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Getting Rid of Snails

A snail on a flower stalk.
This is a guide about getting rid of snails. Although many people think snails are cute, they can be devastating to your yard and garden.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 3 found this helpful
September 23, 2010

Don't throw out eggshells. Crush them up and throw them into your garden. They provide needed calcium to the soil as they decompose and the sharp-edged shells keep snails out of your beds.


Diatomaceous earth, available in pool supply stores, works as well. If the snails try to crawl over either material, the sharp edges slices up their obnoxious bellies.

By lindal from Vista, CA

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March 9, 2011

In the fall, if you have problems with snails, lay down an old wood board in edge of your garden. During the winter months, the snails will crawl under the board. When spring comes, go out and turn the board over. Take a box of salt and sprinkle on the snails - it will melt them. Then you can rake them out of the garden. If it doesn't get all of them, just repeat the salt again.

By mamacrafter from TN

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February 1, 2006

To prevent snails from eating a new seedling you've just planted outdoors, put a ring of new, unused coffee grounds down around the plant. I dampen the grounds just a little to keep them from blowing away. Make sure it's UNused grounds; it's the caffeine that the snails hate.


By Lynn from Chico, CA

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 27, 2010

I seem to be having an explosion of new snails on my plants. What are you using to stop the cute little things?

Hardiness Zone: 9a

By Betty from Ocala, FL

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July 27, 20100 found this helpful

Put some shallow containers with beer in them in the garden. Make sure the side of the container are not too high for the snails to crawl up. The beer attacks them! It worked for me!

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July 28, 20100 found this helpful

You might try sprinkling area with sand, oyster shell,

anything a bit gritty. Maybe even coffee grounds, or diatomaceous earth.

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July 28, 20100 found this helpful

I would sprinkle salt all around and they won't like it, lol. The beer one is good too.



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July 28, 20100 found this helpful

Hi and thanks everyone for all the info. I checked out the archives also.

I do not have beer but I have just found food quality diatomaceous earth and I think I will try it first and maybe some salt near my sidewalk.

Will salt kill outer plants or mess up the ground for future planting?

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July 28, 20100 found this helpful

Hi and thanks everyone for all the info. I checked out the archives also.

I do not have beer but I have just found food quality diatomaceous earth and I think I will try it first and maybe some salt near my sidewalk.

Will salt kill outer plants or mess up the ground for future planting?

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July 30, 20100 found this helpful

Yes the salt will mess up the other plants and kill them. Do the beer or go to the garden center/hardware store and get the Ortho Snails and Slugs stuff. They will kill your whole garden, starting at the roots.

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July 31, 20100 found this helpful

Back in the Spring, we had a similar problem and needed a reasonable way to get rid of them. I don't know how big your garden is, so depending on size, consider the following options.


If relatively small, a salt shaker goes a long way. sprinkle a titch of salt directly on the slugs to kill them almost instantly. if your garden is a little too large for this or you are unable to 'catch them in the act', grind up egg shells and spread the crushed up shells around the base of the plants. Slugs and snails find that finely ground shells as uncomfortable to crawl across and will avoid those areas. If you have a swimming pool that uses a filter, the diatomaceous earth used by the filter also works remarkably well when applied in the same manner.

Many people recommend putting out shallow bowls of beer, however I live in an area with a large population of raccoons and opposums and have found that the local wildlife will drink the bowls dry. (BTW: Raccoons are not happy drunks.)

Think about your landscaping. If you are using wood chips or have mulches around your plants, you are also providing a comfortable habitat for slugs to flourish. pull the mulch and leaf litter back from the plant stems and leaves.

All of the above suggestions, not only are frugal solutions but very green and comply with Organic methodologies. good luck!

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August 1, 20100 found this helpful

I have 5 pet box turtles in the fenced-in back yard. and no snails or slugs!

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March 25, 20130 found this helpful

What does having snails on the outside of the house indicate?

By Bob

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March 26, 20130 found this helpful

You have snails or slugs? Big difference.

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July 26, 20160 found this helpful

Very small snails that stick to the pots on my out side plants

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By 0 found this helpful
May 15, 2011

What's a natural way to get rid of snails in my garden?

By Petunia53

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May 15, 20110 found this helpful

Try crushed egg shells.

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May 16, 20110 found this helpful

Thank you to "gbilly"....I had heard of that hint before and forgot about it. I'll give it a try! Thanks again!

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By 0 found this helpful
May 9, 2016

How do you get rid of snails? I have been losing flowers for years. I planted smaller plants and they would eat the roots away so quickly. They can destroy up to 10 a night. I then planted over 80+ large plants going down the sides and across the front of my house. Still 5-6 plants at a time would be eaten over night, only a handful have survived. I don't really have a slug problem. I've used the snail and slug pellets, I've put moist things and pots down to gather them together and I've removed the snails early in the AM, but they are too many everywhere. The two pictures are after the snails have eaten the roots. Please help me :(

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May 23, 20160 found this helpful

diatomaceous earth - it causes them to dry out

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By 0 found this helpful
April 19, 2015

How can I get rid of tiny snails in my vegetable garden? They are eating my plants.

By LuyBaby

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June 23, 20150 found this helpful

Take a plastic cup, fill it with beer, the bury the bottom so that only the lip of it is over the dirt, by morning, you should have a nice "Cup 'o Snails".

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April 5, 20150 found this helpful

I don't have anything in my yard except grass. We have over 20 snails daily on the outside walls of the house. Egg shells are out of the question because of our 2 dogs. Is there anything else recommended that is pet safe?

By Terry from Jarrell, TX

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April 12, 20150 found this helpful

You can use copper stripping. If you put it around your plants the snails/slugs will die. You can also sink a dish into the soil with beer and they will go after it and drown.

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May 28, 20120 found this helpful

What is good to use to keep the snails from eating my beet greens as they come up?

By Gail

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June 12, 20120 found this helpful

Get a 600ml coke bottle, cut the bottom off the bottle. Throw away the top piece of the bottle. Pour some beer into the bottom piece of the bottle then sit the tub in the garden.

The snails get attracted to the beer, and will eventually fall in and drown. Good luck!

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May 30, 20140 found this helpful

My old air conditioner had about 80 snails in it and it made a horrible noise. I could not get them out. How do I prevent them from getting into my new A/C?

By Kathy F.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 27, 20100 found this helpful

What's a homemade way to get rid of slugs and snails?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

By Holly from Lancaster, WI


Getting Rid of Snails

I've never had enough slugs or snails that were bothersome, but I've heard putting a shallow dish filled with beer out will attract them and then they drown or to sprinkle them with salt. It's worth a try and at least it's a living being and environmentally safe way to go. (06/10/2010)

By Deeli

Getting Rid of Snails

Slugs usually don't come to bother us till about end of August into September. The beer is a good thing, set it near the garden and also in the garden. They like the beer, they bloat and die from it, here in MN, zone 4. (06/10/2010)

By T&T Grandma

Getting Rid of Snails

  1. Put out a jar lid full of beer and the snails and slugs will go in it at night and be killed. Replenish daily as needed.

  2. Get a duck. They eat snails. (06/11/2010)

By kemperjl

Getting Rid of Snails

I think salt kills snails, but not sure if it will also harm the plants. (06/14/2010)

By mollyring

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June 10, 20100 found this helpful

How can you get rid of snails eating your potted plants?

Hardiness Zone: 8a

By jr112748 from Dallas, TX


Getting Rid of Snails

When I was little I remember my dad pouring salt on snails to kill them. (05/10/2009)

By theseamstress

Getting Rid of Snails

I've read that you can fill saucers with beer and set it among your plants. The snails crawl in to get the sweet (?) smelling stuff and drown...must be like people who "drown" their troubles a little too often in the stuff! (05/11/2009)

By Glenn'sMom

Getting Rid of Snails

A saucer of beer works with slugs also. (05/11/2009)

By jabsgram

Getting Rid of Snails

Coffee might be good, only you can't use it all the time or even fresh, cause the acids with eventually burn the plants. I have tried the beer thing, and maybe my pests don't like to drink, I don't know, but it didn't work. I have heard that diatomaceous earth is really good, cause it's the skeletons of diatoms and cuts them up when they crawl over it.

I personally use a product called "Green Light" snail and bug bait. It works on a lot of those critters that damage plants and do most of their eating at night. Just water well, sprinkle it like salt around the plants and the 1st night there won't be many, the 2nd night there will be more, but from the 3rd night on, it looks like they came to have a party and died. This stuff is great and it looks like small saw dust, so you can hardly see it. (05/16/2009)

By c t

Getting Rid of Snails

Find their family nests before killing only a few, by turning over rocks, boards, anything they can crawl under, even flower pots, or around garbage.

Once found, apply table salt to them. Then sprinkle buggetta snail bait pellets, not powder, around each plant right after a rain or your own watering, but never before because water will melt the bait into mush. Do not over-do, but sprinkle enough so you can see it where you saw the snails last. If your ground is dark, try mixing play sand with the pellets so you can tell where you have been and how much you are using.

They like darkness, moisture, screens, and foliage of most any kind, especially veggies and edible flowers/leaves. The bait will kill sow-bugs/pill bugs/roly-polies (all same) as well, earwigs, centipedes, and I believe silver-fish.

Read the directions on the container very well, apply only on a still day, marking on the container when you used it first, wear gloves. Keep container closed when not using or when storing residual. Do not breathe any dust that might be found in the product. Apply around piles, wood, and even old stumps. If it rains, you must reapply immediately. Watch the weather for when you have three days or more of sun instead to apply so that when the snails are drawn to it, they will also have plenty of time to eat it. Reapply every ten days until no sign of any live snails are anywhere. God bless and help you. : ) (05/18/2009)

By lyndagayle62

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May 10, 20090 found this helpful

This is only my second summer at my new home. Last year I was so pleased to see plants and trees growing nicely until I started noticing holes in all the leaves. It appears I have some very hungry visitors in the form of snails. I was told snails indicate good soil but I would prefer to do without them. How can I get rid of snails or at least discourage them from visiting this summer

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Lynn from Toronto, Ontario


Getting Rid of Snails

I use the blue bottle of Bayer Rose 3-in-1 I believe it's called. It works on everything, from green bugs on roses, to my tree that we happened to spray it with. The tree was losing its leaves on the top (after a week it looked completely healthy again like before). We use it on our garden even. It works wonderfully, I recommend it. Anytime you see anything from a bug, to insect bites and other remedies don't work quick enough, then use it. (04/30/2008)

By Cathy

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April 28, 20080 found this helpful

I am new to this list, I stumbled upon it as I was searching for remedies to get rid of snails. A neighbor gave me a plant and it had snails in it and now they just ate an amaryllis that is on my balcony. I read about using coffee. They gave a % of a solution, but I have no idea how to dilute any coffee to those proportions. Just made a pot for them and thought that I would just put it in a spray bottle and spray the plants and then put the grounds around the plant. Any advice or opinions.



Getting Rid of Snails

Two good remedies are wood ashes or table salt. I would recommend that you put them around the base of your planter instead of in the planter so as not to harm your plant. This also works with slugs. (they are like a snail without a shell.) (11/11/2004)

By Harlean from Arkansas

Getting Rid of Snails

Snails love BEER! Place a shallow dish of beer near the plants and they will drown themselves. (11/11/2004)

By Annie

Getting Rid of Snails

I sprinkle ordinary table salt out of the shaker in a long continuious stream around the perimeter you want to protect. Snails will not cross it and if they do they 'sizzle' and die. No poisons to worry about for animals or children or birds. And very frugal. Replace after rain. (11/11/2004)

By Ang

Keeping Snails Away

Crushed eggshells or diatomaceous earth (found in pool stores) sprinkled around your plants will keep the snails away.

By Linda

Getting Rid of Snails

I keep my egg shells all year long and crush them up and put them in the garden. it keeps snails away , provides calcium to the plants and bonus
helps the birds. They eat the crushed egg shells to provide calcium for their own egg production.
Egg shells will not smell if put in an open container.
They dry out and are easy to crush. (02/11/2005)

By Susan from Hamilton

Getting Rid of Snails

Pour beer into a small dish. The snails will be drawn to it and die. (02/11/2005)

By Teresa

Getting Rid of Snails

A % solution of anything means 'part of 100' so if you want to make a 10% solution in water you put 10 parts of coffee, or whatever the liquid is, and 90 parts of water. It can be 10mls coffee and 90 mls water or 10 teaspoons coffee and 90 teaspoons water. If you want a smaller amount 1 teaspoon of coffee and 9 teaspoons of is the same concentration.

30% solution would be 30 units of coffee and 70 units of water, and so on.

By Jo Bodey

Getting Rid of Snails

If you put copper around the top of the pot of your plant and scrub it with sand paper it will give the snails a shock and keep the snails away (10/22/2006)

By Jake

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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