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Tips to get rid of snails from your garden

Updated on December 15, 2012
Snails in your garden!
Snails in your garden!


Every gardener has ever experienced unwanted visitors.

Your plants are eaten by disease, pests and other animals. One of these unwanted guests, are snails. Although prized as a delicacy in some parts of the world, we are usually not fond of their visit to our gardens. Especially since they can cause real havoc in young seedlings.

Slugs can do much damage to your garden!
Slugs can do much damage to your garden!

Different types of snails

There are different kinds of snails to be found in your garden. In general, the snails family does no real harm to your garden. The slugs, however, may become a real plague.

Don’t you know why your newly seeded plants have not come through, but can you feel that typical white stuff on the ground? Read on because you're stuck with snails.

The tips below are intended specifically against slugs, and try to spare other species.

What fails

Eggshells: Sprinkling eggshells around your vegetable garden helps nothing. Snails can even crawl on razors, and are not scared or harmed by egg shells.

Coffee dregs: Only if you put each day fresh coffee dregs into the garden, it can repel snails. Otherwise it won’t help in the fight against snails.

What does work

Forget garden-kitchen remedies that you know from 'hearsay'. Below are some tips that do work.

  • Create a drought barrier

Snails move about on their mucus layer. They are therefore preferably outside during the morning damp. If we want to stop snails, we must eliminate this advantage. You delineate your vegetable garden with a material that easily absorbs moisture, and snails avoid your garden forever.

  • Wood Chips.

An elegant solution to get rid of snails are wood chips. Not because these chips are too sharp, but because they are too dry for snails to crawl about. They have to produce too much mucus. Wood chips however have a downside, after a rainy day your wood chips can be soaked, and they do not dry in the sun that fast.

  • Cat’s box granules.

A bit of a disfiguring solution, but effective. Snails shall not pass, because these grains are made to absorb. The granules dry faster than wood chips, but only if they lay on a stone underground.

  • Salt.

For many a horrible solution, but this is not so. Snails avoid the salt and do not die because they do not come into contact with the salt. The salt washes away after a rainstorm, but hardly affects the environment. Again, a hard surface is required.

Catching snails

An ancient method, but it works. You can hunt snails actively. When there is dew, the snails come out, and you can pick them up with bare hands. Put them for 10 minutes into the freezer, and then into the compost bin.

You can also hunt passively. Put a piece of rotten wood in the shade. The snails will hide beneath or inside them, becoming an easy prey for you.

You can also use natural allies. Make your pleasant garden for birds that prey on the snails. In the garden shop you could also buy small nematodes that parasitize on the snails. This drug is effective, but it is quite expensive.

You can buy snails traps in your garden shop. The traps are available as all kinds of garden decorations. You fill the trap with some sweet beer, and put it in the shade for best results. Snails come crawling into you trap because of this fragrance, but they can not go back out.

Not recommended

  • Chemical control

There are all kinds of slug pellets for sale, but the poison will accumulate in the wrong animals. Hedgehogs eat these grains, and birds also get the poison inside if they eat a poisoned slug. This method is very effective, but not selective.


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