Snails can be easily found all around us, and everyone reacts to them differently, depending on their perception of them. In this article, we will be discussing how to get rid of snails when they are pests destroying your garden. Let us see how long do garden snails live?
To answer the question how long do snails live? Garden snails live for about two to three years if they belong to the land snail family. Larger snails on the other hand can survive for up to ten years in the wild. This being said the longest a snail is known to like is about twenty-five years. Helix aspersa – the longest living snail variant is the one found in gardens.
The garden snail, also called Helix aspersa by biologists, is one of the world’s best-known species. This species is native to Europe but now found in other parts of the world as well that damages crops and gardens. The species is thriving and, hence, easily found. So, how long do snails live for? the answer depends on the variant and where they are found. typically garden snails live longer.
What are some core features of garden snails?
The garden snail is an air-breathing creature with a soft brown body. A unique characteristic of its autonomy is that it has one lung. The snail’s body is covered with a wet, gooey slime and a shell that is uniquely colored.
These shells are light-yellow or cream in color and covered with brown stripes in a spiral pattern. This species’ shell has a height of about 0-9-1.3 inches and a width of 0.9-1.5 inches. As a snail grows older, a lip appears at its edge when a snail is old.
It is a small mollusk with a shell that has a sphere shape and a slightly rough surface, with about 4 or 5 spirals. Not all snails have a shell of the same color; some have a dark brown shell, but most snails have shells in light brown or with a golden hue. Also, it shows several brown or yellow stripes. This shell has a large opening with white edges.
Garden snails have a soft body protected by the shell, but it retracts to its shell when it is not feeding or when it feels threatened. Like tortoises and turtles, snails have slimy protection around their shells that protects them from predators.
Furthermore, garden snails move by gliding with the help of its powerful foot and the mucus its body produces to lubricate surfaces. Snails leave a trace of this mucus when they move around.
Garden snails can be found in Great Britain, the Mediterranean, Western Europe, North African countries, including Egypt, in the Iberian Peninsula, and the Middle East, including Turkey. They live peacefully in areas of temperate climate, whether inhabited by humans or not. Snails prefer living in areas with dense grass or leaves, like forests, hedges, farms, parks, and gardens.
how long do garden snails live?
If you are wondering about garden snail lifespan, more specifically about how long do snails live or how long do snails live for. It depends on the variant but most likely these pests live for twenty-five years. Garden snails are distinct and can be easily identified. For one these snails are found in gardens all over the US and other parts of the world. As far as appearance goes they are pale grey have moist skin and are large.
These have either a brown or yellowish shell with paler flecking and dark spiral bangs. Sometime kids like to take these as pets but they are most commonly considered as pests as they ruin crops and the garden as a whole.
Garden snails are dreaded pests as they come out at night to feed and rest during the day in sheltered places. This makes it difficult to get rid of them. They like moist conditions and gardens that are cluttered of have rocks and other surfaces they can hide under.
If conditions in the garden are too dry they retract in to their shell and can live in there for several months. They generally hibernate during winter and are hermaphrodite.
This means that they can self-fertilise after which they lay up to 80 eggs in mist underground nests. Newly hatched snails take about two years to mature.
Snails feed on leaves, lichens, rotten plant debris and algae. They can measure up to 40mm and live up to 25 years.
They are most active march through July and resurface in October and November.
Are garden snails poisonous?
Garden snails are the most common pests found in almost all vegetable gardens. This is because the soil is moist and warm. These conditions are the perfect for snails. These snails may look creepy and leave a slimy trail but they are not inherently poisonous. Some people also consider them and delicacy and consume larger garden snails. The marine come snail however is one of the poisonous variants.
Are garden snails poisonous to dogs?
Garden snails may not be visible during the day. where do garden snails live you may ask. Garden snails are creatures of the night and come out as soon as it is dark to feed. During the day they stay hidden under rocks, logs and other clutter. They love moist places, this being said, pets especially dogs love to play peek a boo with these creatures.
They would sniff and unearth them, toss them around and unknowingly lick or eat them. Garden snails are not only harmful for crops but also pose a threat to pets. These pests can be life threatening to both animals and humans as they can be potential carries of diseases and viruses. If they are consumed by unsuspecting dogs or humans, they can fall it. It could also lead to complications if your pet has other underlying health concerns.
Is it ok to touch garden snails?
So, people like to play with snails and have them as pets. This is ok if you are not allergic to them. in most cases children and pets can be allergic to the secretions of the snails and it is better to stay away from them. even if you plan on consuming them wash them thoroughly using gloves cook them well and only then handle them with bear hands.
What do garden snails eat?
Garden snails are herbivorous and consume many types of plant matter. They can find sustenance from wood, leaves, grass, flowers, herbs, etc. Snails can sometimes also add decomposing, rotting organic matter to its diet. Since snails like to munch on crops and other organic matter, they are considered pests and not liked by many farmers and gardeners.
The mouth of garden snail is under its tentacles. It breaks down its food using the ribbon covering the mouth called a radula. Such anatomy is only found in mollusks.
How to count their age?
Now that we have a fair idea of garden snails and have an answer to how long do snails live. its time to look at how to determine the age of a snail.
A research study about the population of these snails in England was able to work out their age. As they get older, you can count growth rings on their shells’ edges.
Some of snails were around six years old, while others were around eight or nine years old. The older snails were found to have thick shells.
Scientists conducting the study theorized that the hard shells made it difficult for predators to attack them, which made it easier for the snails to move about. So, a snail that lives long enough to become large can live as long as 10 to 15 years. It depends on what type of snail you have found or gotten.
The durations of snails’ lives depends on their species. Predators such as beetles, birds, and other animals feed on these snails, which is why most don’t make it through their first year. Many are eaten while still being eggs! Snails raised in captivity have been known to live for ten to fifteen years or more.
Some have gone on record as being 25 years old. This seems like an abnormally long time, so perhaps there is something to be said for living the slow life. A snail’s lifespan also depends on its surroundings as well as type.
Some snails can live as long as twenty-five years if care is taken. Snails have the propensity to live as long as 25 years of age, especially those raised carefully. With sufficient care under supervision, snails can live for a very long time.
Where do garden snails live during the day?
Common questions related to garden snails include where do you find snails in your garden? Or where is a garden snails habitat? Or where do garden snails live. Snails like slugs love damp places. They look for a place to rest during the say and feed at night. This is precisely why they are not seen during the day making is harder to get rid of them.
Snails love to stay under logs, rocks or underground cover. You would also find them behind your garden shed, pots that are placed against walls or garden clutter. During spring, autumn and summer the number of snails in gardens tend to increase. This is because of the moist and warm conditions.
Are snails bad for the garden?
The answer to this depends on what you mean by bad. While they are on the ground, they cause no harm on the ground level. In some cultures snails and slugs are part of the weather prediction folklore like snails climbing trees indicate hot weather. Snails help clear the garden debris and their feces make a nitrogen-rich, mineral laden fertilizer. These are great for your garden but they also damage the garden.
Snails at ground level are ok but they are excellent climbers and that’s where everything starts to fall apart. They generally find their way up flowering plants and eat the flowers and buds. They also climb on fruit trees and feast on the fruits as they start ripening. They also chew on the leaves and the barks of young saplings. Some of them also live underground and feast on the roots of the plants in your garden.
Snails are bad for your vegetable garden as they can be potential hosts for rat lungworm, Angiostongylus cantonensis. This parasite affects rats but is passed on to snails through the feces. When other rats eat these snails, they contact the disease as well and the circle continues. These parasites are then passed on to humans, cats, dogs and other pets.
How to Get Rid Of Snails From Your Garden?
Get rid of snails crowding your garden and eating away your vegetables or crops by using some simple techniques.
1. Use Salt
Snails and salt do not go well together at all. Not to exaggerate, but you have signed a death sentence for a snail when you sprinkle salt on them. People who try to control the rate of snail activity in their gardens understand this and take advantage of this knowledge by controlling their activities and population.
Salt is lethal to snails and will cause their death if they come in contact with them. Ensure that the snail you are raising is not in contact with salt. You must never be ignorant of the fact that their body cannot process salt.
2. Use predatory animals
Garden snails are food to some animals like lizards, frogs, ducks, and worms. Moreover, snails are also considered a delicacy among humans as well; hence, in a way, humans are also predators for them. Garden snails are edible and used in cooking. However, you cannot make the more renowned and in-demand Escargot from garden snails.
3. Using Traps
A typical snail trap is the beer pan. Fill a shallow pan with beer and leave it out overnight. The snails will be attracted to the beer and drown in it. You will have to replace the beer every few days for the process to remain effective.
Alternatively, you can trap the snails by creating a damp and cold environment they like on a firm surface like cardboard, carpet, or thick cloth. Create a wet area and place the object in it. In a few days, you will see it populated with snails. You can then remove the object and the snail with it.
4. Gritty Substances
Many gritty substances can be used as effective snail repellents. The snail’s body get cuts after moving on gritty substances. You can sprinkle crushed eggshells, sand, or coarse dirt around plants the snails prefer, and it will get these pests out of your garden.
5. Create Barriers
Barriers are also great as snail repellents. Put a barrier in the way of the snails like mesh, Vaseline, copper wire. It will help repel garden snails from your plants.
With these effective repellants and methods of snail control, you’ll be able to ensure that snails never bother your crops again.
6. Manual Removal
Removing snails from your garden by hand does not require any products or technical procedures; however, it does take time. Moreover, this solution may not rid of your snail problem completely. Instead, you would have to touch and hold mucus-covered snails.
If you can take the time to patiently find and remove snails, you will need to check your garden regularly. When you find one or more, you will need to pick them off of your plants and move them at least 20 feet away from plants that you do not want them to consume.
7. Copper Usage
Copper causes snails to feel an electrical shock that makes them change their direction and go away. This reaction takes place due to the interaction of copper with the mucus. You can remove snails using this method with convenience by using copper tape that is available at most home improvement stores. Cover the borders of your garden with the tape, and it will stop snails from entering.
If you do not want to purchase copper tape or just happen to have a jar of copper coins lying around, you can also use pennies or quarters to protect your garden. When using pennies, you can glue them to your garden bed to keep them in place. Keep the coins close to each other; otherwise, snails can move through the opening and enter the garden.
One more easy way to deter snails from entering your garden is to surround your plants and garden with coffee grounds around your plants or the borders of your garden. Not only do coffee grounds repel snails, but they also provide nutrients to the soil. Coffee grounds act as a great repellant of snails and can remove them from your property for good.
How Do Snails Behave?
The garden snail is an earthly species with nocturnal habits; it does most of its activities at night or very early in the morning. However, you can expect them in your garden if it rains during the day since the wet surfaces make roam around easy for snails.
In hot or drought periods, garden snails go inside their shells and close the opening with ‘epiphragm,’ which is a type of mucus. It keeps the moisture inside while the snail retreats to avoid attacks from animals, like some ants. After doing this, the garden snail enters a state of inactivity compared to hibernation.
However, this process is not found in all snails. For example, in Southern California, young snails are often active throughout the year. Some snails lie dormant in winter in a manner similar to hibernation; this is mostly observed in mature snails. They come out of it around the time of spring. Furthermore, garden snails are extremely slow as their fastest speed is only 1.3 centimeters per second.
How Do They Reproduce?
Garden snails are hermaphrodites, having reproductive organs and cells of both males and females. They still usually mate with another snail for fertilization, even though self-fertilization is possible for this species.
Garden snails can reproduce after 1 to 2 years of its life, and they start breeding in summer. The mating process is relatively short, but it can prolong due to slow movements.
The male and female snails touch each other, and then each inserts the other with a mucus-covered calcium structure, commonly known as the ‘love dart,’ which helps with the spermatozoa’s survival.
Both snails penetrate each other with their penises, and the sperm is transferred and stored until the eggs reach maturation and can be fertilized. This process can take between 4 and 12 hours.
Mating lasts for 3 to 6 days and produces around 80 eggs. Each snail will make a nest in the soil by digging a hole with its foot to deliver its eggs. They make a nest by 1 to 1.5 inches deep in the soil, and they store their eggs in the nest after that. The eggs can optimally hatch in two weeks. Gardens snails can produce eggs six times in a single year, and each newborn will take one to two years to mature.
You may like the following Gardening articles:
- How to Keep Chickens Out of Gardens
- How to Use Preen in a Vegetable Garden
- How to Remove Grass in a Vegetable Garden?
- How to Control Weeds in an Organic Vegetable Garden
- How to Remove Groundhogs from Your Garden
- How to Keep Raccoons and Squirrels Out of Garden
- How to Keep Bugs Out of Organic Garden
- How to Get Rid of Pill Bugs in the Garden
- How to keep cats out of indoor plants
- How to prevent indoor plants from leaking water
- Potting Soil vs Garden Soil & Garden Soil vs Topsoil
- How to make a balcony garden
The garden snail is not threatening or dangerous, but given that it is considered a pest, humans try to kill them to avoid damage to their gardens. Furthermore, this snail is edible. In some countries like France and Spain, they catch them for food. It has also acquired popularity in the cosmetic industry because of the regenerative properties of their mucus.
I’m Elsa, and I love gardening. I started GardeningElsa.com as a resource for other gardeners, and I offer expert advice on gardening topics such as plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable gardening. On my website, I share my latest tips and tricks for creating beautiful gardens. When I’m not working on my website, you can find me in my own garden, tending to my plants and flowers. Read more about me.