When I was in elementary school, I used to collect snails from the wall at the back of the playground. My friend Angela and I would put them in empty baby food containers with poked holes in the lid for air. We created a habitat out of pebbles, lettuce leaves, and a thin layer of water on the bottom. I thought snails were cute with their wandering antennae and spiral shell. They were my first pets.
Gardening has since opened my eyes to the reality of snails and slugs. They are the devil’s army, sent to devour and destroy. After much research, I have discovered the best ways to organically combat the insatiable appetite of slugs and snails is to kill them.
Here are several well received methods.
1. Use beer. Come on, who wouldn’t fall for free beer? I always do. Fill an empty tuna can half full of (cheap) beer. Bury the can near your plants so that the edge of the tin lines up with the level of the ground. This way, the snails just have to slide their way into the bacchanal.
2. For raised beds or potted plants, use copper wire to shock the animals. Though this will not kill them; it will cause them to make an immediate U-turn.
3. Use an organic snail bait pellet. These usually contain some form of iron phosphate. By far, the most practical method.
4. Early in the morning or at twilight, walk around your garden and pick them off using cheap chopsticks from Chinese takeout. Don’t use your hand, unless you want a slimy mess. Make escargot. Just kidding, these are not the right snails for that dish.