SLUG AND SNAIL CARE
WHAT IS A SNAIL AND WHAT IS A SLUG?
Snail is a common name that is used for almost all members of the molluscan class Gastropoda which have coiled shells in the adult stage.
Those snails which do not have a shell or only a very small shell are usually called slugs.
WHY TO CONTROL SNAILS AND SLUGS?
In the wild, snails and slugs eat a variety of different foods. They can cause damage to agricultural crops and garden plants, and are therefore often regarded as pests.
Aquatic snails eat other varieties of food such as plankton, algae, plants, and other microscopic organisms that live underwater.
WHAT ARE THE CURRENT METHODS OF CONTROL?
The range of pesticides used to kill slugs and snails are called molluscicides.
Metaldehyde is one Chemical used. Generally it is presented in a bright colour, making them attractive to children and pets, especially dogs. Metaldehyde works by disrupting the gastric organs.
The active ingredients Methiocarb and Thiodicarb disrupt the production of cholinesterase, an essential nervous system enzyme.
Aluminium Sulphate is a granular inorganic salt used as a molluscicide and is the least toxic of the chemical controls available.
Molluscicides may also contain a desiccant preventing molluscs from producing the mucous essential for survival.
ARE MOLLUSCICIDES USED NOW SAFE ENOUGH?
Molluscicides not only poison slugs and snails but can also harm domestic animals and wildlife, including hedgehogs and birds, which are natural mollusc predators.
There have been incidents of pet animal poisonings resulting in the affected animals dying in agonising convulsions.
Metaldehyde, toxic to game, wild birds and animals (including cats, dogs and hedgehogs),). Harmful to fish and other aquatic life. Moderately toxic to humans and hazardous to pets. Pets and children may be attracted to bright coloured pellets. Ingestion irritates the gastric organs.
Methiocarb, moderately hazardous stomach acting carbamate molluscicide and insecticide. Dangerous to game, wild birds and animals (including cats, dogs and hedgehogs), fish and other aquatic life. Contains anticholinesterase carbamate compound, which affects the nervous system. Should not be used if under medical advice not to work with such compounds.
Thiodicarb , moderately hazardous, harmful if swallowed, irritating to eyes. May cause sensitisation by skin contact. Harmful to game, wild birds and animals (including cats, dogs and hedgehogs), dangerous to fish and other aquatic life, moderately toxic to bees. Contains anticholinesterase carbamate compound, which affects the nervous system. Should not be used if under medical advice not to work with such compounds.
WHAT DOES REPEL-S CONTAIN?
Herbs containing Potassium Salts, Activated Carbon, Herbs containing Copper, Alkalies, Herbal Sulfur and also Herbs which are re known to expel Snails.
HOW SAFE IS REPEL-S?
All the ingredients used are GRAS. A little pungent. Hence while handling Gloves, mask and Goggles are to be used.
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED DOSAGE OF REPEL-S?
2 Kg/ Acre on Boundaries with a width of about 6 to 9” to be broadcasted evenly with wet sand of about 8 Kg. Or dusted entire area after diluting in about 20 kg Calcium Carbonate / 2 Kg.
ARE THERE ANY EFFORTS AT SITE NEEDED TO IMPROVE RESULTS OF REPEL-S?
Yes. The following practices do help in increasing the efficiency of
It is suggested to maintain liming beds annually to prevent acidity and the interplanting of herbs as slugs are thought to dislike spiky or aromatic plants. Acid loving plants can be grown in an alkaline soil if planted in a sealed pit filled with acidic compost.
If weeds invade the exposed areas a thick layer of mulch unattractive to slugs can be laid as ground cover, materials with rough and jagged edges are preferable, such as broken eggshells.
A barrier of vegetation favoured by slugs, such as wilted comfrey leaves, can be placed around vulnerable vegetation as a decoy.
Hedgehogs, ducks, chickens, frogs and toads are all predators of snails and slugs(26). Hedgehogs eat slugs, beetles, caterpillars etc. and are an excellent addition to pest control strategies in the garden.
Ducks and chickens also supplement their diet with slugs but care needs to be taken to decide which breed to purchase and how they will be housed. Chickens can cause damage to valuable plants and it is a good idea to move them around in
pens or let them into the garden at the end of the day when they may be looking for an alternative to plant food. Ducks like to be near to water containers but do not necessarily need a pond, they can be moved around in pens on a rotation basis if they are trampling areas of vegetation.
Rove Beetles (Ocypus olens) are natural predators of slugs and snails.
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Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants; Volume: 8 Issue: 1; ISSN: 1049-6475 Pub Date: 5/22/2001
Dr Venkatesh Devanur, Director R & D, RADOSOM, a Govt of India, Dept of Scientific and Industrial Research recognized R & D Centre has recognized the situation you are in and would like to offer professional advise in this regard.