SNAILS and SLUGS – How to control them with kid-friendly products!
Gardening can often seem like a constant battle between snails and the gardener, but here is a terrific blog written by Jade and Amy from Growing Green Thumbs. They are 2 very enthusiastic school mums who spend their days volunteering at their children’s primary school in Bonbeach, Melbourne. They share their gardening enthusiasm with parents, students and our wider community, learning along the way as they grow fruit, vegetables and flowers whilst making it fun to play outdoors in a sustainable environment.
Rhubarb leaves are toxic to us but snails love them! Autumn usually provides the perfect weather for snails to lay their eggs in the cool damp weather. In our garden nestled amongst our Rhubarb crop we found an amazing colony of snails happily breeding away and munching on the leaves. We needed a natural pest deterrent that wasn’t harmful or toxic to children. Usually the kids will collect all the snails and slugs and feed them to the chooks, not that chooks actually like snails but the kids love the idea of going on a snail hunt and feel like they are helping out.
Gardening tips come from near and far and we needed a natural one that wasn’t harmful to the school kids. Erica from Gardening 4 Kids visited our school recently and suggested trying Vegemite in a jar. A jar full of water, a spoonful of Vegemite had the gardening club kids puzzled as to why would they like Vegemite? “Will they eat my sandwich too?” asked one student!
One student sat and watched the entire time as the snail made its way in. He was happy that the experiment worked but was a little sad that the creature he had watched for so long was no longer going to entertain him.
Erica’s notes – So how does this work? The snails are attracted to the yeast in Vegemite; they slide into the jar but cannot get out again. The Vegemite Snail trap works in a similar way to a Beer Snail Trap but is safer to use around children. And who wants to share a perfectly good beer with a snail anyway!!
To make a Vegemite Snail Trap, simply add a tablespoon of Vegemite to an empty jar and fill with water. Mix until the Vegemite has dissolved. Next, bury the jar to the rim and wait for the snails to arrive!
The Vegemite Snail Trap works for slugs as well.