil them in a liter of water. All you need to do is spray some garlic extract on the plants you want to offer extra protection from slugs, and you’re all good!
Repel Slugs By Collecting Them
Perhaps the most gentle way to combat slugs in the garden is to collect them. It is better to gather them after rain or at dusk since they often hide under ground covers, tiles, and stones during warm climates. Pick up all the slugs’ insight and place them in a container. When you get over your feelings, you can release the snails you collected into a city park or a forest or any place which is at least 20 meters away.
Using Plants to Fight Snails
You can make some parts of your garden uncomfortable for slugs. Fragile plants can be surrounded by straw, coco (coconut) shells, or eggshells. Snails don’t like the sharp edges of straw, eggshells, and shells, so that they will leave the plant more quickly. Straws and cocoa shells are also great mulch to keep the soil from drying out and to compost the plants.
Drive Away The Snails By Attracting Them
You can also attract slugs by placing, for example, old wet wood, wet newspaper, or stones in the garden. If you pick it up in the morning, you will usually find lots of slugs. Food scraps such as the outside of a pumpkin, orange peels, and a hollow potato also work. Put it in the garden at night, and chances are all the snails will be on it by morning. Interrupt them immediately, or they will soon escape with a well-stuffed belly!
How do you get rid of snails in your garden? Share your tips with us in the comments below!