Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:51 pm
An often underestimated pest in the garden is the snail. It moves slowly, but in the garden the damage done is still considerable. It eats your plants and ensures that the harvest is less.
Which plants are particularly attractive to the snail and what do these little critters prefer to eat?
The snail is considered an omnivore. In addition to plants, this means that it also eats fungi and even dead animals. It prefers healthy plants that grow in your garden. Vegetable plants are particularly high on the list. If you try to grow vegetables in your garden, you should take precautions against the snail.
Here is an overview of what snails like to eat:
- Cabbage leaves
- Carrot herb
You notice that the range of edible plants is very diverse. Snails prefer a varied diet and do not stop at ornamental plants. Some flowers are tasty to slugs and fall prey to them. If you discover slugs in your garden you should fight them as soon as possible to prevent further infestation.
Somewhat unusually, the snail seems to react to brewer’s yeast. You can take advantage of this fact if you discover slugs in your garden and want to trap them. A beer trap is considered a popular attractant to keep the snail away from your plants.
However, the effect of the beer trap is so good that setting it up usually produces the opposite effect. This is because the smell attracts slugs even within a radius of several hundred meters. This leads to the fact that snails themselves far away make their way to your garden. So, with the jaw trap, you attract a large number of the snails to your garden in the first place. Therefore, you should rather resort to other methods to get rid of the slugs.
These little pests are by no means vegetarians. They also feed on carrion, and some slugs do not stop at conspecifics. This includes, for example, the tiger snail.
The tiger slug completely refrains from eating your plants or flowers. It feeds mainly on other snails. It could be observed that the tiger slug eats other adult slugs. Although it prefers the more digestible eggs, live snails are also on its menu.
As a natural predator, you can consider the tiger slug a friend in the garden. It decimates slug infestations and thus protects your plants.
If your plants are not doing so well and some leaves appear powerless, the garden snail is a real helper. It eats the old, dead plant parts and in this way enables the growth of new shoots. At the same time, the excrement of this snail proves to be a valuable fertilizer. The resulting humus enhances the soil and helps your plants grow better.
When the slug is considered a pest, it is mostly about slugs. This type of snail is known to attack your plants and cause a lot of damage to the garden.
They prefer the listed vegetable and plant species. They are not very squeamish about it and eat both healthy and young plant parts. Their hunger is so great that the infestation causes the plants to die. To protect your garden, you should fight the slug as effectively as possible.
What do slugs eat in the tank as a pet?
Slugs in aquariums are a special subspecies. These are usually introduced via contaminated plants, where they spread unhindered. With a snail trap for the aquarium you can catch the small pests and put them back outside. Otherwise, the snails will multiply in large numbers and the space for your fish will decrease.
In the aquarium, the snails feed mainly on dead plant parts and the fish food. Therefore, when dosing, you should make sure that you do not apply too much food. Give out only as much food as your fish really need. Then there will be less left for the snails, so you will limit their growth. Since the fish reach the food faster the snails are dependent on it to utilize the surplus.
Which plants do snails avoid?
Although most snails have established themselves as omnivores, this fortunately does not mean that they like all plants. In fact, they take a wide berth from some and leave them alone entirely.
Some flowers and perennials are considered slug resistant. This is due to the fact that they have bitter substances that are not very pleasant for the snail. In the case of vegetable plants, this natural protection has been bred out, as humans also dislike the bitter substances.
If the flowers and perennials taste bitter, the snails usually give them a wide berth. Therefore, it is worth planting the garden not only in a monoculture, but between the vegetables put the ornamental plants.
Mint proves to be particularly effective. The essential oils of mint have such a repellent effect on the snail that it keeps a greater distance. In this way, you create a natural barrier and prevent the snail from getting through to your vegetable plants.
How do you protect your garden from slugs?
If you find slugs in your garden, you should immediately start to fight them. Otherwise, they will spread unhindered and the next generation of slugs will grow.
Probably the most animal-friendly, but at the same time the most time-consuming method is to catch the snails one by one and release them outside the garden. If there are only a few snails in your garden, this is an effective method. Place the snails a few hundred meters away, so that they do not find their way back so quickly. If the snails feel comfortable in their new habitat, they will stay away from the garden.
Snails prove to be skilled climbers. However, they do not feel comfortable on every surface. One insurmountable barrier seems to be copper. By adding copper wire around bed borders or designing a fence, slugs will not gain access to your plants.
Conventional slug fences are also designed so that they cannot be climbed. This is because have an overhang, which slugs are afraid of.
A brute method consists in the application of slug pellets. This agent is toxic to slugs and effectively combats them. However, other garden inhabitants also run the risk of dying from slug pellets. Therefore, you should rather resort to more natural means to drive away the slugs.
The voracious slug
Most slugs love to feast on your crops and vegetables. These are not only tasty for humans, but also for the small pests. Therefore, snails prefer to eat these nutritious plants.
On the other hand, most ornamental plants as well as perennials are uninteresting. These still have the natural bitter substances, which makes them inedible for snails. Likewise, mint proves to be a real secret weapon against the snail. The essential oils are so effective that the snail does not dare to come near them. This is a simple way to protect your garden and prevent the snail from spreading there and eating the vegetable plants.