What San Diego Gardeners Ought To Know About Snails

green icon of a snail

It takes a lot of time and work to keep our gardens looking green and healthy, especially when it comes to keeping out pests that might cause damage. Snails are some of the most destructive garden pests out there, and learning how you can prevent their populations from forming will help you keep your plants protected.

Where To Find Snails

First off, let’s make sure we all know the difference between slugs and snails. Both are gastropods that eat fruity or flowery plants, but snails carry around shells that act as mobile homes. They are commonly found crawling around in grasses or soils, especially those that are close to food sources. While they are primarily garden pests, snails can be driven indoors in search of food, especially if sugary aromas attract them inside. The chemical receptors all over their bodies allow them to detect food from far off, and their slimy, gelatinous bodies can squeeze into surprisingly tight spaces.

Destruction Snails Cause

Not only are they pretty gross to look at, but snails are also destructive pests that can do a lot of damage to gardens and decorative plants. Here are some of the common ways they can damage your property:

  • Leaves: Snails mostly eat tender grasses and leaves, with bite marks often found around the edges.
  • Flowers: A delicacy for snails, flower petals are another common target for garden snails.
  • Predators: Snails also attract predators, like garter snakes and rodents, who prey on them.

Why Snails Are Hard To Control

Aside from being harmful to gardens, snails are also difficult to control. All snails are hermaphroditic, meaning they all are capable of laying eggs after mating with another snail. At up to six batches of eggs per year, snail populations can grow large quite quickly. Thanks to their highly sensitive eyes, snails are most active at night or on particularly overcast days. That means you’re less likely to spot them directly than you are to see the signs of their damage after the fact. If a population has formed in your yard, it’s important to turn to professionals for proper removal. You can find all kinds of supposedly easy and cheap fixes for garden snails but very few of them actually work. Those that do likely won’t eliminate the whole population, giving unhatched eggs time to produce more snails that simply replace the old population.

Snail Prevention For Your Property

The best way to prevent snail damage is to make sure you’re protecting your yard from invasion at all times. Here are some methods that gardeners have had some success with in the past, though none is a substitute for professional assistance:

  • Eggshells: Scattering crushed eggshells around your planters and soil beds will deter snails since the sharp edges cut their bodies as they slide over the soil.
  • Copper: Copper is a natural snail repellent and, while there are some contradictory studies out there, copper fencing or other barriers made out of the metal have had success warding off snails.
  • Barriers: Anything that snails have to crawl around or over to access plants will encourage them to find other, easier food supplies.

Let Us Help

When it comes to your garden, it’s only natural to feel protective, especially when the prospect of snails damaging your plants is very real and very common. In order to ensure that snail populations never start, trust professionals who can protect your entire yard from snails and other destructive pests. At Allswell, our trusted San Diego pest control experts can root out garden pests and stop them before they do serious damage to your precious plants. Whether you need early prevention or fast elimination, it’s better to turn to professionals for complete control of snails.

For true protection of your yard and garden, turn to Allswell for professional pest control today!