Having snails inside your house is a nightmare. These creepy crawlies leave a trail of slime wherever they go. And let’s not forget about the deadly parasites they carry!
It’s important to get rid of snails as soon as possible for hygiene and safety purposes. If you let go of any one of them, they can breed and cause an infestation.
But the real question is – how to get rid of snails in your house? You can’t locate each one and throw it out. These insects always find a way to sneak back in!
Well, there are a few tried-and-tested ways to deter snails from your property forever. Let’s explore them in detail below!
What Problems Do Snails Cause?
With more than 43,000 species, snails are one of the most abundant creatures in the world. You can’t escape their wrath regardless of where you live. However, what you can do is prevent their infestation.
But if you can’t understand why should you get rid of these apparently harmless and cute creatures, here’s a brief insight into the problems they cause:
1. They carry a variety of parasites
Parasites are microscopic organisms that live inside or on another organism (host) by feeding from it. According to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, a snail carries a variety of these parasites.
The most popular one is the parasitic worm that causes Schistosomiasis. This worm lives in the majority of freshwater snails and will leave the snail’s body at any time. It will move into the water and contaminate it.
When another organism interacts with this water (like humans), it will move inside the body and causes Schistosomiasis. Some other snail-borne diseases include angiostrongyliasis, fascioliasis, opisthorchiasis, and paragonimiasis.
2. They damage the vegetation in your garden
Snails and slugs are known to be the worst pests for your garden. These slimy insects will eat different parts of the plant – damaging it in the process. In most cases, the seedlings will die from the damage.
So, if you are trying to grow crops or your favorite flowers, watch out for snails. They have a powerful sense of smell, and it won’t take them much time to find the lovely garden outside your house.
3. They are toxic to your fish
Snails enjoy living inside or near water. So, if there are snails in your house, they will also be in the sinks, standing water containers, and fish tanks.
Unfortunately, the parasites inside a snail’s body affect the fish too. The parasitic worms will move into the fish’s body and deprive it of nutrients until it dies. This means snails shouldn’t be allowed near the aquarium at all.
Even if these snails somehow don’t kill your fish, their habit of crawling into tight spaces can clog the filters and pumps.
4. They are gross and disgusting
Let’s be honest – snails are downright gross. They leave behind trails of yucky slime with a lot of different germs.
What’s worse is that the slime is transparent. So, you would never know where it is until you step on it. This can be particularly dangerous for pets, kids, and the elderly, who may not understand what the sticky substance is.
What Attracts Snails to Your House?
Snails have a moist, slimy body that requires a lot of hydration. They typically spend their time on open leaf litter, fields, and wetlands. However, when the weather gets too hot and dry, they will look for alternative shelters.
Water snails will move near or inside the water bodies. Meanwhile, land snails will burrow underground or crawl into moist logs and between rock piles. If a snail is nearby a house, it will find ways to sneak inside and maintain its moisture levels.
It will move through cracked walls, drain pipes, and open windows. So, if your garden has snails and the weather is sunny, don’t be surprised to find these creepy crawlies making their way in!
Another factor that attracts snails to your house is food. These insects love to feed on organic matter like wood, leaves, and fruits. This means that if your house has indoor plants or food lying on the floor, the snails will pick up the scent and get in.
So, the very first step to get rid of snails in your house is to remove these attracting factors.
How to Get Rid of Snails in Your House Naturally?
Once you’ve removed things that attract snails, it’s time to perform a crackdown operation on the ones infesting your home. Here’s what you can do to get rid of them naturally:
Beer has a powerful fruity or citrusy smell that attracts snails and slugs. If you pour some of it into a shallow plastic bowl or cup and place it directly outside the house, the snails inside will follow the scent to the outside.
To make this beer trap more effective, add yeast to the beer and mix it with a spoon (there should be foam on the surface). This will make the smell more pungent. As soon as the snails will crawl into the bowl, they will slip and drown in the beer-yeast mixture.
2. Coffee Mixture
Coffee grounds are a popular smell deterrent for insects. But when it comes to snails, coffee works as a killing insecticide.
In a recent study, researchers tested the effectiveness of caffeine in deterring and killing snails/slugs. They created a 1% to 2% coffee solution and applied it to the snail-infested orchid plants. This killed 95% of the snails and repelled the remaining ones.
So, if you want to get rid of snails in your house permanently, brew coffee and let it cool. Then, transfer it into a spray bottle and use it generously on every snail you find.
Snails depend on the wetness and sliminess to move around. Their body also needs a lot of water to carry out basic cell activities. So, an effective way to kill the snails is to sprinkle lots of salt on them.
The salt crystals will trigger osmosis – a process where water molecules travel from a region of higher concentration to a lower concentration. This means water will move outside the snail’s body.
Since the water quantity can’t be replaced at the same rate, the snail will dehydrate to death.
Garlic has a pungent, nose-wrenching odor that we all dislike. It also carries several sulfur compounds that irritate the skin. For snails, exposure to this can be extremely deadly.
Not only will the overwhelming smell and sulfurs irritate them, but the compounds will stick to their skin. This will bring out the same effect as salt (dehydration). So, if you have extra garlic gloves, try making a natural spray repellent.
Just crush 3 fresh garlic cloves and soak them overnight in 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Strain this mixture into a pot of 1 liter water. Mix and transfer it into a spray bottle. Add a teaspoon of dishwashing soap, close the lid, and shake the bottle. Your spray is ready to use!
5. Homemade Traps
Another effective home remedy setting snail traps. As mentioned, snails love the smell of fruits and flowers. So, you can use fruit rinds as a bait trap.
Take a grapefruit, melon, or orange and cut it in half. Empty the fruit from inside and place the rinds around the house. The strong fruity smell will draw the snails out of their hiding places and towards the rind.
Alternatively, you can scatter pieces of lettuce, cabbage, strawberries, and tomatoes. This will further lure the mollusks toward the snail bait.
Once you notice a lot of snails have collected on the trap, wear a pair of thick rubber gloves and handpick the insects. Put them in a deep bucket so that they can’t get out easily. Then, you can either release them somewhere else (outside the house) or kill them with salt.
How to Prevent Snails from Infesting Your House?
Snails can infest the same spot again and again. If one of them found a way inside, the chances of others finding it are high too. So, once you have removed the snails inside your house, take measures to prevent future infestation.
1. Seal All the Gaps
Snails primarily get inside a house to find shelter from the heat. This means you should first seal off any gaps and cracks in the structure. If you are unsure about the access points, use a flashlight to track the slime trails.
2. Clean Your House
Maintaining a clean and hygienic home is very important to prevent a snail infestation. If food crumbs or pet food are lying on the floor, immediately vacuum it. Similarly, if there are plants inside or outside your house, pick up the debris and foliage to discourage snail activity.
3. Keep Snail-Resistant Plants
While snails feast on the majority of plants, there are some types that they hate. These include poppy, lantana, hydrangea, and California poppy. So, if you want to keep a snail-free indoor plant, try one of these.
However, if you can’t compromise on the type of plant, then wrap the flower pots with copper tape. It will give the mollusks a tiny electric shock and deter their entry. You can also make barriers to coffee grounds, eggshells, and diatomaceous earth.
All of these materials are abrasive. This will discourage the snails from climbing onto flower pots and damaging them. Please note, if you are growing plants outdoors, these methods won’t be effective.
Before You Go!
There is no denying that snails inside your house are a huge problem. These pests will contaminate everything in their way and spread diseases. It’s why we highly recommend eliminating them as soon as possible.
Here’s how to get rid of snails in your house naturally:
- Coffee mixture
- Homemade Traps
You can also use commercial pesticides, but most of them are available in the form of aerosol sprays. This is detrimental to the environment as well as the human body (exposure to toxic chemicals). It’s best to use natural methods or call a professional pest control service.