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Red snails: remedies and bio-tricks

Red snails: remedies and bio-tricks

Red snails, natural remediesand not to remove red snails from the fields, the garden and the vegetable garden. From biological control to control methods with traps, baits and repellents.

Thered snails, scientifically known as Arion vulgaris, are counted among the 100 worst species for European agriculture and also damage the small family garden. Thered snailsthey are ravenous, they devour everything and do not distinguish between vegetables, fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants. Thered snailsthey feed on your crop, whatever it is, but prefer strawberries, spinach, kale, asparagus, potatoes, lettuce and pears. They also feed on ornamental plants such as hostas, all bulbous plants and arabis.

Thered snailsthey have a tongue (it is called a radula) which can be compared to an abrasive file for wood. It is thanks to the radula that they are able to pierce the cuticles of the seeds, the glume of the cereals and the peels of the fruits!

When red snails become a problem

Thered snails become a problem for the garden in rainy periods. These little animals that love humidity are completely harmless to humans, but nature has made them greedy for vegetables and endowed with a great appetite. In the space of one night, because it is at night that they are most active, thered snails they can do serious damage to vegetables and compromise the harvest.

The speech concerns all the slugs, a family that understandsred snails and gray snails, and if we talk aboutred snails it is because they are the most widespread and known. The snails are another thing, that is snails with shells, which, on the other hand, can perform a positive action because, in addition to a little vegetables, they eat the eggs of the slugs and in this way contain them.

Red snails, invasive species

The female of thered snail Arion vulgaris, can lay up to 400 eggs per year. Snail eggs have an elastic but resistant shell because it is partially calcareous. The peculiarity of snail eggs is that they are permeable to water and therefore can be rehydrated and hatched even after a prolonged period of drought.

Thered snailsthey are very invasive, not only in the places where it has been accidentally introduced but also in the areas where it is indigenous. There are no certainties about the origins of this species, some sources claim that thered snailis native to northern Spain and western France. Due to its origins, the red snail is also known as Spanish snailwhile for its invasiveness it has been nicknamed the killer snail. The snailAiron vulgariswas introduced in the United States as an invasive alien parasite in 1998 while in Italy it was first reported in 1965. The red snail is becoming a problem for agriculture throughout Europe reaching Serbia in 2002, Ukraine in 2007 and Romania in 2012. In 2014, measures were taken in Great Britain to contain this invasive species.

Red snail without shell

Being shellless snails they are better definedred slugs. The size of an adult red snail is 80 - 120 mm. The color of this snail ranges from brown to reddish brown or bright orange. The coloring varies between different populations.

Red snails, remedies

The solutions seen in our guide article ""How to get rid of snails"are also valid forred snails. The red snails they are among the most harmful species for the Italian garden. They are very hungry and devour everything.

Red snails, repellents

Copper is aremedyeffective against snails. Snails do not tolerate contact with copper. Try to buy a copper sheet or thin copper tape, you can find it in hardware stores, garden stores or on Amazon where a 20 meters copper tape roll you buy with about 18 euros and free shipping. When the snails come into contact with the copper tape, they will be hit by a light electric shock, so this material will act as a natural repellent against snails.

Bio-tricks against red snails

Hedgehogs, birds, geese, hens, ducks…. these animals feed on slugs even voraciously! Giant fireflies feed on snail eggs. The BMC Ecology magazine has published research according to which earthworms are able to remove red snails from the garden.

The presence of earthworms would alter the chemical composition of the soil by increasing the nitrogen content in plants. The research showed that in gardens and orchards where the number of earthworms was high, the presence of snails (including red snails) dropped by 60%. The researchers assumed that the protective effect of earthworms would be linked to the production of compounds rich in nitrogen.

One of the oldest ways to keep away fromred snails from vegetables is to spread sawdust around the seedlings and also on the leaves if you can, especially beans. Snails do not like the rough dryness of sawdust and when they meet it they change direction.

Keep in mind that sawdust or fine wood chipboard are also excellent for mulching in the vegetable garden, which serves to contain the growth of weeds and retain moisture from the soil, so you can kill the classic two birds with one stone. If you need to create a vegetable garden, think of a 'synergistic' one with well-raised pallets of earth and mulching in wood sawdust, which obviously must not contain contaminants such as paints, glues or other. You will see thatred snails they won't be a problem.

Moving from bio-tricks to traps and bollards, there are several remedies on the market againstred snails. From anti-intrusion fences, to beer traps (snails love it) to masking tape for jars. There is also an ecological powder bollard that acts more or less like sawdust, but manages to annoy the snails even more. All these products can be conveniently purchased online:

Red snails, how to remove them

The red snailsthey have a soft body so they cannot move on dusty, sandy or granular soils. Make small barriers with dusty materials, use sawdust, coffee grounds, river sand or ashes from the stove or fireplace. You can also use chopped egg shells for protect plants from snails.

Red snails, traps and poisoned baits

We advise against the use of snail killers, traps and poisoned baits. For information purposes only we tell you that in garden centers there are poisoned baits in the form of granules or micro-pellets. Allowed in organic farming are poisoned baits based on ferric orthophosphate. Follow the dosages and instructions shown on the label.

Another related article of ours that might interest you is: How to remove snails from the garden