The Q&A Archives: Snails

Question: HI,
I have several potted plants by my front door and front walkway, and lately they have been plagued by snails. I have geraniums, roses, Mexican Heather, and some other plants, that I change from time to time. When I go out to walk my dog at night, they are crawling all over them, and all over the walkway. I live in a condo development, and it doesn't look like my neighbors have the same problem. What can I do to get rid of them? thanks for your help!

Answer: There are several environmentally friendly ways of dealing with snails and slugs. You can try to deter them by putting a barrier around your plants. Copper strips are expensive, but effective. You can also use crushed egg shells or diatomaceous earth around the stems of your plants. If you can sprinkle dry soil around the stems, that will deter them, too. Another way to lower the population is to go out at night with a flashlight and harvest any snails you see. If you eliminate hiding places in your garden, they may go elsewhere to feast. Remove any plant debris that might provide moisture and shade for the critters. You can set up a trap by inverting a terra-cotta flower pot in your garden, propping it up with a stone so the snails will crawl under and into it. In the morning, remove the collection of snails that you find hiding in the trap.

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