How to Get Rid of Snails Without Killing Them

For many people, killing snails is the easiest way of ridding them from their gardens. However, there are several reasons as to why you may not want to kill snails, and how you can get rid of snails without killing them.

We’ll explore these methods and look at how effective they are:

Why You Shouldn’t Kill Snails

Whilst killing snails is a permanent method to keep them from your plants, there are certain reasons as to why you should avoid doing this. These reasons are listed below.

Benefits to Your Garden

Despite the fact that snails eat your plants, they do provide some benefits to your garden. These benefits include cleaning up plant debris and eating other garden pests and their eggs.

Bad for the Environment

there are a couple of reasons why killing snails can be bad for the environment. Killing snails means that there is less food for other wildlife so it can disrupt the balance of the ecosystem.

As well as this, many commercial snail killers, such as insecticides, contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment and they can also cause illness to other kinds of wildlife.

Now that we’ve discussed why you may want to avoid killing snails, let’s have a look at some of the alternative methods that you can use to keep snails away from certain plants that you want to protect.

How to Snail-Proof your Pots

If you have a lot of different plants in plant pots, then you can take precautions that are specific to protecting your pots. There are many simple methods that you can use to make sure that your pots cannot be climbed by slugs.

Here is a short list of some examples:

Use Rough-Textured Pots

Whilst this is not a guarantee to get rid of snails, it is certainly going to help you with them. Snails are rather fussy when it comes to crossing certain textures that is. And textures that are rough or uncomfortable on them are difficult to climb and therefore they will usually not make the journey.

So, if the side of your pots are rough then the snails will not want to make the difficult journey to reach your plants.

Use Vaseline

Rubbing a substance such as Vaseline along the side of your pots then the snails will be completely unable to get to your plants.

The substance prevents the snails from getting any type of grip on the side of the plant pots, meaning that they are unable to climb up it. This method also works great for repelling slugs and it does not kill them.

Use Certain Terrains in your Garden

Snails are very sensitive to certain different terrains and you can utilise this. Contact with any of these terrains will not kill snails and they can be used to keep snails either our of your plant pots or away from your flower beds.


Snails do not like travelling across any type of gravel. This is because the small stone pieces are cold and sharp which makes it uncomfortable for snails and sometimes the small stones stick to them.

Because of this, they will avoid travelling over gravel and placing it around the borders of your garden can keep slugs away from all areas.


Slate is uncomfortable for the same reason as gravel, which means that snails will also avoid travelling across it. It is cold and sharp and therefore can hurt them sometimes.

Using slate flags on your garden is a good way to deter snails from travelling across and to your plants because of the hard and cold surface.


Mulch is made up of decaying plant matter, in mulch, you may find bark shards, leaves and wood chippings. This terrain is very rough, and its inconsistency makes it very difficult for snails to travel across so they will usually avoid it.

Putting mulch on top of your plant soil is also good because it is designed to help plants to grow quickly and healthy.

Whilst some of these terrains can hurt snails, they cannot cause enough damage to be fatal and most snails will avoid them in the first place and therefore will not get hurt at all.

Plant Flowers that Deter Snails

One of the easiest ways to keep snails from your garden is to simply plant things that they will not be attracted to. Below is a list of plants that snails aren’t just unattracted to but are actively repelled by.


Geraniums have fuzzy textures on their stems. Snails do not like to crawl over these stems and therefore will leave these plants alone.

Geraniums Deter Snails


Catnip is easy to maintain and can grow rapidly. It also produces a strong smell that works to repel snails.


The sweet smell of this lovely plant has a couple of really great benefits. It works to repel snails from the surrounding area and also attracts some beneficial garden wildlife including butterflies and bees.


Killing snails can be bad for the environment so you should avoid doing so. There are many alternative methods that you can use to get rid of snails without killing them.

These include using rough terrains such as gravel and mulch to prevent snails from travelling over. You can also plant flowers that are repellent to snails, including geraniums and lavender.

Repelling snails rather than killing them helps the environment because it works to maintain a healthy ecosystem inside of your garden.

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