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Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:50 pm
David, I've read your saga before. I just read it again and loved it the second time around as well.
Would that I had chickens...or a pet duck...
Posted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:31 am
I have to agree with the pro-active hunting method, it's by far the most effective and the easiest on other garden creatures, some of which are beneficial. I've read numerous declarations on different pellet brand boxes claiming that they are not harmful to other wildlife but in my experience this is complete rubbish. I've seen ear-wigs get the good news from pellets too [not a bad thing!] but also woodlice [slaters in some parts] so it stands to reason that pretty much anything that happens upon a pellet will have a munch, therefore garden "buddies" may be getting killed in numbers also.
I had a problem on a previous property here in New Zealand with snails on a scale which took me by surprise after I moved in. I spent five nights at two hours each picking them off all surfaces of the house and gardens but I also made sure I got right into the plants, grasses, shrubs, etc and under loose rocks and basically every nook and cranny which a snail could lie-up in. For efficiency I had to make piles at five foot intervals before stamping on them. The garden stank with the smell of so many snails going off. I'm only describing it truthfully to back up the following point - If you actively look for them at night, and in the places where they rest during the day [even at night, they have slow starters too!] and kill them as you find them you'll not only knock their population to near zero but you'll do it in a manner which leaves the rest of the crawlies alone and no matter how big your problem is...it works. Same for slugs.
Pellets are hit and miss things for me and they degrade after a short while anyway.
Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:44 pm
I'm using metaldehyde poison against snails. There's really too much in my garden. Its the first time I'm using it though. I prefer killing them manually.
Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:13 pm
I don't know if this has already been said, I looked through most but not all the replies, but I've heard that putting sand around the plant helps and it worked for me. I was told by an older generation gardener (Im 27) that when the snails/slugs crawl over the sand it cuts them like glass. I've done it around my hostas and it seemed to keep the damage down. And also try watering earlier in the day so the ground is dry around your plants at night (unless it rains!)
This reply is a bit late by when the question was asked, but I hope you got your problem taken care of.
Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:40 am
yeah, you can use sand or ash to do this job.
Crushed eggshells work too.
Posted: Sat May 02, 2009 7:04 am
Another late-season rain.
We *really do need* all the rainfall from heaven we can get...
So, of course, this presented me with a Snail Hunting opportunity!
Last year's late-season Snail Hunt has definitely had a long-term effect on the snail population in my (very) little patch of ground.
I think it's probably been six weeks
since the last Snail Hunt, but tonight I only bagged...
23 snails + 1 slug
When I think back to the first couple of seasons when I started gardening in Berkeley, and then to the first year when I gardened here (1997/1998), I would never have believed I could achieve such relatively low numbers of gastropods.
So, think of this as a long-term campaign. I've experienced this small success after only one and a half full seasons of Snail Hunts. I'd say I started the current campaign approx. March 2008, with random forays before that every couple of months, just for stress relief.
Posted: Sat May 02, 2009 7:22 am
I've been going out every night, sometimes a couple times a night, to pick snails. I haven't been finding nearly as many as usual. Probably only 4 or 6 dozen over the entire 2 week period, and that's in my patio planters and my little veggie garden on the south side of the house.
I've been doing this for the past 3 or 4 years, and it definitely is making a difference.
Posted: Sat May 02, 2009 6:51 pm
Yes, this recent rain has brought them out of hiding even during the day, so I've been able to handpick many of them.
Even so, it seems like every time I go outside there's another one trying to munch on my newly sprouted sunflowers!
By the way, I've caught many of them crawling out of the beer traps after drinking their fill, and sliding right over the eggshell barrier.
One thing that has really helped my basil seedlings is to cover them with hot caps made from two-liter bottles with the bottoms cut off and the caps removed. It protects them from the slugs and gives the basil a nice warm environment that they love. The plants are almost too big now, though, so soon they'll be on their own!
Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:33 pm
As an eater of Escargot myself the only agony I feel at crushing snails is the loss of so much otherwise edible Petit-gris to the landlords pesticides. Were it not for the monthly visit of the exterminator to the property I'd prepare the monsters for the plate.
Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:54 am
I'm with Cynthia squash and forget. There will be more.