You walk outside to check your garden on a cool wet spring morning. Despite the clouds and the drizzle, it's a beautiful day, so you stroll cheerfully over to check on your vegetables. As you get to your garden, you crouch down to get a closer look at your new plants, and that's when you see it - a slug.
Finding one slug in your garden is a little bit concerning, but if you find one there's a good chance you will find others, and that means a much bigger problem. See, on wet, rainy days, slugs and snails all like to come out and feast on gardens. This is extremely frustrating for gardeners because slugs and snails can destroy their plants.
So why is it that these creatures only come out when it's wet and rainy outside? And what on earth are you supposed to do with them when they do show up - call a bug exterminator or just deal with them yourself?
Why Snails and Slugs Come Out In the Rain
To know how to deal with snails and slugs when they show up in your garden, you do need to understand why they show up when they do. A lot of the reason is that they want to eat the plants in your garden, but as we mentioned, slugs and snails seem to only appear when it's wet or raining outside. As much as the snails and slugs like your garden for food, what they need even more is moisture.
Snails and slugs are gastropods, and these creatures need moisture to survive. Without moisture, their thick, slimy bodies can simply dry out. And if they dry out, they die, much the way earthworms do if they are out in the sun too long.
So when it rains or you've had your sprinklers on or even sometimes at night when it's dark and humid, the snails and slugs come out to play. And when they do, your garden suffers. You can't really blame the snails and slugs for coming out when it's wet outside if they need it for their survival, but it is still really frustrating for you as a gardener. It's about that time you start considering calling a bug exterminator to help you out.
You might be wondering where the snails and slugs go when it isn't wet outside. And why they can't just stay wherever it is they go and leave your garden alone. Well, when snails and slugs don't have access to enough moisture, they typically hide in little corners and seal themselves up in a mucus shell. That mucus dries around them, but they stay moist inside that shell. Of course, they can't stay there forever or they would starve, so when it is wet outside, they need to attack your garden.
Upsetting as it is to find snails and slugs in your garden, understanding that the snails and slugs are just trying to survive can soften your frustration with them. But knowing that they will most likely appear when it is rainy or your garden has recently been watered also means you know when you most need to watch out for them. Luckily, even though snails and slugs can be damaging to your garden, there are things you can do to prevent them from destroying your garden.
Dealing With Snails and Slugs In Your Garden
When you start finding snails and slugs in your garden, you need to deal with the problem as quickly as possible, otherwise the gastropods will quickly cause severe problems for your garden. If you aren't sure where to start, here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
First, you should try sprinkling diatomaceous earth around your garden. Diatomaceous earth is comprised of fossilized aquatic creatures. These fossilized sea creatures have been powdered so you can sprinkle them around your home and garden. This powder can microscopically make cuts in the bodies of snails and slugs when they ooze over the powder. When this happens, the powder dries out the body of the slug or snail until it dies. Diatomaceous earth is also safe to use around children and pets, so it makes a great option for your home.
Of course, these measures are not 100% effective. As well as diatomaceous earth works, it does wash away when it rains, so you do have to spread it out frequently to keep it effective.
So, it's often a good idea to contact a bug exterminator to help you out. While snails and slugs are technically not bugs, they are still pests, so a bug exterminator can easily treat your yard and home to kill and prevent slugs and snails. Even if you do use diatomaceous earth or copper, you may also want to hire a professional bug exterminator in addition to those measures because professional treatments will be more effective and last longer.
Dealing With Snails and Slugs In Your Home
Most people think of slugs and snails as being a garden problem, and while that is very true, did you know that they can also be a problem inside of your home? Because they are attracted to moisture if you have any standing water, or broken pipes or mold in your home, it may be attracting snails and slugs. And if they come inside your home, they may start having babies inside of your home, so soon you would have a lot of little snails and slugs infesting your home.
While you could still use diatomaceous earth to get rid of slugs and snails inside of your home, the best option is probably calling a bug exterminator. The bug exterminator can treat your entire home to make sure the slugs and snails don't keep coming in and any that are inside die. The exterminator's treatments will also get rid of the eggs that the snails and slugs may have laid in your home ensuring that the infestation does not continue.
While snails and slugs may seem fairly harmless, the fact is they can still cause a lot of problems for you. Doing what you can to get rid of them and hiring a bug exterminator to help you remove the infestation will fully protect your home and garden from the damage these gastropods could cause.