The long, slimy, moist part of a snail’s body is called the foot and the shell on their back helps to protect them from danger. They have two pairs of tentacles – the top pair features their eyes and the bottom pair are used for smelling and sensing the area around them.
Snails are most commonly seen during or after rain when they are searching for food. Snails don’t like hot, sunny weather and will hide away in their shells to protect themselves from the heat.
Many kids love snails but they can be a pest in the garden. They like to chew on tender young plants which makes them unpopular with gardeners. There are a number of kid-friendly methods that can be used to help ‘dispose’ of the slimy little suckers:
- Perhaps the kindest solution is to re-home them to another part of the garden away from plants you don’t want munched. Be warned though, they may come back (we know as this is what we often try to do).
- Sprinkle crushed eggshells or untreated sawdust around your plants. Snails don’t like slithering across the rough surface as it gets stuck in their foot.
- Set a snail trap by digging a glass jar into the ground until it is level with the surface. Fill the jar with ginger beer (or regular beer if you wish) . The snails will be attracted to the smell, crawl in and drown (we’ve also done this before with good success – we figure if the snails must die then they will die happy)
- Finally, go on a snail hunt and, for those who can stomach it, stomp on them with a pair of boots.
Do your kids love snails? If so, how do you balance keeping your vegie patch free from snails with your child’s love of them?