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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Snail and Slug Control in the Garden

Q. I live in Las Vegas on a 1/2 acre lot with a large back yard. My #1 enemy is small grass snails that destroy the roots. Is there a product that you know of that will eliminate these pests?  FYI, we also have a desert tortoise, and dogs and would not want to harm them. 

These are pictures from other readers in the past regarding snails

A. Here are the options as I understand them for snails and slugs. Basically, slugs are snails without the shell so they are treated about the same.

Sluggo. This is a commercial bait that is advertised as safe for pets. It is a combination of iron and phosphorus but concentrated. Apply every two weeks around plants and the soil should be moist but no standing water. Since they come out at night, apply it at dusk.

Newspapers and cardboard. Lay wet newspaper and cardboard on the surface of the soil between plants where there are problems with snails and slugs. In the morning pull up the newspaper and cardboard where you will see them having a party. Put on your party hat, collect them and dispose of them.

Stale beer. I like Heineken for myself and Blue Moon in the summer but snails and slugs are less picky. Any old cheap beer will work. Open some cans of beer and let it sit for one day to get stale. Pour it into shallow dishes in the garden and they will come in there again, to party. In all of their excitement they drown in the stale beer. Collect them, dispose of them and put more stale beer out.

Aluminum foil. I have been told that a ring of aluminum foil around plants will keep them from getting to them. I have never tried it.

I don't like adding table salt to the soil or critters which I have seen recommended in the past.

Maybe some readers have some good ideas. Let's let them comment on my blog about this.

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