Slugs and Snails

You would think that slugs and snails are friends in your backyard garden, in reality these slimy creatures can leave a snail trail of glistening goo in your path. What is this goo you ask? Feces and mucous. These tiny creatures usually appear after a misty morning, or after a heavy down pour. These bugs love to soak up the good stuff, given that they require so much moisture to survive.

Snails are usually identified by the hard shells on their back, usually grey or brown. Their shells are usually 1 to 1 ½ inches long. However, the giant African snail, which are found in Florida, California and Hawaii, can have a shell that reaches up to 5 inches in length.

Slugs, on the other hand, have soft bodies with no shell. They are slimier and are usually greyish in color. They can grow to be up to 4 inches long and are wider than the average snail.

Remove all rotting boards of clutter and debris, that can provide hiding places before applying chemical treatments to control slugs or snails. Also, getting rid of the damp conditions that are required of these animals, will help in long term suppression. Make sure to double check dark shaded areas, as well as crawl spaces. Careful not to overwater your landscape beds, because that can contribute to problems with these pests.

The bates should be applied to the infester area, according to label directions. A single treatment is often satisfactory, and they work well under a variety of conditions.

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References: Truman’s Scientific Guide to Pest Management Operations (seventh edition)

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