Tuesday, March 9, 2010

An Enemy

Brown Garden Snail  (Cantareus aspersus)

I saw this enemy in the garden today.  Although it has not been named as a serious pest in California, snails, along with their relatives the gray garden slug (Deroceras reticulatum, formerly Agriolimax meticulatus) are annoying pests in home gardens especially during this time of the year when the herbaceous plants are just beginning to emerge from the ground.  It is easy to mechanically control the snails but I prefer to deal with slugs chemically using metaldehyde (2,4,6,8-tetramethy 1,3,5,7 tetraoxycyclo-octane) in late winter and very early spring.  This is the only time I put slug/snail bait in the garden mainly for the purpose of protecting the seedlings.  Later on I hand-pick those that survived.  This way we can enjoy slug-free strawberries.

Important Link: IPM for Snails and Slugs

Did you know?

The brown garden snail is closely related to the Roman Snail (Helix pomiata), the edible snail which is commonly known as Escargot in French cooking.

The Philippines has its own edible aquatic snails known as Kuhol or the Channeled Apple-Snail (Pomacea canaliculata).  They are aquatic; usually found in rice fields as pests.  Recently, it has been found to be good source of feed supplement for livestock and poultry. 

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