Snails galore

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What are this year's solutions to the snail problem? They're eating my wife's plantings before they can take root. She has tried Seven. TKS for any help, Scot FL zone 8
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On Tue, 02 May 2006 23:47:42 -0400, Scot McCall

This year's? Are you looking for something newer than Sluggo or Escar-go? They have both worked well for me.
Of course, the old reliable beer cup always works, but it can be a bit messy. You can also set boards in the garden at night, and kill all the slugs that hide under them the next day.
Penelope
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On Wed, 03 May 2006 12:57:56 -0400, Penelope Periwinkle

Thanks, Penelope. The Board idea is new to me. We'll try it!
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Scot McCall wrote:

I don't have a problem with snails but rather slugs. So, I built raised beds made from rough 4x4s - the slugs won't crawl over them because the rough lumber tears up their soft bellies and they can't get under them. Once I removed those that were trapped inside, I didn't have a problem.
Mulch is also a great barrier for them. I was having a problem with the slugs munching on my flowers, but once I put the mulch down, the flowers thrived. I just use regular pine bark mulch.
And, of course, there's DE, but that washes away. The mulch was a much better long term solution.
..
Zone 5a in Canada's Far East.
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On Wed, 03 May 2006 14:48:51 -0230, cloud dreamer

The rough surfaces idea opens up some solutions. TKS.
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Scot McCall wrote:

I just noticed that Lee Valley carries copper meshing 5 inches wide and a hundred feet long for $30 CDN. Slugs and snails won't cross copper, so if the area is manageable, you can surround it with the copper.
..
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Does anyone know if copper strips or meshes still repel snails and slugs once the copper becomes tarnished?...which won't be long after installation.
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SteveO
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The Guy wrote:

From what I've read, it won't be as effective. Would you not be able to get at least a season out of the mesh before it starts to tarnish? That way, you need only clean it with regular tarnish removers every fall, and reinstall in the Spring. Also, olive oil helps retard the tarnish, so that would extend its life each season.
I've never used copper mesh myself. I've had great success with the rough lumber and mulch. I'd be curious to hear of people's experiences with copper.
..
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I've read that you need at least a 3 in. wide strip (solid copper foil) or the critters will cross it. Don't know about a 5 in. mesh, sounds like it would work. I'm going to experiment with a 3-4 penny wide barrier on a low-lying bowl of beer and see if the slugs will cross that. Beer works great but the results are a bit gross and is more effective at attracting slugs than snails (I've got both in abundance). If pennies or copper mesh works I'd probably install it under a ledge mounted on the edge of my raised beds which are made of 2" x 6" x 4ft (or 8ft) redwood. I wasn't planning on removing any copper barrier I install as I live in zone 9b and I plant winter crops. Slugs and snails are year round around here. Pennies would certainly be cheaper than Cu foil or mesh.
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The Guy wrote:

I don't bother with bait and traps unless I have slugs in a contained area - for the same reasons. Disposing of the buggers and laying the traps makes it very labour intensive. Guess that's why I like the lumber. Once it is down, there's no labour involved until I replace them in ten or fifteen years.
To me, the copper would be ideal for places where it would be difficult to place the lumber and/or the mulch. I have one spot in particular where I think the copper would be a possible solution - but for everything else, it's the lumber and mulch. Are your raised beds made from rough or smooth lumber? (I don't think I see much redwood around here)
Come to think of it....is there enough copper in a penny to deter the slugs? The US penny has only 2.4% copper (though it is the plating). Curious to know if it works.
..
Zone 5a in Canada's Far East. (Winter crops...what's that? :)
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<lol> Well done!But that depends on the species of snail does it not? What kind are they having problems with?
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Peace!
Om

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OmManiPadmeOmelet wrote:

No kind I intend on ever eating...
..
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Ok, I've done the penny experiment and two concentric rows of touching, offset pennies (US) around a shallow plastic bowl with a 1/2" of beer on a flat piece of 15" sq cardboard with the bowl inserted in a hole of the same size in the cardboard. I layed the whole thing on my gazania bed which I know has lots of slugs and snails...the result: It works! There were numerous slug/snail mucus trails on the cardboard but not a single critter in the beer. Twenty feet away a similar bowl of beer placed within the gazanias with no barrier had about two dozen dead slugs and 1 large snail. I would have put another ring of pennies on the cardboard but I ran out of them, 2 rows seems enough. Btw, 1/3 of the pennies were shiny, the rest the usual brown tarnish, coins were chosen and placed randomly.
At 3/4" diameter per penny, I figure 16 pennies per foot and twice that for two rows or 32 cents per foot. For a 4ft sq raised bed made of smooth redwood it comes out to 32 x 16 = $5.12 . The Cu mesh sold by Lee Valley (http://www.leevalley.com) is 27.5 per foot plus shipping on the 100' roll($27.50). I'm thinking the pennies may last longer, although I was thinking that the mesh could be hung vertically on a ledge in an L-shape that would require critters to try to crawl over most of both sides of the mesh 5" wide mesh...that would stop them for sure. There's also the cost of glue going the penny route.
Someone mentioned mulching with cocoa mulch, is this stuff close to 100% effective in warding off slugs/snails. 90% is not good enough, if one of those 1"+ snails gets thru my young seedlings are goners...learned that the hard way...would a 4-6" wide cocoa mulch band around raised beds be sufficient? Slugs/snails around here have no problem going up my raised beds as they are only 6" high.
I still haven't decided what to do but need to act soon...any further comments?
TIA
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The Guy wrote:

That's fascinating. Even a control! I'm impressed :)
I'm gonna add the penny barrier to my list for pest control. The cost isn't too excessive - though for me, I would use it in areas where mulch or rough lumber don't work. And as you suggest, there are places where a mesh might work well and the pennies would be a pain. All are viable options. I think you only need to mix and match as needed.
Mulch will work really well, last about two-three years and add organic material to your soil as it breaks down. I buy just the regular (not the expensive red) cedar mulch at Walmart for less than $3 a bag (CDN$). The slugs won't crawl over anything that tears up it's soft belly. DE also works but will wash away in a heavy rain.
..
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It's good to know that the spirit of experimentation lives on! I have nothing to add to your finding.
Perhaps it would be possible to make an electric fence for snails, and energise it with a 9 volt battery? A strip of copper mesh or galvanised steel with a 0.25 cm strip of plastic hot-glued along its centre and bare copper wire hot-glued along the top middle of that plastic strip should achieve what I have in mind. It might be good enough to just have the dissimilar metals, sans battery; when a snail's slime connects Cu and Zn the small galvanic potential might be disuasive enough. I'd try this myself, except we are in drought and there's not a snail to be found anywhere. :-(
I've heard that snails don't like crossing a rough surface. Perhaps with a bed having timber edging you could slice up some emery cloth (e.g., from a roll for sanders) and hot glue a continuous strip of it onto the outside VERTICAL face of the timber slabs? This would place it out of the way so it can't get covered with soil or bridged by a fallen twig or leaf.
... just a few ideas.
One last thing: my own investigations as a schoolboy zoologist led to a discovery that a good pinch of washing powder dropped onto a snail's body will elicit not only a fit of foaming but also a high- pitched squeal. IKYN -- John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
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I love this group for it's creativity. Cracks me UP. Hey, brilliant about the emery board! great idea! Mulch has worked beautifully for me - though I don't know why. Snail like cool moist dark places, so I don't know why mulch would stop them, but hey, whatever works.
I love the experiment - that's great. Good job using a control group!
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tenacity wrote:

Anything that has "splinters" in them will deter slugs and snails. They can't go through the mulch cause the rough texture will tear up their soft bellies.
..
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To Bad, So sad
On Sat, 20 May 2006 09:43:55 -0230, cloud dreamer

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tigre wrote:

Huh?????
..

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Emery board?..does that work?..are we talking like sandpaper stuff? I missed the post on it.
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