Snail girl

The rain is bringing out the snails. Something as simple as a snail reminds of me how incredibly new to this world my little person is. A new discovery has been made – at the age of almost three she sits and watches a snail for minutes (which translates as hours in toddler time – a bit like dog years) totally fascinated, occasionally finding enough bravery to reach out her hand and gently touch its eye stalks causing it to retreat into its shell. The snails are eating my seedlings but how on earth can I step on them while Amelia is so entranced by their gentle slimyness? Instead we hurl them into the bushes in the furthest corner of the garden hoping they crawl into a neighbouring yard.

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25 Responses

  1. I don’t know if this will make you laugh (different cultures… different foods, etc).
    My almost 3 year-old has eaten snails for a long time, and he loves them (it’s a very typical catalan food). So this summer, when we found one on the ground, I told him: “look! a snail!”. He looked at it thoughtfully and answered back: “shall we eat it?”

  2. says:

    My 4 year-old granddaughter has had 2 worms as “pets” for a few days each…somehow, she went from being terrified of any bug, to adoring worms…go figure! I guess because they are so totally non-aggressive. I am not an insect killer either – much prefer to capture and release elsewhere (this does not go for flies in the kitchen, tho)

  3. I remeber when I was little we would help all the worms “swim” by putting them in puddles after the rain. I thought I was the most wonderful, worm-saving superhero in the world! Now I know I was just drowning them, but boy was I proud of myself back then…

  4. says:

    if you don’t like the snails, what makes you think your neighbor would?

  5. says:

    I don’t remember where I saw such advice, but I remember reading that putting chilli powder around the base of plants/seedlings will deter the snails because they don’t like it.

  6. i still stop, marvel at and look out for snails and i’m a big person! They really are amazing little creatures-so vunerable despite the bravado of their shells.

  7. says:

    How adorable. I always tugged at their shells – I’d heard slugs are snails without shells, so I figured the snails wouldn’t mind if I took their shells. I was always too afraid to pull too hard, tho, thank goodness.

  8. Wow, it must be a little girl thing because my daughter loves snails. She will hold them in her hand until they start to foam up and get slimy and even more horrid than usual. But still she loves them! We have to ‘dispose’ of them in a stealthy manner as well – ususally it involves putting them in our neighbours chook pen for a ‘play’.BTW – I have just found your site and I love it (I read it when I am supposed to be working). I have just started my own blog and I hope it will be half as interesting as yours 🙂

  9. That’s lovely! I don’t like killing them either…nothing worse than hearing that accidental crunch but I’m all for hurling.

  10. I’ve also heard that broken egg shells around your seedlings will protect them. The snails can’t travel through.
    And I totally understand about the fascination of a toddler world. Watching Franklin figure out how to cross his arms is hilarous.
    Such concentration.

  11. A really good, organic and toxin-free method of protecting your garden from all crawling and smily pests is diatomaceous earth. It’s really super finely ground sea shells, which at a microscopic level are like tiny shards of broken glass. Harmless to people and animals, but shreds the underside of any insect that crawls over it, hence causeing them to dry up and die. I love my garden, more than the well-being of bugs…you can get it at any garden store.

  12. Sprinkle sand around your seedlings, the snails (and slugs) don’t like it.

  13. We have pet snails in a small fish tank. We feed them lettuce leaves. They are fascinating little creatures with large appetites for seedlings so must be contained. When they are too big they go to the chooks. (Chook Mars Bar) Warning do not name your snails or become too attached.

  14. says:

    At night, you can set out a dish with beer in the garden. The snails will be attracted to the yeast, and they’ll either drown or eat/drink themselves to death, I’m not sure which. I think copper strips work, too (they don’t like to cross the metal).
    Good luck with whatever happens – I’m 30 and I’m still fascinated by snails and slimy things. 😉

  15. I have very vivid memories having and eye stork fascination when I was a kid. My sister claims I made her eat a snail once, I don’t remember it. I also loved skinks and my dad tells me he’d find dead ones dessicated under my bed when he vacuumed .

  16. says:

    Sawdust works too around the base of seedlings. You need a lot though – and renew after rain.

  17. It’s no surprise–snails are creatures we marvel at because watching them brings our thoughts to a standstill, making us alive to the now! To the present moment, which is what we all really want! Can you tell I’ve been listening to Eckhart Tolle? 😉

  18. I heard that if you put copper around the plants so that the snails will have to walk on the copper,to get to the plants the copper will electrocute the snails,when they walk on it.

  19. says:

    im sure this sounds cruel.. but one way to get rid of the snails is a saucer of beer…the snails like the beer, drink it and drown…it sounds dreadfully gross and cruel but they die a rather cheery death…drowning in a saucer of beer….

  20. Confession: I have a neighbour who is so horrible, that I just throw all my snails into her garden!!

  21. Snails are like homing pigeons, they will keep going back to the same spot regardless of where you put them. Strange but true!

  22. I used to bring them inside, and paint patterns on their shell with grouche. Returned them to the backyard for a colorful group picture. In the morning, you will find a bunch of nicely hand painted empty shells. No snails.. They fled. If you have enough time, try it. I call it Art for Pests

  23. says:

    Please don’t squish snails. They are living creatures. Imagine being so small & seemingly insignificant, completely helpless against our arrogant feet that stomp out their existence without any remorse. Horrible! I know they can be a garden menace, but why not think of a creative way to solve the problem. Seems that your cyber friends have plenty of compassionate ways to deal with them.

  24. says:

    That’s so sweet! You just reminded me of something I did once with a group of children: I lay a white sheet on the ground under a bush, gave the bush a good shake, and then we marvelled at all the critters that had landed on the sheet. Even I had no idea how many things we living all around me.

  25. says:

    hmmm, there has to be more people out there who don’t like snails or slugs.