Snails eat grass because it’s their primary source of food. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t defend your property against them. That’s why this article was made to inform you on methods to protect your garden.
By the end of this post, you’ll have the tips and insights needed to stop the slugs from causing long-term damage to your grass. That way, you can ensure that your plants and flowers can grow without any snail interference.
Do Snails Eat Grass?
Based on a University of California Integrated Pest Management Program study, slugs and snails like herbaceous plants and turfgrass seedings. Thus, if you have newly sprouted grass, chances are you’ll see snails in your yard. Snails dislike established lawns as they don’t offer a proper food source for them.
Can Snails Kill Grass?
Yes. Juvenile snails can kill grass seedlings because they view them as food. If they cannot touch the seeds, the grass will be attacked but not destroyed. To protect your garden, try to create a barrier to prevent them from invading it.
How To Detect Snail Damage In Lawn
Snails like to live in moist and dark areas. They tend to hide throughout the day unless there is cloudy weather. Snails are difficult to find during cold weather and droughts because these elements protect them.
However, there are some ways to measure snail damage in your yard. When snails start to move forward, they create a mucus trail. This trail has a silvery appearance, especially on landscape stones and wood surfaces. If you notice slime near the area, chances are a slime is the main culprit behind it.
Additionally, you can see the damage itself. Snails leave large holes on the ground when they’re done moving throughout the day. This can be hard to spot on newer grass, but the vegetables or plants will show direct signs of damage.
If you look with a keen eye, you can spot snails moving in your yard. Look for damage in dark areas where snails tend to hide throughout the day.
You can find snails under planters, decks, woodpiles, and similar areas. For long-term snail removal, eliminate their resting areas.
Why Does My Lawn Have So Many Snails?
Let’s face it; your lawn is a natural habitat for multiple animals in your garden.
Throughout history, snails acted as weather detectors. For instance, if you notice a snail leaving your lawn and there’s no stone, chances are it’s about to rain.
However, as humans evolved into creating and analyzing weather forecasts, snails did not lose their relevance. Snails like to eat rotten fruit and vegetables, leading to them cleaning up the ground. Snails recycle old organic matter and convert it into plant-healthy nutrients by eating rotten food and dried leaves.
While it’s okay to have a few slugs in your garden, a myriad of snails can spell doom for your garden. If you notice 3-5 slugs in your lawn, expect to have a dozen of them in your lawn within a few days. As a rule of thumb, the larger the lawn, the more slugs you’ll have.
Snails create vomit that could potentially poison your pets. In addition, they carry lungworms, which can grow into roundworms and infect a human’s intestines. Some snails tend to eat the roots, which kills the plants from their underside.
Some plants are more nutritious for snails than others. Snails like to eat succulent, tender foliage. Placing your plant seedlings indoors and only bringing them to your yard when they mature is a quick way to reduce the appearance of snails.
Plants with stiff leaves or aromatic foliage won’t attract snails.
If you grow vegetables or herbs, use poison granules or snail traps to protect the plants.
Damp conditions will attract more snails. However, most gardens need a moist environment to thrive, which leads to more food for them. To reduce excessive moisture, use an irrigation system, so the plants remain dry.
Drip irrigation stops water from accumulating under pavers and other areas that can attract snails. Moisture is trapped by mulch, so you might have to remove organic material until the snails stop entering your grass.
Piles of dead plants and weeds provide a great nesting area for snails. Pulling weeds from the garden will remove dead plant material and will deter snails from entering your garden.
When weeding, don’t place dead weeds piles on the flower beds. This will cause the snails to rest in these dark areas. Place the compost pile away from your garden to protect it from future snail infestations.
How Do I Get Rid Of Snails In My Grass?
Here are some ways to get snails out of your garden.
Chemicals, Pesticides, and Salt
If you want a quick way to kill snails, just use a pinch of salt. When in use, the salt dehydrates their shell, eventually killing them over time. You can place a thick layer of salt around the area as a barrier or sprinkle it directly onto their shell.
However, salt can harm animals and plants. Use iron-phosphate, snail control solutions, and garlic that will kill snails.
Create Repellents and Barriers
Repellents and barriers are an effective way of removing snails without harming them. Here are some available options:
You can use coarse substances like lava rock, sandpaper, and ground-up eggshells. Even coffee grounds are effective at removing snails. Studies show that 1-2% caffeine can kill snails, while coffee grounds will create a barrier that snails won’t cross.
Copper is a great barrier against snails because the metal produces electrical shocks that are difficult for snails to walk through. Place a small strip of copper in your garden or any area you want to keep them away from. For the best results, sprinkle the copper fragments in the affected areas.
Diatomaceous earth is a natural and non-toxic barrier for snails and other pests. It’s made out of fossilized diatoms that make it hard for snails to walk through. While diatomaceous earth won’t kill the snail, it will slow them down.
Creating traps is a great option if you have multiple snails in your yard. For instance, traps are a good alternative to baits for snail removal. You can use store-bought traps or inexpensive DIY traps.
Snail traps work by creating a scent that directs the snails to the trap and kills them once they arrive.
How Do I Get Rid Of Snails Naturally?
Here are some natural remedies to remove snails from your lawn:
Nematodes are microscopic worms that are effective in smaller gardens. They act as biological control as they penetrate the snail’s skin and kill it. While this isn’t the most pleasant solution, it is effective and organic.
Chickens, Ducks, and Birds
Many birds are predators of snails. They will quickly remove the snail from the garden by flying and attacking them. This is a natural way to remove them from your garden, creating an ecological life cycle.
This method doesn’t require chemicals, and the snails won’t suffer a slow death from either drowning or poison. If you have a large garden, you can introduce chickens or ducks there to keep snails away.
In addition, chickens and ducks can control pests and insects entering your garden. They naturally change your soil when they chase pests and bugs. Chickens and ducks will also give you eggs and create manure to fertilize the grass.
If you are located near the ocean, then you have a natural snail repellent right in front of you. Take the seaweed to the shoreline and chop it up to make mulch.
Afterward, take the seaweed and mix it with your soil’s top layer. Seaweed adds nutrients to your soil and deters snails from your garden. This can include trace nutrients that are difficult to add to the soil by other means.
Don’t Water Your Lawn At Night
Snails are the most active during the evening. This is when the lawn is moist, and snails need moisture to survive. If you’re watering your garden in the evening, you’re making them more attracted to your plants.
The reason why you should avoid watering your garden at night is that you’ll encourage the snails to eat your plants. Instead, you should water your garden in the morning because the leaves will be dry at night, further repelling snails from your property.
Remove Them Manually
Did you know you could use your hand to remove snails from your garden? However, this method can be time-consuming and not a suitable long-term solution. If you do have the patience to do this method, check your garden regularly and move the snails 20 feet away from your garden.
To conclude, there are multiple methods to keep snails away from your garden. By creating a barrier, using pesticides, or any other methods listed above, snails will leave your property and go to another area. Through consistent diligence, you’ll have a snail-free garden!
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