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Snail Problems

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Howard Lewis29/06/2019 09:58:44
6040 forum posts
14 photos

My wife is distressed that snails are crossing the copper tape on her pots and eating her runner bean plants.

Two thoughts come to me

1 ) To fix a strip of a different metal close to the copper strip so that a snail crossing the two generates a small voltage, but enough to discourage it

2 ) To fix two narrow strips of copper, like a very narrow ribbon cable, around the pots, and connect a bell transformer to it. Again, a snail crossing the two conductors would receive a low voltage AC shock. Hopefully this would discourage further forward movement.

Any thoughts?


Nigel McBurney 129/06/2019 10:15:26
999 forum posts
3 photos

Clean the copper tape till its bright and then spray the tape and some of pot with WD 40 they dont like it. A friend down the road last year had Roe deer eat the leaves but not the stems , it looked quite funny the leaves and beans then only grew from about 4 feet upwards,this year he bought a mains powered electric fence ,keeps the deer away but it now keeps trpping the house mains supply. I remarked it was cheaper to go down to Sainsburys for the beans.

Rik Shaw29/06/2019 10:28:34
1480 forum posts
398 photos

Howard - I can only assume that your wife does not want to hurt the critters. To protect our hosta's my wife generously provides the snails with a rich diet of slug pellets. They don't like it up'em!

One neighbour with a kindlier streak used to collect all she could from her garden and propel them into a nearby field with a tennis raquet……..mad old bat laugh


Edited By Rik Shaw on 29/06/2019 10:30:52

Howard Lewis29/06/2019 10:41:14
6040 forum posts
14 photos

Thanks for the ideas!

I find that a dust pan helps increase the range to which snails can be propelled. The difficult bit is maintaining the 45 degree angle for maximum range!

I'll try the WD40 trick on one pot, and painting another with engine oil. Either way, I am sure that the gastropods will not find the liquid to their taste, (Can't help traction, either! ) and look elsewhere for their next meal!


Henry Brown29/06/2019 10:55:15
549 forum posts
117 photos

Coffee grinds! They don't like to cross them - most coffee houses are glad to give them away...

Tony Pratt 129/06/2019 10:56:38
1936 forum posts
12 photos

I believe Metaldehyde slug pellets are to be banned in 2020?


Bazyle29/06/2019 11:09:30
6301 forum posts
222 photos

Slug pellets are not hedgehog friendly. Put them in a bit of pipe or under a few inches of gutter offcut from a skip.

Aluminium, corroded, may be better than copper. Aluminium sulphate is used in some slug repellents as it interferes with their slime production I think.

Maybe sharp swarf glued to a flat sheet to stand the pot on would work. I know I don't like stepping on it in bare feet.

pgk pgk29/06/2019 11:18:04
2553 forum posts
293 photos

I understand there was a study last year concluding that all the home-type remedies don't work: grit, eggeshell, copper tape etc. Metaldehyde sadly its not just hedgies but also birds. A physical barrier is difficult particularly in veggie beds. Biological control (helminths)may have to be the way to go though less economic on a hobby scale.

I sometimes wonder about these regs: ban the use of the stuff here and then import the veggies from another country where it;s used extensively - gov has a warm fuzy feeling about their green credentials while the balance of payments gets worse and we all pay more.

I lost all my beans and brassicas to slugs this year when the wet spell happened

Dave Halford29/06/2019 11:25:10
2015 forum posts
23 photos

It's possible that they are getting into the pot via the drainage hole, we get this on our pot tulips.

We have slugs that climb up the side of the house, I don't believe the rough surface works at all.

Our beans grow in a dustbin, hedgehogs can't get to the pellets.


I can tell haven't eaten fresh picked beans, have you.

Nick Clarke 329/06/2019 13:12:26
1397 forum posts
61 photos
Posted by Tony Pratt 1 on 29/06/2019 10:56:38:

I believe Metaldehyde slug pellets are to be banned in 2020?


I use a model steam engine - Mamod type - to demonstrate energy changes to children in school.

No longer allowed to use meths burners because they could overflow and spread liquid fire all over the place so we use Metaldehyde fuel tablets instead. What are we to use next??

Samsaranda29/06/2019 14:04:56
1408 forum posts
5 photos

Problem with slug pellets is that once ingested the slugs die but then hedgehogs and birds eat the dead slugs and also get a dose of poison so slug pellets are definitely not eco friendly. Perhaps the mechanical traps using beer that attract the slugs then they drown because they can’t get out, what a way to go drowning in beer! I try to avoid any chemicals in our garden, to protect our cats and any wildlife that ventures in, also my two koi ponds, don’t want any chemicals finding their way in there. Had good success with copper tape on pots containing Hostas, until they found the drainage holes in the pots and got into the soil and laid eggs there. We have given up on growing Hostas because the slugs outwitted us with the core tape.

Dave W

JA29/06/2019 16:05:44
1346 forum posts
80 photos

I am not really a gardener so I tolerate snails and leave them for the local hedgehog. However I like the use of the tennis raquet.


Edited By JA on 29/06/2019 16:07:42

John Haine29/06/2019 17:02:28
4643 forum posts
273 photos

According to a gardening programme on the tele, garlic water works.

Benjamin Day29/06/2019 18:06:24
61 forum posts

Small dish of cheapo larger works. A few Left around the base near plants needing protection, they are attracted into it and there they stay, untill you tennis racket them over into a field that is cheaper than the pellets too

Benjamin Day29/06/2019 18:07:04
61 forum posts

Half filled jam jar works a treat

Benjamin Day29/06/2019 18:07:06
61 forum posts

Half filled jam jar works a treat

Nigel Graham 229/06/2019 18:31:37
2056 forum posts
28 photos

I once had a House Snail!

Goodness know how it had got in but the nibbled paper on the door-mat gave a new meaning to "snail mail". I don't think I ever found it, despite trying to trace the mucous trails.

Around the same time my girlfriend's cat was most put out to find slugs coming into the kitchen through whatever secret tunnel they had, and eating her (the cat's, not GF's!) food. I thought slugs were vegan but these obviously liked meat-based pet-food.

Great big toffee-brown things they were, with little tiny white mites ambling about on them, which didn't seem to worry the slugs, but the gastropods generally tend to be rather inscrutable animals. I evicted them though the cat-flap, then spend some time and effort cleaning the goo off my fingers. It seems quite water-proof, must be some use for it in engineering!


Nick - I can understand your frustration at being so patronised by the school's "Safety" botherers, but could you not use gas firing?

Rik Shaw29/06/2019 19:18:58
1480 forum posts
398 photos

Wife and I will review our use of slug pellets after reading some of your posts. I'd hate to think that they were causing harm to our tasty little hedgepigs.

Rik (Joking and serious at the same time!)

Neil Wyatt29/06/2019 19:37:15
18994 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 29/06/2019 13:12:26:
Posted by Tony Pratt 1 on 29/06/2019 10:56:38:

I believe Metaldehyde slug pellets are to be banned in 2020?


I use a model steam engine - Mamod type - to demonstrate energy changes to children in school.

No longer allowed to use meths burners because they could overflow and spread liquid fire all over the place so we use Metaldehyde fuel tablets instead. What are we to use next??


It's only being banned as a pesticide. It will also remain legal to use it indoors in permanent greenhouses.

If I recall correctly the ban has come because of lobbying by the water companies as its almost impossible to remove from the water supply to get it below the legal limit for drinking water, rather than hedgehog lovers like Brian May


larry phelan 129/06/2019 19:39:10
1172 forum posts
15 photos

I found that a blowlamp was very effective at getting rid of snails/slugs. Leave a few boards lying against the wall for a few days in order to provide a rallying point for your local snails [they are very social bodies ] Then when they are all gathered together ready to attack, hit them with the blowlamp

Never fails !

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