The common garden snail (Cornu aspermum) is an edible and highly invasive species which has become naturalized throughout the world; it has either been intentionally introduced as a source of food or accidentally in soils, vegetables and flora trade routes. It lays clutches of 40-100 eggs clustered together in a slimy mucous which is buried up to 7cm underground. Egg clutches are produced as often as monthly in warm moist conditions, and often hatch after only two weeks in ideal conditions.
How serious is a snail problem?
C.aspermum is a pest of a variety of different agricultural crops, ornamental plants, citrus, vegetables, cereals, flowers and shrubs. They feed on living and dead plant material causing damage to leaves, fruits, developing buds and flowers. This feeding causes fungal infections from Botrytis to become problematic. In the garden setting they cause the death of plants either directly through consumption or indirectly through secondary infections.
What are the signs of a snail problem?
Finding snails and their droppings is a sure sign they are present and given their ability to reproduce should be treated before long.
What we will do
We use molluscicide baits on which the snails feed. These can sometimes be problematic baits, particularly when pets actively seek out and consume the bait, which leads to problems. The use of molluscicide bait should be well considered and necessary precautions taken to prevent poisoning of non-target animals.