Posts Tagged: Snails
Approximately 280 species of snails and slugs are found in California; 242 are thought to be native. The vast majority of the native species are not considered to be pests of nurseries or other production systems.
The most damaging snails and slugs are those that have been accidentally or purposely introduced from areas outside of the US. Most of California's pest gastropods are European species.
The Chico News & Review published a profile of local UC ANR Cooperative Extension farm advsior Dani Lightle. Lightle works with Glenn County growers of walnuts, almonds, prunes, olives, pistachios, pecans and fruit. “Basically, if it grows on a tree, it comes my way,” said Lightle, referring to the calls she receives at her Orland office. The article provided background information about UC Cooperative Extension and ANR. "The system's purpose was to be a bridge between public universities and the general public," the article says.
The news website Ensia.com reported on research underway in Northern California on the role of bats in orchard pest control. An intern, under the guidance of UC ANR farm advisor Rachael Long, is comparing orchards with nearby bat boxes with orchards that do not have the convenient dwellings for the flying rodents. "If you increase diversity by relying on insects, bats, raptors, etc., you help strengthen your farming system," Long said.
The UC Statewide IPM program has just released six short videos to help you find answers to these questions. Find the videos on the UC IPM YouTube channel or linked from the specific Pest Notes publications on Snails and Slugs or Spiders.
Snails and slugs chew holes in leaves and fruit of many different types of plants, but they aren’t always present when the damage is discovered. Caterpillars, earwigs, grasshoppers, weevils, and others cause similar damage. How can you identify the culprit? The short video clip “Did a snail eat my plant?” shows damage caused by various pests and can help you identify snail or slug damage by looking for their characteristic slime trails and excrement.
Trapping snails and slugs.” If you decide to use a pesticide, check out the video on ”How to apply snail and slug bait.” You’ll learn what types of baits are best, which ones to avoid, and how and when to apply them for best results.
Although many people fear them, most spiders you encounter during the day are harmless and can be beneficial in your garden and landscape by eating pest insects. You can see different kinds of spiders in the short clip “Common garden spiders.”
How to catch a spider” shows several ways to easily trap a spider and let it go, including two types of nifty spider catchers that catch spiders in hard-to-reach places. Now what about those sticky webs? “How to clean up spider webs” shows practical methods for removing webs from around your home such as vacuuming, sealing holes in cracks or screens, hosing them off, or using a Webster tool. These methods can also help to keep spiders out of your home.
For more information on snails, slugs, spiders, and other home and garden pests, visit the UC IPM web site.
Initially the strawberries started off planted around my grape vine planted in a a half wine barrel. But as strawberries do, they formed runners and clambered out of the barrel. Over the years they had formed a little area at the foot of the barrel, just off the corner of the patio. Unfortunately at the same time, the vinca minor had spread from its intended area. At first I thought everything would be okay, the strawberry plants were sort of growing on top of the vinca and it looked kind of cute. Over the years, I found myself getting fewer and fewer strawberries. By the time they would ripen they would have been reduced to pathetic shells by slugs and snails. I don't like to use snail pellets so I was continually on the lookout for snails and slugs each morning when I watered my plants.
I finally realized that the vinca was creating the perfect environment for the slug/snail contingent. During the day they would rest in the cool, dark, moist area provided under the vinca strands. At night they would crawl up and feast on the strawberries. So early this spring, I decided that the vinca under the strawberries had to go. If you've never pulled up vinca, it's a little like pulling bindweed. I also had to be careful that I didn't pull up the strawberry plants at the same time. It took quite a bit of time and effort, but finally it was done.
I have really been impressed with the change. I am actually getting strawberries again and losing far fewer to slug predation. Now I just have to keep my eye on the birds.
Escaped strawberries. (photos by Karen Metz)