Table of contents:
- Fight snails with slug pellets
- This is how snail grain works:
- Snail grain - danger to pets?
- Fighting snails - without chemicals
Video: Fight snails
Snails can be controlled using various methods. Be it snail grain, beer traps and search campaigns - we will show you which means are available and how you can successfully keep the snails out of the garden.
Our kitchen garden thrives splendidly if it weren't for the snails that fall over the garden. Nudibranchs know no boundaries and reduce their joy in the garden with their food. Because snails are gourmets and smell up to 200 meters what they like. Since snails are hermaphrodite and consequently every animal can lay eggs, there is a massive occurrence of snails, especially after a mild winter with a lot of rain in spring.
Spreading slug pellets is the safest method of fighting snails. However, many garden owners and pet owners are wondering if they can use it safely. We will explain the possible dangers of snail grain and tell you what other means you can use to fight the snails.
Fight snails with slug pellets
Snail grain is the best way to fight snails. The agent is particularly effective if it is used early. Because in March and April there is still comparatively little green stuff, which is why the snail grain is eaten more readily.
If you use snail grain, you must strictly adhere to the instructions for use - especially near crops. Modern snail grains keep their consistency for a while in rainy weather. You only have to sprinkle after it has rained extensively. Snail grain scattered in the evening works better because the animals love the night food.
Spreading slug pellets is the safest method of fighting snails.
/ Dieter Hawlan
This is how snail grain works:
Most preparations contain metaldehyde. It increases the formation of mucus so that the animals dry up. It changes the intestines of the animals - they stop eating and retire to their hiding places to die. In the soil, the active ingredients are converted into the plant nutrients iron and phosphate.
Snail grain from iron III and iron II phosphate is considered to be environmentally friendly and is even approved for organic farming.
Snail grain - danger to pets?
Snail grain with the active ingredient iron III phosphate (for example Ferramol snail grain) is non-toxic to all pets, hedgehogs and birds and is therefore even approved for organic cultivation. However, iron III phosphate only works in higher doses and must be sprinkled regularly.
However, the active ingredient metaldehyde (e.g. Compo snail grain, snail grain Limex, snail grain Dehner) is to a certain extent toxic to pets and wild animals, as Johannes Klockenhoff, deputy press spokesman for the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, told us. The manufacturers of metaldehyde snail grain have therefore added bitter or other repellent substances to their product, making it unattractive for cats, hedgehogs, birds and other small animals. They don't eat it at all.
It is different with dogs. They are not deterred by repellent fabrics. "Poisoning with dogs from metaldehyde snail grain has already occurred. As far as the background could be clarified, the animals had access to opened packages in these cases or the snail grain was misused for deliberate poisoning,”explains Johannes Klockenhoff. "In contrast, properly distributed slug pellets pose practically no risk even for dogs if the product is dosed exactly according to the instructions for use and the manufacturer's instructions not to lay out the slug pellets in piles."
If you want to be absolutely sure that pets are not harmed, you should follow the recommendation of the Ministry of Consumer Protection and keep the animals away from areas that have been treated with metal snail grain.
Fighting snails - without chemicals
Many think that the more poisonous the agent, the more effective it is to fight snails. Good results can also be achieved with natural methods and consistent application. Here you can read which chemical-free agents can be used to fight snails:
1. Plant flowers
Colorful summer flowers blooming in the middle of lettuce and vegetables sprout in the old farm gardens. Not only did they decorate the garden, they also protected the vegetables from the slugs. These include: the fragrant carnation, nasturtium, male loyalty, spinster in the green, foxglove, purslane, columbine and many others. They are all lovely summer flowers. If you plant them between vegetables and in endangered flower beds, snails are effectively kept away.
The blue lobelia, also known as loyal to men, is avoided by slugs.
Photo: flower office
2. Collect daily
Collecting is a tedious but effective way to fight snails. If you put a halved potato in the bed, the animals are attracted to each other, collecting is easier. Beer traps are also often recommended - wrongly, because beer smells so intense that animals from the neighboring garden can also go to your home.
Snails are mostly on the move at dawn or late at night - it is easier to find them at these times. Bring the collected animals as far away as possible: the molluscs cover a distance of up to 30 meters a day. If you kill the animals, make sure that they do not suffer long (such as when salting). Instead, pour boiling water over the snails. Do not leave dead animals lying around, they attract fellow species. It's better to bury them.
3. Build barriers
In order to protect individual beds from the snails, there are snail fences: The upper edge is folded down so that no wolverine can climb over it. The fence must seal the entire bed tightly, no plant may overgrow it: protruding leaves would use the animals as a ladder. A cheaper alternative is a barrier made of sawdust - snails cannot crawl on it. However, this protection only lasts until the next rain. To protect planters and raised beds, self-adhesive copper tape is suitable, which snails are reluctant to overcome.
Hedgehogs eat snails. The beneficial organisms feel most comfortable in a garden with natural shelters.
Photo: Fotolia / Pixavril
4. Promote beneficial insects
The snails also have predators: hedgehogs, shrews and toads eat them with delight. Ground beetles and centipedes make eggs and egg snails. Beneficial animals feel most comfortable in a natural garden with shelter.