Colusa County Master Gardener’s – Snails and Slugs

Snails and slugs rank among our most despised garden pests. These mollusks emerge from hiding at night and chew holes in most plants. Slugs and snails are similar except slugs lack the external spiral shell. Management requires a vigilant and integrated approach that includes eliminating moisture and hiding spots, trapping, barriers, handpicking and bait.

How do you know snails and slugs are causing damage?

Many pests can cause holes in your plants. Look for the shiny, slimy trails slugs and snails leave behind.

What must I do to reduce snails and slugs?

Remove their hiding places such as ivy, debris or boards.

Regularly remove snails from shelters you cannot eliminate such as low ledges on fences, undersides of decks and meter boxes.

Place traps in your garden and dispose of trapped snails daily.

Reduce moisture by changing to drip irrigation.

Consider snail proof plants such as impatiens, geraniums, begonias, lantana, nasturtium and others with stiff leaves and highly scented foliage like sage, rosemary and lavender.

What about baits?

Baits will not be very effective unless you also remove shelter, food and moisture.

Iron phosphate baits are safe for use around dogs, children, and wildlife. Read the label for animal safe baits!

Visit the UC Master Gardener Program of Colusa County website for a list of recommended trees for our area:
www.cecolusa.ucanr.edu