Having a sound knowledge garden snail lifespan and other information about the gastropod is a wise step. After all, you have named the animal a pest in your garden. Therefore, having the right information can help you combat snails in your garden. Garden snails are small and adorable creatures. But having them around your garden could be a wrong move for your investment.
So, what is the garden snail lifespan?
Garden snails could live longer. However, factors such as species and habitat tend to have a massive impact on their life expectancy. Some snails have a lifespan of 5 years, while those in captivity may have a life expectancy of 25 years. Snails also have unique ways of surviving harsh conditions. They hibernate (cover their body with a tiny layer of mucus) to prevent them from drying out. In the summer, during the dry periods, snails survive via a process called aestivation.
Garden Snail: What Are The Benefits Of Having Them Around?
If you are a gardener, you will sometimes feel the need to keep things that are beneficial to your garden, intact. You wouldn’t want to let go because it could have a massive impact on the wellbeing of your garden.
Now, can we say the same thing about snails? Are snails beneficial to gardens? Well, I leave you to think about it and draw your conclusions on the topic. Nevertheless, the information herein will help you make an educated decision anyway. So let’s move further. What are the benefits snails could offer?
Snails could serve as your weather dictator. Funny, but it’s true!
But they are not the only ones who can help provide this vital information. Slugs are also part of it.
So, how do snails serve as a weather indicator? When you find snails climbing trees, know that hot weather is fast approaching. It’s something I learned from my granddad anyway, which I find to be true.
Snails can help to clean up your garden debris. They could help to make your garden as debris-free as possible. The majority of them enjoy feeding on garden detritus than eating living plants, which helps make the elimination of garden debris possible.
The feces of snails help to enrich the soil, which could be beneficial to plants. Their feces are rich in nitrogen and minerals, which they release into the ground to nourish plants.
Snails also serve as a source of food for other animals. These include snakes, lizards, salamanders, birds, and even mammals.
The Disadvantages Of Snails A Garden: Things You Need To Know
The benefits of snails, which I just highlighted, would make you want to fall in life with them. But before you do so, I employ you to read this section of the post. As I earlier said, you will be able to conclude after knowing the good and bad side of having snails in your garden.
So, what are the disadvantages of allowing garden snails to thrive in a garden?
Well, there are a plethora of reasons why allowing garden snails to thrive in a garden is the wrong decision.
The first and most devastating reason is that snails can spread diverse diseases. So, if you are a gardener, I suggest you minimize your contact with them. Snails can harbor the rat lungworm called angiostongylus cantonensis.
When snails consume the feces of an infected rat, the rat lungworm egg will find its way and hatch within them. This lungworm can cause severe injury to humans. So, if you have a vegetable garden, it would be wise to keep snails at bay.
A snail that is carrying the rat lungworm could transfer the worm via its slime onto vegetables. And if one consumes such a vegetable without washing it appropriately, the individual could develop the infection.
Snails are strong climbers and may not cause too much damage at the ground level. You will find them climbing to the top of trees and flowers to wreak havoc.
They could climb up to ripe fruits and feed on them. Snails can also consume flower buds and leave holes in vegetables and other leaves.
So, if you have a garden, try as much as possible to get rid of them. Despite the numerous benefits they claim to be offering, snails can cause considerable losses to a gardener.
The Reasons Your Garden Is Attracting Snails
After trying your very best to eradicate snails (money spent), you still find them in their numbers roaming your garden. It hurts having spent so much time, money, and energy to control these gastropods.
The truth of the matter is, getting rid of snails completely could be difficult. Their eggs might be there buried deep in the soil (not that deep though). A rainstorm may even help to transport snails into your garden.
So, anything is possible. Furthermore, your garden could be exactly what the garden snails need to be happy. What I mean is, it could have the look of an ideal resting and feeding spot for the snail.
So, without much ado, here are some of the reasons snails keep visiting your garden in their numbers.
1. Discouraging predators of snails:
Snails are consumed by several animals (predators). In the United States of America, an example of this predator is field mice, while in the United Kingdom, the hedgehog is a top predator. So, if you want your garden to be snail free, ensure you are not making it hard for these tiny predators to access your garden. Birds also feed on snails, but if you don’t have any in your garden, then ensure you are not making it hard for other smaller animals to do the job.
2. Presence of trees:
If snails visit your farm in large number, and dwell there all year round, then it’s time to fell those trees lying around. Snails can climb trees. And one way they survive scorching temperature is to go off the ground by climbing any nearby tree. They can’t stand the heat from the ground for too long. So, if you don’t want to give snails any room to continue invading your garden, take the trees around the area down.
3. A moist environment:
Snails tend to troop out in their numbers after rains. You may also find a handful of snail in your garden when the soil is wet, particularly after watering your garden. Anyway, it’s not wrong to water plants, but making the soil excessively moist can invite snails. The thing is, a more significant part of the metabolism of snails involves the production of slim, which helps them to move from place to place. So, if you don’t want snails roaming your garden, ensure there’s proper drainage.
4. Using snail pellets to eliminate snails:
Snail pellets are useful for killing snails, but then you could end up spending more. Additionally, the majority of these pellets are not organic, so predators that help to control snails could be at risk. The poison could kill these predators and lower their population. In turn, this could give snails a free hand to roam your garden since there are no longer threats.
5. Dead and decaying plant parts:
Allowing dead and decaying leaves, bark, and stem to remain in your garden could attract snails. I would prefer that you only gather them and return as finished compost. That way, you won’t end up attracting snails in large numbers to your garden.
Controlling Garden Snails Organically: Things You Need To Know
When we talk about controlling garden snails organically, we are merely referring to the absence of poisonous chemicals.
It is not advisable to use poisonous chemicals to control garden snails. Remember that you are going to consume the vegetables, which may likely come in contact with the toxic substances you plan to use in your garden.
So, whether you are cultivating your vegetable for personal consumption or not, I employ you to use organic methods to control snails or slugs.
Below are simple steps to go about this.
1. Make your garden easier for predators to gain entry:
Hedgehog, birds, salamanders, garter snake, and many others, enjoy eating snails. The good thing about these predators is that they will not harm your vegetables or plants. Their only concern is to consume snails and maybe stick around for a while for more to show up. So, you can introduce these predators into your garden or encourage them to come and eat up the snails in your garden.
2. Grow plants garden snails dislike:
Do you know that there are plants that turn garden snails off? You can have them grown in your garden to make it inhabitable and uncomfortable for snails. Examples of plants include ferns, lavender, hydrangeas, rosemary, Japanese Anemone, and euphorbia.
3. Introduce barriers:
Here are other organic means of controlling snails. It involves placing something on the path snails take. It should be something they hate, such as vaseline or even copper wire.
4. Set traps:
This method involves the use of a beer pan. What you need to do is fill up the container with beer and keep it in your garden (you can leave it in an open space anyway). By the time you return in the morning, you may find a couple of snails drawn in the beer pan. All you have to do is change the beer every night to trap more snails.
So, now you know the garden snail life expectancy and other information regarding these gastropods. Well, the bottom line is allowing garden snails to thrive in your garden is a wrong move. They could damage or reduce the quality of your crops. Your vegetable garden could look unsightly when these pests invade your garden. Snails enjoy boring holes in leaves and also cause other damages to plants. So, do whatever you can to get them off your garden.