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White-lipped Snail

Cepaea hortensis

White-lipped Snail, Garden banded snail

A Cepaea hortensis white lipped snail on a green leaf
Cepaea hortensis by Arnstein Rønning (CC BY 3.0)
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The White-lipped Snail or Garden Banded Snail, Cepaea hortensis is common to gardens across Europe and the northeastern USA. They're easily identifiable from their yellow shells with brown banding and a white edge around the base. This species is found during the daytime, most often in damp, moist conditions or hidden away in greenery. They favour plants like nettles, Ragwort and Hogweed, but can sometimes be found grazing on other garden plants. Damage by these snails is ever only mild to moderate.

Traits

Snails have an important role in the food chain.
Can cause minor damage to garden plants.

Appearance

Adults: A medium-sized snail species typically reaches 2cm maximum. The shell is smooth and shiny, coloured yellow, brown or sometimes red or pink. The shell comprises 5 spiralling bands across the surface in darker shades and a distinct white lip at the tip of the shell opening. The snail body is coloured green-grey, tending towards yellow at the back.

Symptoms

Silvery deposits left around the garden and on plants.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Family

Helicidae

Distribution

Widespread across Europe and introduced to East USA

Biological treatment

Pick snails off plants with fingers and move them elsewhere. Slug and snail traps can be an effective measure to snare slugs. Diatomaceous earth, a fine powder that is very sharp microscopically and the edges easily cut through slug skin and desiccate them as they crawl over it. Replenish it after every rain or heavy dew. Other barriers include hair, eggshells, soot and wood chippings. Chickens and ducks will eat any slugs and snails that you have in your garden. Attract these garden predators to your green spaces by incorporating small water features (for toads) or habitats like log piles and shrubs for hedgehogs. These animals adore wild patches of grass and dense undergrowth. Here, they can stay concealed. You’ll require some exit and entrance points in the garden, too.

Attracts

Plant nettles, Ragwort and Hogweed to attract snails away from other garden plants.

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