6 Easy Ways To Control Snails
The only sure-fire way to keep your garden free of snails and slugs is to destroy them. There are several ways to do this, or you can use natural deterrents to keep them away from your plants by making the garden less hospitable.
Scatter pellets or apply a snail gel around plants by hand, choosing an animal-friendly product to protect pets, native birds and lizards.
Set traps baited with fresh lettuce, citrus rind or stale beer, check them daily and squash the pests or drop them into a jar of salty water.
Use copper tape as a collar for young plants and pots, or as bed edging. Copper makes an effective barrier, as it gives snails and slugs a slight electric shock. This tape is about 30mm wide.
Search and destroy snails and slugs by hand-picking them out of the garden and killing them. If you can’t bear to squash or drown them, mix a solution of equal parts vinegar and water and pour it into a spray bottle for a homemade and eco-friendly pesticide. Spray the solution directly onto both snails and slugs to kill them, but be careful where you use it as vinegar is a herbicide and will also poison your plants.
Position timber boards on the soil near vulnerable plants and the pests will migrate to the underside where they can be easily removed. Clear away decaying vegetation and debris like rocks and leaf litter to eliminate daytime hiding places. Mulch also makes a good home for snails and slugs, so keep it less than 80mm thick.
TIP Don’t spread mulch until plants are well established and daytime temperatures are reaching 21°C.
Lay barriers around plants, especially lettuces, to stop snails and slugs in their tracks. These soft-bodied pests will turn away from a sharp or scratchy barrier rather then crawl across it to get to the salad bar. Surround plants with strips of coarse grit abrasive paper or broken eggshells. Coir also works, as the tiny fibres stick to snails and slugs, making it hard for them to move.