Slugs and snails have their place in nature, just like all creatures. Rather than poisoning them with bait (that is toxic to pets, wildlife and children), just leave them be (lungworm is a risk for dogs that try to eat them, so look for symptoms as it’s a medical emergency).
But for the most part, slugs and snails provide important food for wildlife (fans include birds, hedgehogs, birds, toads, ground beetles and slow-worms). Gardening organically helps keep all creatures safe, that eat them, and is safer for all the family too.
inventions to humanely deter slugs & snails
So what do you do if you have some prize gardening plants, and the slugs and snails are munching on them. In fact, many of the ‘natural methods’ often don’t work. Beer is cruel but so are spices and coffee grounds, as both can harm them and other garden creatures (experts now even say not to put tea or coffee grounds in compost bins, due to the caffeine, just bin them to break down naturally).
Grazers G2 is a Yorkshire-made deterrent, which makes plants unpalatable to unwanted garden visitors. Just apply lightly (up to surface run-off) to cover the plant, then repeat as recommended on the label. It doesn’t even harm the slugs and snails, they will simply seek alternative food nearby (and plants thrive, due to the calcium). The same company also makes similar products for cabbage white butterflies and red lily beetles (plus one to make grass unpalatable to deer, pigeons, geese etc, but obviously don’t use on grass where pets eat (rabbits etc).
Molluskit is a nontoxic slug and snail barrier, invented by a Scottish ‘garage tinkerer’ who loves earthworms, and did not want to harm them, while deterring munchers from his plants. In 5 sizes, this is made mostly from recycled material and is tested by Scotland’s Rural College to be 86% effective in preventing attack. The ‘comb’ design stops access to plants above ground, and blocks access to root/bulb systems.
seen a motionless snail?
Often you see snails on walls that appear to be dead. Most of the time, they are simply in a kind of hibernation and will come back to life again when it rains (soft shells is not necessarily injury, small snails have soft shells that get harder with age).
If you find a snail accidentally trodden on, a slight crack is likely recoverable. But if the shell is smashed, the snail will slowly dehydrate, so may be kinder for a ‘quick stamp’ to Snail Heaven.