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How to: stop snails invading precious pot plants


Keep both pets and snail-sensitive plants safe with these solutions.

Copper barrier tape, Sluggo. Photo - Linda Ross

1. Copper barrier tape, such as Sluggo, forms an impenetrable barrier that neither snails nor slugs will cross. Simply place a band around vulnerable potted plants such as hostas. The tape has a sticky back to adhere to surfaces. Alternatively it could be tacked onto suitable surfaces.


2. Buffered copper sprays, such as Goodbye Snails, Escar-go, Slug-it, can be used as a barrier spray on pots or on tree trunks of plants such as magnolias or cordylines that can become infested with small snails. Simply spray the trunk prior to spring growth. These sprays are also good for safeguarding letterboxes.


3. Multiguard Snail pellets are iron-based and non-toxic to pets and wildlife that might consume either the bait or the killed snail/slug.


4. If you are willing to share, beer traps are another safe way to control excess populations of snails and slugs this summer. Simply bury a jar or can with a few centimetres of beer in the bottom in the garden. Snails and slugs are lured to the beer and drown. 


Text: Matthew Carroll

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Author: Matthew Carroll