Snails


> >    I'm living in a tropical country and our winter isn't enough to stop
> >their destructive activity. 
> >
I live in the warm moist, maritime, Mediterranean SF Bay Area, where we
have escaped Escargot rampant in our gardens. I'm a 100% organic (don't
poison your mother) gardener, so the bait are unacceptable to me. My
solutions:

* Lots of hand picking 

* Copper barriers around precious plants, or extemely young plants

  I paid $20 for a bunch of scrap copper strips years ago, and
  they still work. Snails just won't cross it. If you put it 
  around plants already in the ground, do check for a few days
  to be sure you haven't trapped any snails INSIDE the barrier.
  And it doesn't work if plants you want to protect are touching
  other unprotected plants, snails will find the detour to get
  to something they especially want.

* Knowing the hiding spots. The banana-leaves trick sounds similar.
  I've found certain plants (like Dietes, for example) where they
  hide way down in the nest of leaves during the day. Making daytime
  picking easy. Curiously, snails also seem to love junk mail,
  especially the heavy coated papers. Leave some out in the
  evening, and come out with a flashlight. 

>  Of course, if you really want it to be like military action, go on
> night-time search and destroy missions. I use a small flashlight that I hold
> in my mouth to keep my hands free

Camping places, like REI, sell "head lights", headbands with 
flashlights on the forehead. The light shines wherever you look.
Very handy, or un-handy, as the case may be.

> ducks and geese

As long as you don't have tender young seedlings, they're supposed
to be great. I used to cart containers of snails over to some friends 
who had chickens, but they said the eggs got too hard to crack!
All that extra calcium in the snail shells.


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