Eliminating brown garden snails and slugs IS possible. One method is to collect them by hand. To collect, go hunting at night when they’re active, or lay out boards around your plants and pick them off in the morning. After you’ve wrangled them, feed them to birds – chickens, ducks, or in a bird feeder. I’ve also thrown them in the street for the crows to eat.
If you don’t have birds to feed, killing these slimy visitors can be done without chemicals:
- stale beer is a favorite method – bury a small container in the soil up to its edge and fill with stale beer at dusk, leaving about a half inch depth or more so they have to reach down to get it. They’ll come out to the bar and drown themselves.
- coffee is also toxic to snails and slugs – sprinkle used coffee grounds around the base of plants, or leave containers out like the beer
- salt instantly dissolves the bodies of snails and slugs. If you’ve collected the culprits in a bucket, sprinkle salt on them
- iron phosphate is the main ingredient in organic commercial products. It’s toxic to snails and slugs and will fortify your soil at the same time
OR hire a hit “man” to do the killing for you if you’re squeamish. Our friend the toad is efficient at eating numerous beasties, including snails and slugs.
Chickens and ducks will clear a garden in a few days. This is a good solution at the end or beginning of a season, when you also get the benefit of fertilizer from their poop.
You could buy decollate snails from your local nursery and distribute them as directed. These garden friends eat the eggs and young of snail and slug pests, eventually wiping out the population. Combine this method with collecting and destroying them to quickly control the problem.