Snail Management

Published: 7 Sep 2012

All-year-round attack on snails required.

A run of wet winters and moist summers have resulted in snail numbers increasing in many regions. While snails cause problems at crop emergence and harvest, integrated management needs to occur across the seasons.

Key Points

  • Snail numbers can explode in seasons with wet springs, summers and autumns.
  • There are currently no means to control juvenile snails (less than seven millimetres) after sowing.
  • A rule of thumb is if snail numbers are above 20 per square metre in cereals and 5/m2 in pulses and oilseeds, be prepared to deal with grain contamination at harvest.
  • Use header modifications and grain cleaning to eliminate snail contamination of grain.
  • Snails appear to build up most rapidly in canola, field peas and beans. However, they can feed and multiply in all crops and pastures.
  • Baiting before egg laying is vital. Timing and choice of controls will depend on the season. Understand the factors that determine control effectiveness.
  • Stop baiting eight weeks before harvest to avoid bait contamination in grain.
  • Monitor snails regularly to establish numbers, types, activity and success of controls.
  • To control snails, you will need to apply a combination of treatments throughout the year.

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    Region: South; West