Garden Snail

Cornu aspersum

Garden Snail, Brown Garden Snail

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A Cornu aspersum common garden snail on a wooden surface
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A soft, slimy bodied gastropod class of mollusc, with a whorled hollowed shell, carried on its back which it uses to protect itself. They're most active at night and thrive in damp conditions. They're active all year-round, but take a disliking to hot weather so will seek shade and damp during warm periods of the day. This is also true for extreme cold and wet conditions too.
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Traits

Food source for lots of garden wildlife!
Will chew holes in plant foliage.

Appearance

Adult snails have a soft and slimy body. The bodies base is the foot of the snail on which it moves. Its eyes are mounted on the top of the head, on the tip of long stalks which are fully retractable into the head area of the snail, to protect them. Two or four sensor tentacles under the eyestalks to assist in sensing the environment around them. 20mm to 40mm shell diameter size Baby snails are mini versions of the adult, with a thinner shell, maybe as small as 2mm shell size when first hatched. Eggs laid in clusters, round creamy, shiny 1mm to 2mm in diameter.

Symptoms

Chunks chewed out of leaves. Petals torn or chewed. Seedlings chewed off, part eaten or all gone. Leaves glistening slime trails where it has been.

Personality

Family

Helicidae

Metamorphosis

Incomplete

Distribution

Worldwide

Biological treatment

Keep vegetable and flower border areas clean of waste plant materials and suitable resting areas, damp and dark, for snails' daytime retreats. Place log piles and bug hotels, which snails will like to use in the day to shelter in, away from vegetable and flower border areas. Keep glasshouses and polytunnels clean and tidy so hiding places are removed. Complete night checks with a torch and hand-remove the snails. Place ground eggshell on the ground around each plant, as the snail will not like the feel of this, so should not cross it. Use horticultural grit on the soil surface around plants, as the snail will not like the feel of this, so should not cross it. On container plants, place a copper band around the pot, available from most Garden Centres. The snail will not like the feel of this, so should not cross it.

Chemical treatment

As snails are eaten by wildlife in the garden, please consider organic options before chemicals. For chemical choice, please contact your local Garden Centre for availability.

Attracts

A wide range of plants, ornamental, fruit, vegetables and young seedlings.
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Plant Knowledge

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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