Snails and slugs aren't insects. They're mollusks, a group that includes clams, oysters and octopuses. These pests eat several times their own weight each day as they slide along on a slime-secreting, muscular foot.
Though closely related, snails and slugs are simple to tell apart. Snails have hard external shells. Slugs have soft internal shells, prominent cape-like mantles or nothing at all. Both snails and slugs have two pairs of headborne tentacles. The upper pair, used for smell and sight, have eyes on the tips. The lower, shorter pair handle taste and touch. Snails stay above the surface, but shell-less slugs sometimes go underground.
Snail and slug damage peaks during moist, moderate weather in spring and fall. These voracious pests prefer tender leaves and shoots. Seedlings and foliage plants, such as hostas, are frequent targets. Slugs and snails create large, irregular holes as they feed. While chewing insects leave rough, uneven edges, slugs and snails leave edges smooth.Another key sign of active snails and slugs is a network of slimy mucus trails on plants and soil. The silvery slime helps these pests move across surfaces and works like a mild adhesive to help them climb. Few other pests can cause the staggering leaf damage that snails and slugs can cause in a single night. Left unchecked, these pests multiply rapidly and plant damage skyrockets.
Besides feeding on plants, slugs and snails can carry disease-causing pathogens. Always wear gloves when handling these pests, and teach children and pets to avoid them. Corry's and Deadline brand slug and snail products can help protect your plants and your family:
Snails and slugs look for cool, moist hiding places to rest between their nighttime feasts. Reduce or eliminate these welcoming spots by using drip irrigation and water-conserving gardening practices.
Always read product labels and follow the instructions carefully.
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Is this not your insect?