The Q&A Archives: Slugs Or Snails

Question: We live in Southern California. What is the real name of the snails or slugs that are so common in gardens here? What do they eat? Anything else about their lifecycle appreciated.

Answer: Snails and slugs are among the most bothersome pests in the garden. The brown garden snail, Helix aspersa, is the common snail causing problems in California gardens. Many species of slugs may cause damage; the most common is probably the gray garden slug, Agriolimax reticulatus. Both groups are members of the mollusc class and are similar in structure and biology, except tht slugs lack the snail's external shell. Snails and slugs can live for several years and are most active at night, preferring to hide in garden debris during the daytime. They reproduce by laying eggs, sometimes several times a year. These egg clusters are found just below the soil surface. Snails and slugs have huge appetites and feed mostly on plant parts and animal dung.

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