There are many different types of snails throughout the world but if you have found snails in your garden it is most likely the common garden snail aka the brown garden snail. Common garden snails are a pest in your garden because they can cause damage. They feed off of a variety of plants and vegetables and can damage or kill the plants. You need to see snails in order to know for sure if you have them in your garden. In order to catch snails in the act of damaging your garden you must learn a little bit about their behavior. By learning the answers to a few questions you can choose the optimal conditions to find snails in your garden.
- Do they come out more often in cooler weather?
If you go out to your garden in the cool of the night or early morning you may be able to spot a few snails. Cloudy and dreary days are also popular times for snail activity. This may lead you to the conclusion that snails prefer cooler weather to warm weather. However, there are some types of snails that hibernate during the winter months so that makes it unlikely that snail sightings increase during that time of year. The reality is that it is not the cool weather that attracts the snails but the darkness. Snails tend to avoid sunlight which is why you will find them out on cloudy days or under the cover of darkness. Snails need to stay moist in order to survive so bright sunny days are not ideal for them.
- What time of day are they most active?
Snails are the most active during the night and early morning. They hide from the sunlight in shady and moist environments until the sun is almost or completely out of sight. If you want to catch snails in the act of destroying your garden then go look for them in the evening or early morning. One way to lure the snails to one area is to provide a dark and moist environment where they can hide during the day. For example, you can put a damp log or piece of wood near your garden with the hopes of providing a convenient daytime hiding place for the snails. Keep the area moist for a few days and then check during daylight hours to see if you have any snails hiding under the wood. Then you can get rid of any snails you find.
- What keeps them from being active?
Snails are not fans of extreme weather. During the winter some types of snail hibernate and protect themselves from the cold by surrounding themselves with a layer of slime. They can employ the same tactic in times of extreme heat or drought. These times of extremely cold or hot weather conditions will prevent the garden snail from being active.
Now that you know some of the behaviors of common garden snails you can figure out if they are causing the damage to your plants. Once you confirm that snails are the source of the problem you can start the process of getting them out of your garden.