What Do Garden Snails Eat? Here's Our Answer

Written By James
Updated May 16, 2021 by James

What Do Garden Snails Eat? Here's Our Answer

Snails feed on a variety of food found in their natural habitat. What they consume depends on where they live and the species of snail that they are.

Most terrestrial snails are herbivorous, but others are omnivorous and some even carnivorous.

Each species has different eating habits, depending on their size, age, habitat and individual nutritional requirements.

You will likely find snails around your garden as this offers them plenty of fresh plants and leaves to eat. 

Some conventional foods are plants, fruits, vegetables, and algae. Plants that are dying are often a good meal for them, and they also eat sand or soil when seeking for calcium to get a thicker shell. 

Although these slimy, slow-moving mollusks may look a lot like slugs, they are actually related to cuttlefish, octopi, and squid.

Found in many gardens, trees, and shrubs, garden snails are herbivorous, and they enjoy munching on fresh lettuce and other vegetables.

What Do You Feed Pet Garden Snails?

Most snails are herbivores, so they feed on plants. People who own snails as pets can feed their pets the same types of plants that they would feed to any snail that they found in their garden, such as dandelions, clover, and even lettuce.

The herbivorous snails devour a wide variety of live plant parts: leaves, stems, plant crops, bark, and fruits.

Many consume fungi and mushrooms, and others may occasionally add algae, although these are an important food for freshwater snails.

Snails that eat too much lettuce or other plants can develop health problems, a problem that owners need to be aware of.

Garden snails, commonly referred to as pet snails, are often used as food for larger animals like lizards or turtles.  

In some cases they may be used as pets themselves.  No matter what the case, these animals need the same nutrients as other pets that are more familiar to humans. 

Macro nutrients are the more prominent and recognizable nutrients of any food, such as protein, fat, fiber, and carbohydrates.  

Micro nutrients, as their name suggests, are nutrients that are smaller and less recognizable.  They include things like vitamins and minerals.

What Do Snail Need To Survive?

When it comes to snails, the most basic thing they need to survive is a place to live. Snails are hermaphrodites, meaning each one is both a male and a female.

Once a snail finds a mate, they attract each other with a love dance, then get busy creating little baby snails. These snails can lay as many as 20 eggs in a given season. 

In the summer, that might be twice a month, but during the cold winter, they slow down to only once every four months.

Even if you aren’t a big fan of garden snails, it’s good to know a bit about them. They might be small, but they’re a vital part of a healthy ecosystem.

Snails are large herbivores that have a fondness for eating decaying plants and leaves of garden plants.

They also have a habit of eating many of the insects that would otherwise eat the plants in your garden.

Snails are nocturnal so that they look for food during the night or the very early morning hours.

They consume more food than usual if the winter approaches so they can store up fat reserves to live on while they hibernate.

How Long Do Garden Snail Live?

Garden snails are a common garden pest, but did you know they can live for up to 7 years.

They are also hermaphrodites which means they can self-fertilize, so you needn't worry about getting them a mate.

Garden snails are known to feed on plants in your garden, but a diet of lettuce will sustain them for as long as they live.

There are several species of garden snails, but garden snails are typically gray or brown in color.

They can be distinguished from other snails by their spiraled shells and their distinctive trails in the garden soil. Garden snails can multiply quickly.

If you find a snail in your garden, you may think it has been there for a while, but it's likely that there are many more, hidden underground.

Garden snails typically live in gardens for about three years.

How To Control Garden Snail

Garden snails are a common sight in many gardens, so they are often assumed to be an introduced species. 

Unlike their names, which describe the way they move, snail do not have shells and slugs do.

The garden snail is a common garden pest and the larger varieties will devour the plants you've worked so hard to grow.

Identifying snails and knowing how to deal with them is the first step in organic snail control.

Snail infestations in our gardens that leave a trail of destruction in their wake. But with the right measures, you can get rid of these pesky pests and protect your tender plants from harm.

Some with gardens or farms strive to trap the snails rather than killing them. They either release them back into a new environment, or they sell them.

One of the easiest ways to catch them is to place lids of jars with some beer in the garden. 

Large farms with large land extensions have another way to deter snails from eating their crops. They put 6-inch screens of copper on the ground.

The slime from the snails doesn't seem to mix very well with the copper, and that means they will stay away from the crops. This method has been very successful. 

In spite of the above, other snails have been used in turn as pest controllers, since they eat harmful parasites to some plants.

In spite of the above, other snails have been used in turn as pest controllers, since they eat harmful parasites to some plants.

Even if you don't like snails, many gardening experts admit that there is no sure-fire way of eradicating snails without using chemicals.

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James

My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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