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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Slinging Snails.

after months of denial, i finally admitted to myself that the reason none of my rainlilies were blooming was that they were being eaten by snails.

i've always thought snails were kind of cute and the knowledge that they were devouring the rainlily buds as they emerged was hard to accept. however, after a very rainy spring and no rainlily blooms whatsoever, i knew i had to do something.

i have no problem picking snails up, but i absolutely, positively cannot stand squashing bugs / snails / worms / whatever. i can't step on them and i certainly can't squash them with my fingers (gloves or no gloves). i'm also not keen on baits, traps or introducing decollate snails to eat the rainlily eating snails.

so i started slinging snails at the fence.

the idea is that the shells smash against the wood and the snails perish. it's probably a gruesome death and i will probably come back in a future life as a doomed snail. actually, i think most of the snails survive because i have a really lousy throwing arm and throwing snails (especially small ones) is sort of like trying to throw whiffle balls. i suspect most of the snails are just being forcefully relocated to other areas of the yard, so i try not to throw them towards plants i particularly like. i also try to be a good neighbor and not throw too many of them over the fence into the neighboring yards.

since i began my snail slinging program about four weeks ago the rainlilies in the island bed have been in almost continual bloom and the snail population is markedly lower (at least in that part of the yard).

i don't know what i'll do in the long run. i'm partial to the rainlilies, but i'm not going to patrol the snails indefinitely.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Wildlife | Permalink


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Too funny! I feel the same way about smashing bugs. We live on a golf course without a fence, so I throw snails and grubs out on the golf course where one of the many birds we have around usually eats them. I don't feel so bad about that.

Posted by: Lee Turner | Apr 10, 2005 8:45:45 AM

for me and my fight against snails, I just put them in a yard waste bin and the city comes and picks them up and brings them to the large city compost. It has worked for me.

Posted by: Tim | Jun 8, 2005 12:43:45 PM

hey as of march23 i patented a plastic border that is a snail and slug fence witha 1 1/2" channel on top to hold toxins to keep your garden pest free for more information
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Posted by: john bass | Jun 27, 2006 3:14:49 PM

Personally, we like snails. My six year old homeschooler has adopted five of them as pets(so to speak). They all have names, Gary, Mary, Larry, Terry and Sherry. they are very friendly in that they will crawl on you and do 'tricks' on our outside table. Since we don't have any flowers they are are not harming our garden. I'm waiting to watch one of them crawl up the cactus ;-). We are having fun learning about the snails and watching their life cycle.

Posted by: Jenninfer | Apr 24, 2007 1:10:15 PM