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In the daily battle with greedy snails, hobby gardeners now have the opportunity to upgrade their arsenal with an effective and environmentally friendly control. While chemical preparations are undesirable in nature-loving gardens, ecologically-oriented methods, such as the beer trap, reveal some weaknesses. The worm fence made of plastic or sheet metal has so far achieved at least a partial success. The clever slugs nevertheless found ways and means of overcoming them. Perfected to the electric snail fence, the pests now have much worse cards to make their way over your lovingly groomed plants. Following this guide, you can build an electric worm fence yourself.
Material list and preparation work
The concept is based on the idea that conductive adhesive tape with wires fixed thereon is mounted on a plastic lawn edge. From a power source electrical impulses are delivered, deter the slugs, but not kill. Thanks to a standard length of 9 meters, a classic bed can be completely demarcated. The practical construction can be extended without much effort for larger surfaces. Ideally, a controller is added that indicates too low a voltage or breaks in the current flow. These materials are required:
- A plastic lawn edge with 10 or 15 centimeters height
- Self-adhesive aluminum strip 6 millimeters wide
- Control unit with 9-volt battery, plug-in power supply or solar module
- VA screws in 8 mm with U-washers
- Scissors, spatula, screwdriver
Tip: As soon as the lawn edge is covered with aluminum tape, it must not be exposed to any strains, such as buckling or bending. Even the smallest fractures hinder the flow of electricity and lead to a time-consuming search for the damaged area.
Laying in the garden
In advance of the laying work, the mechanical and electrical connection points on the worm fence are prepared. The control module is attached to the side that is not covered with aluminum strips. The impulse lines and input lines are connected by screws with the adhesive tapes on the opposite side. It is very important to note that the conductive aluminum strips do not touch at the junction of the two ends of the fence. Then you start the installation in the garden. Here's how to do it:
- Make a 3 cm deep trench with the spatula around the bed to be protected
- Insert the electric worm fence
- Fill the cavities with soil and press on for stabilization
Tip: A solar module with a battery only works in a sunny spot in the bed.
Insert extension piece
If the 9 meters of a lawn edge are not enough to fence the bed area, another segment can be easily added. The aluminum strips are 3-4 centimeters longer at the ends and are glued on the back so that they exactly opposite the strip on the front. If necessary, shorten the lawn edge with the scissors afterwards at the desired location. The ends to be joined are placed on top of each other and connected through the aluminum strips using screws and washers. The electrical connection is thus made.
Remedy a fault
If the LED lamp lights up red when the electrical worm fence has been completed, the current flow within the aluminum strip is interrupted. How to locate the damaged area:
- You will need a standard LED bulb
- Use the two small pins to touch the impulse lines
- When the polarization is correct, the LED lamp lights up
- If it does not flash, it will be turned over and will light up
Tip: Disassemble the control unit in time for the winter and store it in a dry, frost-free room.
Instructions for a raised bed
They enjoy great popularity in the hobby garden, because they allow a very comfortable and back-friendly way of working. Unfortunately, raised beds for snails are not a hindrance to the amusement of the local plants. Since an electric worm fence according to the concept for a classic bed does not work here, a practicable alternative is available.
- Conductive plastic strip with a width of 10 millimeters
- Controller with 9 volt battery, power adapter or solar module
- Wood screws and washers
- Scissors, staplers or hot glue
Ideally, attach the electric worm fence to a raised bed before it is assembled. In retrospect, however, the installation is also possible. How to do it right:
- Stick the plastic tape in two parallel strips in the upper area of the raised bed
- The distance between the tracks is 1-3 millimeters
- Where the ends meet, they must not touch
- Screw the controller to the raised bed
- Also screw the wires on the plastic straps with the washers
Tip: When stapling the plastic tape, place the clips between the wires or at the edge. A severed wire renders the whole construction unusable.
Modification for a stone raised bed
Proud owners of a brick raised bed do not have to give up the protection of their plants by an electric worm fence. They use a clever combination of the worm fence for a ground-level bed and a raised bed. In this case, simply set the lawn edge along the inner edge of the raised bed. The assembly itself follows the same concept as for the classic bed.
Once the electric worm fence has been installed and works smoothly, a precautionary measure is on the program in the first few days. If an already planted bed has been fenced, it may still have hidden one or the other pest. Therefore, lay out some lettuce leaves as bait in the evening to collect the last snails in the light of the flashlight after dark.
With an electric worm fence, hobby gardeners get troubled in the fight against the voracious pests. If all previous ecological and chemical methods of control fail, this uncomplicated concept now promises to be the breakthrough. Nature-loving gardeners will note with satisfaction that the snails are not killed, but only quenched by small electric shocks. The assembly itself succeeds without an extensive wealth of craftsmanship, provided that this guide is heeded. The individual components are available in any well sorting hardware store for little money. Anyone opting for a solar module will even be spared any consequential costs due to power consumption. Good to know that the electric worm fence is not only to be installed in the classic garden bed, but also works with small modifications in the raised bed.
Instructions: Build the electric worm fence yourself