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Talkback: Slugs and snails

I have been devastated to find the depths of viciousness to which I have sunk. I cannot see a slug without KILLING it. Do I need therapy? Help!


  • Ginjosie - interesting to hear about the fly traps, I'll use that next year...they're less of an issue now that temperatures are dropping...that is until you open one of the 'chosen' windows in the top of the house and they hurtle out from the frames!!! YUK!

    Mary - suffice to say...'you and me both'...there are a few things which seem to escape my usually rather pacifist outlook!

  • I HATE SNAILS!!! I have a v large Skimmia japonica which during the summer housed hundreds of snails under the leaves. I regularly had to harvest them into a large bucket of hot salty water. LOVELY!!! I think I may need therapy too!!
  • There was a comment on Gardener's World a few years ago, to the effect that it was useless to toss surplus snails into the neighbour's garden, owing to their strong homing sense. The presenter went on to say "if you don't believe me, try painting their shells with nail polish before you toss them!" I tried it by painting a snails shell and then carrying it down the garden - it took 5 days to return. Having painted others using several different colours and tried the same thing I would say a) they certainly live for many years as we still have the originals b) you can easily see them and so don't tread on them and c) a mossy wall after rain is like a field of jewels - try it if you don't believe me!
  • I have got myself a couple of chickens which I keep in a coop. I go out at night and collect the slugs and snails and feed them to the chickens. They absolutely love them, and if you crush the shells of the snails it gives them the calcium they need to make their egg shells when they eat them. If you don't crush the shells they don't seem to bother eating them. Alternatively eat the snails yourself just make sure you clean them first. Perhaps 'Gardeners World' could publish an article on how to clean them. I clean them with carrot which shows up orange when they are ready. Bit of Garlic Butter and ooh la la! Delicious.
  • The problem with beer traps etc is that I've found other beasties in the mix - I only want rid of slugs and snails. My husband had some old copper pipe that I placed next to some snails. They recoiled every time they got near.
  • I hate slugs all that hard work we do just for the slugs and snails to eat. Try bran around you plants and vegs, it works for me and my friends.
  • There a Nightmare, Some times you could kill them but I just put them in the Gardening Bin!
  • Mary, I think I may need to join you in therapy! I seem to have been in a constant battle with slugs and snails this year. We have now put in a pond in the hope that the frogs will help keep the slugs and snails down next year. I wish I could attract a resident hedgehog (I am awaiting delivery of a hedgehog lodge) to help in the battle against the blighters and to help me keep what sanity I have left!!
  • An American friend uses a solution of ammonia and water and 'hits slugs like a squirt gun'. I have not tried this yet, but it conjures up quite a picture.
  • I find a small bowl of water with a squirt of washing up liquid does the trick, pick up your slug/snail drop them in the bowl and hey presto they are done for.
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