Sometimes all that stands between you and your dream garden are a bunch of snails. Many people do not like using chemicals to get rid of pests. So, does the myth of putting salt on snails work? Does salt kill snails?
One of the ways to kill snails is by sprinkling some salt on them. Salt dehydrated snails and snails rely heavily on moisture to survive.
Snails are slimy creatures and rely greatly on water retention. Therefore, sprinkling salt on snails will absorb water, dehydrate them, and kill them.
Instead of using pesticides that can harm your plants, many people find it easy just to use salt to get rid of their garden snails.
Is It Cruel to Put Salt on Snails?
It is natural to wonder if putting salt on snails is cruel. It is a common misconception that salt will melt snails. It only dehydrates them.
There has been some research on the matter of snails feeling any pain.
Snails may respond differently to pain, but putting salt on them does cause a great deal of comfort. Watching a snail squirm is not a great sight nor a way to go.
Therefore, it can be best to resort to other methods of killing snails.
While using salt to kill snails is natural, it can cause some issues for your garden. Natural remedies usually require more than one application to work fully. However, using salt multiple times can increase the salinity in your soil.
The saline soil can affect your plants negatively, and some can also die.
Why Does Salt Kill Snails?
Snails require moisture to survive. It is how they move around and get to the food. Salt will dry out and absorb this moisture, dehydrating the snail and resulting in death.
Should You Use Salt to Kill Snails?
When dealing with garden pests, it is always best to use humane methods of getting rid of them. Using salt to kill snails is cruel, as it is a slow and painful way.
In addition, you will be harming your garden by increasing your soil’s saline levels. Some plants can suffer from stunted growth, while others can die.
Therefore, to keep your garden safe and avoid being cruel to snails, you can always adopt other methods of getting rid of them. There are plenty of ways to kill or trap snails without chemicals or causing them too much pain.
What Are Other Ways to Get Rid of Snails?
Using salt is usually the first idea that comes to mind, but not the best. There are other ways to get rid of snails. You can try different methods until you find one that works best.
Sometimes, you can let nature do its job instead of using extra effort. You can make your garden a safe and attractive place for natural enemies of snails.
You can control the snail population by opening your garden to these predators. Some natural predators include birds, frogs, and hedgehogs,
To invite these predators, for instance, you can install a birdhouse. Or, you can have a garden pond to have some frogs. To attract hedgehogs, you can leave out some food and make the entrance to your garden accessible.
Another way to tackle snails is through beet traps. You can use old plastic containers like yoghurt or butter.
Next, you need to fill the container halfway with beer and make holes so the snails can get inside. The snails will get attracted to the beer, get inside the container and drown. You can also put liquids other than a beer like milk or a yeast solution.
In addition to beer traps, there are traps you can make from grapefruits and oranges. You have to take your grapefruit or orange rinds and scatter them in your garden to make this easy homemade trap.
The smell of the fruit will attract the snails, and as soon as you spot them, you can trap and kill them.
Creating barriers against snails is also effective in keeping them out of your garden. For instance, you can use copper wire to make a barrier around your plants. The copper interacts with the snail’s slime and gives it an electrical jolt. Hence, the snails will know not to mess with your garden.
Moreover, you can also use diatomaceous earth to create a barrier. This substance is non-toxic and has a rough texture which is uncomfortable for snails to crawl on. In addition, by using DE, you will be repelling other harmful pests too.
You can also use other coarse things like eggshells and coffee grounds to create barriers, anything which snails will find uncomfortable.
Can Snails Eat Salt?
No, if a snail eats salt, it would dry out from the inside out. This would dehydrate them effectively, which would result in death.
Many people resort to using salt to kill the snails in their gardens. The salt dehydrates snails by soaking the water, causing them to die. However, using salt is an inhumane way to kill snails.
In addition, salt also harms your garden by increasing the saline levels in the soil and causing plants to die. Therefore, it is better to resort to other methods of getting rid of snails.
You can invite natural predators of snails like hedgehogs, birds, and frogs. Moreover, creating barriers with copper, DE or eggshells is also effective. It is important to get rid of dark, damp places and use drip irrigation to avoid extra moisture.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden