Snail pest control 101: prevent slugs and snails

Slow, slimy and sinister? Yup — slugs and snails are all of these things, but they can sure wreak havoc overnight. You can stand up to these foes of foliage with the correct slug and snail pest control! Follow this guide on how to identify their damage, which pest you are dealing with and how to keep them out of your garden with the right solutions.

Slug and snail pest control — tracking down the slime trail

Transitioning through the seasons means adjusting your checklist for active pests. To help you with the issues you are likely to encounter, follow our Autumn and Winter garden pest protection list. This guide helps you prepare for pests common in the cooler months in addition to slugs and snails. Getting to know the signs, symptoms and solutions for each season helps you gain an upper hand in not only snail pest control, but widespread issues throughout the garden and home.

Telling heads from tails on slugs and snails

Identifying slugs and snails 

These pests classify as mollusks and under that, gastropods. The name ‘gastro’ means stomach and ‘pod’ means foot, thus describing their simultaneous sliding and eating action.

Snails have a distinctive appearance, with protective external shells. Slugs, however, do not have a noticeable shell, but some do have soft internal shells and occasionally prominent mantles. They, however, both have upper tentacles with eyes on the tops of their stalks and shorter tentacles lower down on their head.

Tracking the clues 

You will likely notice the damage before you see the culprits. If you spot any damaged seedlings, holes in your plants and slimy trails — you can blame slugs and snails. They get attracted to fresh new seedlings, foliage, tender stems, herbs, and succulent fruit. Thriving in settings where unnatural growth occurs, salad plants and delicious vegetation are the biggest targets.

They are problematic not only with their ability to threaten root crops, seeds and bulbs — but also because they carry parasites and diseases transmitted by their flesh and mucus. If that isn’t enough to cause concern, they can travel up to 12 metres to feed on your precious plants. Yikes.

Both snails and slugs are most active at nighttime and during moist, wet weather conditions. Seasonally, moist springs and late falls cue heightened snail and slug activity. They enjoy warm humid climates as well as overcast and foggy days. These pests will take shelter in dense groundcovers, under weeds, leaf debris (think compost and leaf moulds) and also discarded boards in your rubbish pile. Sunny and windy spaces will dry them out, so they tend to avoid exposed areas.

Solutions for slug and snail pest control

Efekto Snailflo

While having these pests is inevitable in any garden, there is a way to combat their destructive behaviour with the right solutions. Efekto provides a complete range of slug and snail pest control. Use Efekto Snailflo, a unique liquid suspension concentrate with a contact and stomach poison that is ideal for both gardens and edible crops.

Efekto Snailban

Another ready to use option, Efekto Snailban, works by using granular bait pellets straight from the packet. Snailban utilises a special bait that lures both slugs and snails to the product, then works on contact and stomach action. As these pests thrive on moisture, Snailban takes this into account and uses metaldehyde to cause snails and slugs to produce excess mucus. This detoxifying reaction will deplete their energy reserves and effectively weaken them. The cell membranes and mucus cells get damaged, disabling moisture intake for recovery and help to rid your garden of these pests. Snailban works well in gardens, agricultural and horticultural crops and also container-based production nurseries.

Efekto Eco Slug and Snail Trap

The Efekto Eco Slug and Snail Trap take a different approach to slug and snail pest control. It relies purely on either beer or yeast. All you need to do is dig a hole about 3.5 cm deep and bury the trap with the upper half exposed, or place slug traps amongst bushes or other areas where you find slugs or snails. Then, you add a small amount of beer and sugar — or — water, sugar and yeast. Afterwards, place the lids back on the traps and wait for them to attract slugs and snails. Once a few days have passed, empty the traps out and then refill. These traps work well in gardens, agricultural and horticultural crops.

These traps are also ideal in combination with our Snailban Pellets, as they conceal the pellets away from non-target species. Safer pest control and peace of mind? Yes, please.

How to make a fermented sugar mixture: 

Add one or two tablespoons of sugar and one teaspoon of dried yeast to about 300 ml of water. Then, stir the mixture and pour it into a bowl.

Sluggem Pellets

Another great ready-to-use product, Sluggem Pellets, get applied straight from the packet. They work by absorbing moisture and swell into the bait to attract pesky slugs and snails. 

When using Sluggem Pellets, please note to take great care with placing them in hard to reach areas. Make sure you reduce easy access for non-target species like pets, birds and more. Think of using hard to reach areas like flower beds and under other dense growing plants and shrubs.

Say goodbye to slugs and snails

Being able to identify the conditions, seasons and environments slugs and snails are likely to strike, you can now easily apply these solutions for effective slug and snail pest control. For more information on pest control and advice, contact us. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more seasonal pest tips.