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Bush snails ... age-old debate

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by KellyW, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have some but haven't really noticed damage. I want to get rid of them before they become a problem.
    Doing reading of on-line articles and here on various forum topics still leaves me befuddled as to the best way to get rid of bush snails. I really don't want to use any of the super-toxic chemicals because I have a number of tree frogs in the gh that I really enjoy plus they eat slugs and snails. Also, here in California many of the really harsh chemicals are not registered for use by the general public.

    It sounds like the best way, though labor intensive, is to soak a plant (potted or mounted) in a bucket of water for about 1/2 hour until all of the snails float to the top. Scoop and destroy.

    Another method is sprinkling diatomaceous earth on the plant and medium. This apparently works well but washes off readily.

    Apparently the easily obtained pellets like Sluggo, etc, do not attract the little bush snails so are ineffective for those. I do use the pellets for the larger slugs and snails and it is effective for those.

    I have read about the caffeine, coffee dregs, worm castings and several other things that some people think might work (or they heard about something from their cousin's best friend's father)

    Is anyone actually using a method that they know works on these little pests?
     
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would be very surprise to find that tree frogs would eat snails or slugs. Toads certainly won't eat them.

    I've spent quite a bit of time looking on line for iron phosphate to try. I couldn't find it in in a size that didn't need a fork lift. It is the active ingredient in Sluggo.

    I've settled on a combination that you might not want to use. I am using SlugFest (25% metaldehyde) with Sevin. Both are legal in California. I think the Sevin is going to be toxic tree frogs, but don't know that for a fact. I haven't had tree frogs in the greenhouse for probably 10 years. They have pretty much vanished from the whole neighborhood where they used to be found in incredible numbers. I never spray either of these chemicals outside of the greenhouse. It takes repeated sprays and follow ups.
     
  3. ZWUM

    ZWUM Bulbophiliac Staff Member

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    What about little dishes of beer placed around the benches. I'm not sure how it works for bush snails but it attracts slugs
     
  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My understanding is that bush snails don't have a sense of smell so attractants don't work with them. They certainly don't go after baited poison.
     
  5. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks, both. It is my understanding also that the beer trick doesn't work for these little guys. They are also so small that they probably don't travel very far.

    Marni, I did some reading and you are probably correct that the tree frogs don't eat slugs and snails. I want to keep the frogs anyway.
     
  6. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't blame you, I love them.
     
  7. Photosynthetic

    Photosynthetic New Member

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    I've never tried it, but have heard that an ammonia solution (anywhere from 1:1 to 1:10 to water) will do the job. Lots about it on the web if you google it.
     
  8. Mikehitch

    Mikehitch New Member

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    I find that coffee grounds are an effective natural remedy for snails. I make a 'tea' by soaking them in the sun then filtering and spraying the mixture on the pots/foliage. Sprinkle the grounds on pots and around the legs of benches. Instant coffee works too.
     
  9. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks Mike. Does it kill the snails or act as a deterrent?
     
  10. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    I would have to agree with Mike. I collect the coffee-pot dregs in a plastic milk jug, adding a splash of isopropyl rubbing alcohol to deter molds.

    Just pour it over the affected plants a couple of times, and they seem to simply vanish.
     
  11. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks everyone. I'll try the coffee.