Saturday, 7 July 2012

Snail Wars

There is a war going on.
The wettest June on record
(and nearly a month's worth of rain falling in just one day yesterday) coupled with the presence of stone walled garden has meant that those dirty little bastard garden snails have seen their populations treble and quadruple in this season of gloomy weather and damp evenings!
Chomping away on the few blooms that have survived the deluge, these greedy little buggers have been laying the cottage under siege and every night you can see them leaving their grotty slime trails over the windows in their effort to break in in order to devour us all in our sleep.
Last night, I lost it with them.
My patience was running a little thin anyway, what with the fact that I had been soaked at least 8 times during a day that had seen a river of run off flowing down the lane , but when I caught a "herd" of the little sods stuffing their fat faces on my young laburnum tree , I threw caution to the wind and collected armfuls of them from the wet bark which I then started to hurl across the lane against the stones of the church wall with some gusto.
After a minute or so, I got rather good at grabbing a snail then lobbing it against the wall without actually looking at what I was doing, and within minutes scores of the little "bodies" were flying through the air with gay abandon to land bruised, battered and broken in the lane


Apologies to the lady driving the blue fiat panda
The small dints in your paintwork, I am sure will come out quite easily

36 comments:

  1. Tell me about it! First I had a pot full of lovely runner beans happily growing up their canes, then I had only the stalks left.Now there are no stalks!Good work on the Battle of the Snails, although I bet the Snail Liberation Front will have something to say about it! Keep dry.

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  2. I'm afraid I'm forced to revert to 'Slug Pellets'. I do use the Nature Friendly variety, but without them I would have no vegetables at all. I too have stone walls.

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  3. Can´t you eat them? That´d be getting yer own back!

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  4. Sounds fun, i dont get plagued by snails so much, we have spotted a thrush in the garden who leaves a pile of broken shells. Now slugs, thats a different matter, a night time patrol with a bucket of salty water has helped enormously.

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  5. I do the same thing as Cro--It's too hot here to do a 'snail toss!' :-)

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  6. Meanwhile we keep breaking heat records and I have to keep watering my garden so everything doesn't die, and I picked about 200 potato beetles off my plants the other day. I'll send you some sun and heat if you send me some rain!

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  7. They are devils aren't they? Before we removed the "snail highway" (overgrown hedge) from our property we spread snail pellets galore trying to keep them in check.

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  8. So, do you think that your all natural,organic 'gravel' driveway will catch on?
    Jane x

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  9. I like snails which is undoubtably why I am so useless at gardening and have virtually nothing growing successfully!!

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  10. It's so hot and dry here on the East Coast of the United States that I honestly have a hard time conjuring up an image of your sodden landscape, John. Wish we could both get a little moderation. (And, I have some slugs here [not many, fortunately, even when the weather's damp], but snails are very uncommon.)

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  11. Yep, whoever did it didn't go far. We had the wettest every month on record last year, but I wasn't walking dogs in it. It has to end. It's the weather.

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  12. They'll be back. They have homing instincts you know.

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  13. No snails here in sunny California, the opossums keep them under control, but we're overrun with mice and voles this year. They scamper around in the day time, right around your feet. I can't even imagine that much rain this time of year, I think our crops would fail. Hope you get dry weather soon.

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  14. a small dish of stale beer somewhere protected will take care of the slugs and the snails.

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  15. I agree about the beer... sounds like you need more than one though.

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  16. Slug pellets here too. I've never seen so many (dead) slugs.

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  17. I used to "turn out" my small flock of hens in the early evening and they would clean up snails and slugs, then return to roost in their pen as it grew dark. Don't know how large your snails are..

    Slug pellets can be fatal to dogs--stopped using them when my terrier lapped up all she could find. She survived because the vet was able to get her to vomit them up.

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  18. "every night you can see them leaving their grotty slime trails over the windows in their effort to break in in order to devour us all in our sleep."

    sounds like Shaun of the dead, but with snails.

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  19. every one has to eat!

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  20. Beer. Drown them in it. That's not as much pleasure for snails as it is for men, I've been told. I've been flicking the beetles off my plants and directly into the chicken coop. Gives me far too much sadistic pleasure to watch the hens gobble them up.

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  21. Yes, slinging the beasties up against a rock wall, is far better than laying out the slug pellets.
    The active ingredient is 'metaldehyde' highly poisonous to animals, just one teaspoon for every 10lbs of body weight, will be fatal.
    I like the beer method, they drown in happiness ;)
    ~Jo

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  22. How big are these snails? I'm imagining them as big as baseballs! Thank goodness we don't have any of them in Minnesota!

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  23. They also don't like to slither across anything rough - cuts them or something. I've tried broken up egg shells and also diatomaceous earth which is crushed sea creatures. I have a few toads who have taken up residence which have probably done more good than the shells.

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  24. I've used beer against snails, but you'll need a trough full with the quantities you've got. Buying enough to keep it full will only add to your reputation as the scruffy farmer.

    I will also be happy to send some dry heat your way!

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  25. My son tells me that if you throw snails over the wall into your neighbours garden (for garden read the churchuard) they will find their way back 'home'! If you can bear to be so cruel then I suggest a bucket to collect them and then a good dose of salt poured in.

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  26. I know this is just what you want to hear, we don't have snails here where I live. However as you know we do have many other annoying bugs and critters. We have been spared the slugs and snails however.

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  27. They look so innocent, trundling along laboriously in their delicate little shells, but they're a dreadful menace in the garden. Like you, I take great delight in hurling them onto the patio and slaughtering them. Not very Buddhist I know, but then the snails are't very Buddhist either in their relentless destruction.

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  29. I bet the lady in the blue fiat Panda loves you.

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  30. You know what else works? Coffee grounds! Don't throw them out! Sprinkle them around your favourite plants.....snails HATE them! Gets under their skin!

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  31. sometimes we have to find our enjoyment in life with the simple things...slug flinging comes to mind! I can't remember are there any winged fowl who eat the things?

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  32. Same story all over northern Europe this year, I'm fear. I'm afraid to use pellets for fear the domestic animals will eat them.

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  33. Hate them! I have more slugs than snails, but they are devouring everything that they can get their slimy little chops on. I have been salting the bastards as they just seem to enjoy the taste of slug pellets. I remember Janet Street Porter saying she just goes out there with a pair of murderous sissors, a bit yucky, but very effective i'm, sure!

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  34. I had once been told that you shouldn't destroy snails like that, since there might be eggs remaining that will produce more snails. I have no idea if that's true, but I started to stuff them in a bag after that.

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  35. HAR! I can just picture you winging those slimy beasts. Like skipping stones only more satisfying.

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