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    As many of you will know I’ve been travelling for some months and today was the first day I had a chance to assess my garden. Very overgrown and when I started clearing things away, hundreds of small snails (and large ones too) which have obviously been what killed off my swan plants.

    I don’t like using snail bait and guess things will be better when I’ve pruned the Buddleias (wrong time of year, I know) but things are just so DENSE…. I’ve got a lot of work to do.

    All the new growth on the swan plants has been eaten away, so the plants have eventually given up and died.

    Anyone got any ideas how I can knock the snail population "on the head". I have been handpicking them and throwing them on to the lawn for the birds, but can’t say that this has been successful – they don’t come round looking for them.

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    Sprinkling salt on the garden wouldn’t be great for the soil.

    In ancient times salt or weeds were scattered over the territory of conquered enemies. However this probably wasn’t enough to make the soil infertile, but to symbolise their H*R*M or total destruction (eg Judges 9:45).

    But spare a thought for a poor old Song Thrush who finds a bunch of snails poisoned by metaldehyde. Or a hedgehog. We should be encouraging snail predators, not poisoning them! That is why I swear by Quash



    Ys, true, Clinton. There are plenty of song thrushes in Auckland these days. I have been putting all my snails in the middle of the road (a very quiet road) but they would all slither back to the foliage of the grass. Lucky them! Hopefully didn’t get as far as my garden though.

    Wouldn’t sprinkling salt on the garden be bad for the soil?



    Salt will kill snails & slugs…I shrinked salt on snails and they died soon.

    Smash them with your foot is only way you knock snails.

    Song Trush (bird) eat snails and were breeding in Auckland on 1980s (One brooding female bird on nest @ 1983), but I do not know whether Song Trush still breeding or not breeding in Auckland today. A fledling were found on Feb mid 2000s in Thames and today I seen Song Trushes in Thames.
    Song Trush hammering the snail shells on avail until they break before birds ate the animals out of shells.



    There are certainly cheaper snail pellets than Quash out there, but they usually contain a nasty chemical called metaldehyde which is also poisonous to other animals including birds, hedgehogs, cats, dogs, and curious children. Quash is made from a bran/iron EDTA mix that is harmless to other animals. In fact Iron EDTA is used to fortify some of our foods.





    We had a discussion on using copper wire last Sunday at our photography group catch up day.
    One of the ladies using copper around the base of her plants and said ti works really well.
    But I think we would need a lot of copper for our gardens.. lol

    Worth a try if you can locate some copper though:-)



    I was going to reccommend Quash too cos cos it breaks down into plant nutrients after killing slugs and snails. Only downside is it costs a little more than Blitzem.



    Again,I have never tried this one but if you put a ring of copper wire around the base of the plant,this deters the snail from crossing it as it creates an electrostatic charge which irritates the snail.



    Oh cool, Heather, I could spray my plants where they’re all in the leaves? Great idea, thanks!



    Quash , is your friend snail/slug bait made from iron EDTA complex.
    More expensive but very low toxicity to animals, birds and people.

    A couple of teaspoon of vinegar to a litre of water, sprayed around will fizz them up too



    Hello Anna and Bernie

    If I felt better I would be out there like a shot, Anna. I really think that is what it will take – but the weather is too variable and I am not well… so the snails will win. It will be of enormous benefit when can clean up the “rubbish” (weeds) – it’s a veritable jungle out there, snail paradise. Plenty of places to hide.



    I find that by going around on a rainy night with a head torch you can find them really easily….then I use the old tried and true method of squashing them underfoot seems to be a fairly instant no drama death for them:)
    Slug bait is pretty good at protecting plants, but I use it fairly sparingly.



    Putting a ring of broken egg shells around the base of the plants is supposed to help deter them but I have never tried it.

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