Snails seem to get everything. They cover your plants in their snails and work through your flower beds. On some occasions, you might even see them climbing up your house! But why do snails climb up houses?
Snails climb up your house to hide from predators, avoid being stepped on, look for food, eat walls and find moisture.
Snails can climb anywhere; doors, windows, walls, flowerpots, poles, and fences. Snails climb up your house for several other reasons, mainly regarding survival.
Snails climb houses to avoid predators and being stepped on by anything bigger than them. Snails also climb your house in search of food or to even eat walls.
Weather changes are a big reason for snail movement. Snails often climb walls because of seasonal changes, to cool off, in search of moisture, or to seek shelter from cold weather.
Snails can climb very high and have been seen climbing up to 6 feet – if not more!
Why Do Snails Crawl Up Houses?
Snails climb walls for many reasons. Why a snail climbs your walls is often related to survival. Here are the main reasons they climb your house:
A snail would climb walls to avoid dangers such as predators. Predators include ground beetles, birds that feed on the ground such as song thrushes, chickens, and small predatory mammals such as rats, squirrels, mice, dogs, toads, and raccoons.
Certain larger snails, such as the giant African land snail, are eaten by bigger predators such as foxes, boars, and cannibalistic snails.
According to several studies, snails that live at height tend to survive more than any ground-living snail.
Snails on walls still are in danger of being eaten by birds, but it’s significantly safer than being on the ground because it’s difficult for birds to fly and catch snails on the wall on a vertical surface.
Most songbirds will eat snails, this includes bluebirds, thrushes, starlings and robins. Larger birds will also eat snails, such as jays, crows and magpies.
Avoid Getting Squashed
The ground can be a very dangerous place for a land-dwelling snail as they often fear that they’ll get squashed.
Snails climb walls to avoid the dangers of being squashed by predators or people. Its shell can break when someone or any animal stands on a snail.
The shell protects the snail and provides moisture; it’s a tough shell but can easily break if something heavy like a person’s foot is forced on it.
If a snail’s shell gets damaged or broken, it can’t be fixed, and the snail dries out and dies.
Snails also climb to high places in search of food. Places such as along a wall, a tree, a roof, or a balcony can be certain areas for snails where they can find some food.
The type of food a snail likes to eat depends on the snail species. It can climb walls to eat fungi, algae, moss, lichen, bacteria, bird droppings, debris, woodlice, insect eggs and insects, or plants.
Another reason for a snail to climb is to eat walls. Yes, that’s right!
Certain types of snails, like the giant African land snails, love eating walls. They’re found in Florida, climbing up the walls to feed on the paint, concrete, or stucco from the walls.
Snails start eating walls when they don’t get their desired amount of calcium from the food they eat from the ground.
Snails get calcium from eating leafy green vegetables, wood, animal droppings, carcasses, shells of other snails, antlers, bones, soil, and paper.
Calcium is added to cement to make it strong. Calcium is necessary for snails as it helps them control body fluids, contract and move muscles, and egg laying. Calcium also helps snails to build strong shells.
Snails require moisture to stay alive. If the place they usually live gets dry, they won’t be able to produce mucus to move around, and their body will eventually dry out. Snails climb the walls of your house in search of moisture.
Snails can climb significantly higher than you’d think. They can comfortably climb 6 feet on trees and walls. They will climb even further if they are desperate for protection or food.
How Do You Stop Snails Climbing Walls?
Snails can lead a gross trail behind wherever they go, so you can do several things to stop them from climbing up your walls.
- Find where the trail is coming from and sprinkle some salt. The salt ions stop the snails from crawling and making more trails. Salt can also kill the snails.
- Providing water to birds will encourage the predators of snails to come into your garden more and eat all the snails there.
- Plants such as rosemary, anise, and wormwood repel snails and are natural pesticides. These can be planted near your house so no snails would climb up your walls.
- A strip of copper tape of pipe can be fixed to the wall where you’re finding snails often climb. They won’t want to cross over the copper.
Standing on a snail trail can be an unpleasant experience. Snails come to your house to hide, search for food, find moisture, and leave a slimy trail behind.
Luckily, there are several things you can do so snails avoid climbing up your walls and house. Planting herbs that repel snails, using repellents, and encouraging predators are some of the ways you can deter snails from climbing your walls.
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