Saturday, August 21, 2010

Of Slugs and Snails

This year many of my plant leaves have been eaten by baby snails. These tiny snails live on the plants and so are not eating the snail bate on the ground. They are easy to pick off but they are not noticed until holes start appearing in the leaves etc.
Is there a spray or powder that can be put on the leaves? Year's ago snail killer was available in a powder form, but nowadays only in pellets. I have thought a putting some pellets through an old food processor to grind them up.
Any suggestions?

Ahhh, I don't know.  However, a quick search provided these non-chemical solutions to the snail and slug problem. I did like the site that suggested "You use little tiny hammers, lovingly made by leprechauns, and paid for with dew".

I do have some considerable experience with snails and slugs. My 21st birthday cake had a large, marzipan 'Leopard Slug' on the top.

Oh yes we can produce some beauties at the nursery.

Sadly I have rushed to the vet's on more than one occasion with a dog who has found the Blue pellets left lying around.  Poor old Molly survived on both these occasions but it's an experience I never want to repeat.  And that's actually the first thing that I thought of when I read Jeff's enquiry, this is poison you are planning to grind up in the blender!  Please treat any garden pesticide as dangerous.  The snail bait Mesurol (blue pellets) is available as a powdered form for spraying (commercial only), it is also effective on Fungus Gnats and Thrip.  In fact the only reason we ever used this stuff was to control Western Flower Thrip under instruction from the DPI.  Mesurol was the most toxic chemical we kept at the nursery.

The point I am labouring is that despite this knowledge I am forever catching staff using snail baits without proper protective equipment: it's "just snail bait".  We have changed to using Multiguard pellets which use Iron to kill the snails and slugs so are less harmful to the environment, pets and children, but I'm uncomfortable about grinding pellets to dust.  Interestingly when I Googled Slugs and dust the top 4 items were about the danger of dust from commercially available snail pellets.

Sorry Jeff, not much help but you can probably tell it's a subject that I'm pretty passionate about.

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