Can Snails Swim?

You may have spotted snails in your garden, gliding on plants and leaving behind their slime trails. The more you know about these pests, the better equipped you will be to deal with them. So let’s start with the basics: Can snails swim?

No, garden snails cannot swim. If submerged in water, snails will drown.

Snails come out when it rains. These animals enjoy moisture and are drawn to wet conditions. However, too much water can be detrimental to garden snails as they do not know how to swim.

When snails are immersed in water for a long time, they will eventually drown.

Can Garden Snails Walk on Water?

It must come as a surprise to you, but some species of snails can walk on water. There are water snails that can walk on water. These snails can distort the water to get a grip on the surface. Water snails can balance their grip and the surface tension.

However, garden snails cannot walk on water because it produces slime to slide across any surface. It cannot use surface tension to walk on water.

Can Garden Snails Breathe Underwater?

There are some species of snails that can breathe underwater. When it comes to garden snails, they cannot breathe underwater, but they can hold their breath. Garden snails cannot survive for a long time in the water.

Garden snails have a small hole on the side of their body which allows them to last for a few hours underwater despite not having lungs. Every garden snail is different, and how long it can last underwater will depend on how it functions and their size.

Can Garden Snails Drown?

Yes, garden snails can drown in water. Garden snails live on land and do not know how to deal with large amounts of water.

One of the reasons snails can easily drown is because they have difficulty turning themselves over. After all, they have a shell on their back which then fills with water, holding them underwater. Despite many years of evolution, snails still have not learned to turn their backs. 

In the event of heavy rain, snails do not do well. Snails are known to be attracted to rain because of their love of moist and damp conditions. However, when it rains heavily, and water begins to accumulate, snails will struggle. 

Garden snails are not good at swimming, unlike water snails. These snails will not be able to survive in the water for a long time and will fall and drown. Snails have a few tactics that enable them to get through the heavy rain.

Snails can latch themselves onto rocks and other surfaces to escape the entire situation. In addition, snails also have a hole at the side of their bodies, allowing them to hold their breath for a few hours.

Can You Drown Garden Snails?

Now that you know that garden snails are not great swimmers, you can use this against them One of the ways you can tackle the snails is by drowning them. There are lots of commercially available snail traps that you can use or you can make your own

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You can use salt water against snails. This is an effective treatment because the salt dries out snails, and they eventually drown in the water. However, you need to ensure that you add a lot of salt to the solution. 

You can use other forms of water solutions to drown snails. You can boil some garlic in water to make garlic water. You can either collect the snails and drown them in the water or spray it around the area. Snails, so not like the smell of garlic water. 

One of the most effective remedies against snails is using soapy water. Not only will this help you against snails, but it will also prevent insects from harming your garden.

Perhaps, the most common method used against snails is beer traps. You can get your hands on some commercially available beer traps.

All you then need to do is place the beer traps around your garden in damp and dark places where snails thrive. It is important to leave the beer traps overnight so it collects snails. 

If you wish to make your own beer traps, you can do so with ease. You only require plastic containers and some beer. You can use a yoghurt pot for example. Make a hole big enough for snails to get through and fill it with beer, but not all the way.

Snails will be attracted towards the beer, find their way inside the trap through the hole and eventually drown.


While snails seem well-equipped to handle water, it may not be the case. The snails you see swimming in the water are water snails. When it comes to garden snails, they have a hard time surviving in water.

Garden snails cannot swim. Even if it rains too heavily, they can drown. Snails can hold their breath underwater, but they cannot breathe like water snails. 

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