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Do Egg Shells Prevent Slugs and Snails From Eating My Plants?

Snails and slugs, which are basically snails without shells, share dietary habits. They like to feast on garden plants such as tomatoes. Maybe the snails are just exercising revenge for their brethren that have ended up as escargot. When it comes to the garden, obviously these slithering creatures are not welcome guests, so the question is what to do about them? According to some widely circulating advice, they can be disinvited to the party by placing crushed eggshells around plants. The rationale is that crawling over the sharp edges will deter an invasion. Seems to make sense, but “seems” is not the same as evidence.

The slug-busters at the  “All About Slugs” group know this and have put the theory to a test. In a clever experiment they surrounded lettuce leaves, a yummy snack for slugs, with egg shells, and found that the creatures had no trouble crashing the barrier to satisfy their appetite. So, if crushed shells don’t work, what does?  There is good evidence that consuming bait treated with iron phosphate, available commercially as “Sluggo,” will prevent slugs and snails from ever crawling anywhere again.

Another possibility? Well, you can always consider ducks, since they consider snails and slugs gourmet food.


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