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When snails in the garden is true: You have to pack the evil at the root. In concrete terms, this means that, if possible, the animals' eggs should be destroyed radically. This reliably prevents an epidemic spread of the plague. The problem with this: you have to find the eggs first and recognize them. In addition, it is crucial to preventive measures.
UnderstandingA snail plague in the garden usually begins with only a few animals. While these can certainly cause damage to fruit and vegetables, but this could be in most cases, need to get over. On the other hand, it becomes problematic when the snails multiply explosively. This does not happen by immigration, but by mating and oviposition. So it's the young snails that eventually endanger the garden.
To illustrate this, a single Spanish slug, the most commonly encountered nudibranch species in our gardens, produces and lays between 200 and a maximum of 500 eggs a year. If only 10 percent of these eggs develop into new snails, then you have a problem - especially since there is usually more than just an adult snail in every garden.
ovipositionAlthough the Spanish slug and other snail species are hermaphrodites, they still need a partner for mating to produce offspring. This mating occurs under normal circumstances in late summer or early autumn. Immediately thereafter, the animals start oviposition. As a rule of thumb, you can expect it from the end of August. A snail does not lay down all the eggs that it carries in one place, but spreads them on a number of places. Usually there are about 50 eggs per clutch. With 200 to 400 eggs per animal, you can easily go out four to eight occasions that can spread to the entire garden. Consequently, searches are first and foremost needed to find them.
courtsLuckily a snail does not lay its eggs at will. The respective places must rather fulfill certain conditions. Above all, they must be protected, relatively cool and moist. This limits the possibilities and facilitates the targeted search for the eggs. You can often find something at these places or places:
- small holes in the earth
- under stones of all sizes
- under troughs, plant pots and buckets
- in the corridors that produced earthworms
- in the compost pile
- among mosses of all kinds
- in piled up heaps of leaves
- under applied bark mulch
DestroyOften it is enough to remove the protection of the eggs in order to destroy them. If you remove the stone or the pot under which they are lying, they are not only exposed to the sun, but can also be found and eaten by natural predators. While the adult Spanish slug of its bitter mucus is spurned because of hedgehogs and birds, the snail eggs are a true delicacy for the animals. Of course, this applies even more to running ducks in the garden, which also eat the adult snails and specifically track their eggs. Those who do not want to rely on the predators, however, collect the eggs in a jar or a can and then deliberately expose them to the midday sun. The result is dehydration and death of the eggs. Alternatively, they can also be burned.
Note: Snail eggs must not be thrown on the compost, as this would rather favor the development.