1 EAGLETON NOTES: Snails and Slugs

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Sunday, 21 May 2017

Snails and Slugs

It is probably too dramatic to describe the quantity of snails and slugs in the garden last year and now as of plague proportions but it's been pretty near to that.  After the amount of damage last year and after having resorted to slug pellets (which I really hate using because I don't really like killing anything - apart from wasps) I thought that the weather conditions which led to the large numbers were so different this year that things might have changed. Not at all.

A couple of weeks ago some Redwings popped in on their migratory route and in a few minutes two of them had demolished a lot of slugs in the grass at the back of the house.

 

However what has really puzzled me is the fact that snails always go upwards when it gets very wet. I recall them being collected in the rain when they crawled up the houses in Italy. So finding this one having a drink in the pond was one thing:


 But following this snail trail and finding one in the stream was quite another:



  Anyway a couple of days ago I decided to have a snail hunt and this was my haul:


Since then it's only been about half a dozen a day. I'm hoping that I can keep them under control this year.

26 comments:

  1. Chop up an onion and a clove of garlic. Put in a medium-hot pan with a large knob of butter. Simmer and soften before adding your snails. Pour in half a bottle of dry white wine and then 250 mls of single cream. Place lid over pan and simmer snails for twenty five minutes to soften. Best served with toasted garlic bread. You will need a small fork to prise out your cooked snails. Enjoy!

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  2. For slugs and snails the best control is what you did...collect them by hand. Use a headlamp and go out in the dark.You might be surprised what you find.

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    1. Thanks Red. There's very little dark here at this time of year but I get the idea.

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  3. I guess snails, like us, don't like it when our abodes fill with water! :)

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  4. I never see any around here - until it rains. Then you can see fence post after fence posts with unusual post toppers. Pesky creatures, I hope you can get on top of them.

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  5. I'm sorry to say that if I didn't use Slug Pellets I'd have no vegs. I do use a 'wildlife friendly' Bio variety, so I presume that any dead Slugs or Snails remain edible for the birds. I hope so.

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    1. I didn't know that there was a 'wildllfe friendly' version of the slug pellet. I shall try and find some. I don't have many thrushes or blackbirds here so there's not that many predators on the varmints.

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  6. What do you do with your bounty then?
    Amazing pictures - I don't think I have ever watched a snail drink from a pond, but of course like all animals, they need at least some water to survive.
    I really like them, for the beautiful shells they carry, and for their quiet going about their own business - you never hear them making a racket like, for instance, magpies and dogs do (or people!). But of course I am not a gardener and would probably talk differently if they were damaging my flowers and vegetables.

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    1. Meike I like snails for themselves and I feel quite bad killing them but I'm afraid my garden takes precedence.

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  7. I've found that putting small saucers of beer in the garden along with broken egg shells on the soil prevents the slugs and snails from getting too far.

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    1. Thanks Amy. I shall definitely try that. A friend also suggested sharp sand.

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  8. Beer and/or salt. Not for you. For the snails.

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    1. Thanks for the tip RWP. I'll try the beer but the salt would be dissolved by the constant rain as fast as I could put it down.

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  9. Your birds are Redwings, not Fieldfares, I think you'll find. Good luck with the your snails!

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    1. Thank you Robyn. Of course they are. I shall correct the error. I feel really silly because I'm well aware that they are Redwings and have blogged on them before. I think I'm losing the plot. A friend has reminded me that on the day I saw them there was a news item saying that there were more Fieldfares this year than for a long time and I am trying to save my sanity by pretending that I was subconsciously influenced by that news item.

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  10. I can imagine that it's quite therapeutic to pick up a bucket of snails! I was going to suggest beer as well but on reflection, it might be more fun to drink the beer and collect the snails!

    Do you ever post photos of your garden?

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    1. Sorry I missed your comment Kylie. I have posted photos of my garden. I was going to suggest one or two but there are a lot when I used the Postvorta search. I'm sure I'll get around to it again soon.

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    2. PS Kyle I did try beer last year but not a single slug obliged. I remembered that when I cleared away all the old livingston daisy foliage recently and found the receptacle.

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  11. The photo of the snail drinking from the pond is amazing.
    Glad you got help from the birds with some of the others :)

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    1. Monica I wish that I had more blackbirds and thrushes in the garden (they are groundfeeders and the neighbourhood cats scare them away) because they eat lots.

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  12. Our rains are just beginning to make an appearance so soon we too shall be inundated with slugs and snails....eewwww.

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