Snail eggs in the ground: how to recognize and get rid of them? - naturalist (2023)

Snails are the most harmful pests of gardens and indoor plants. They prefer wet, humid conditions and feed on plant parts. These pests prefer humid climates and are plentiful in gardens during the rainy season.

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Snails belong to the Mollusca phylum and are similar to snails except they lack the hard shell that snails have. Instead, these molluscs are soft-bodied and move using a gliding "muscle foot" that runs along the body. This muscle constantly secretes a slimy slime that helps the snails move, and then dries up to form trails of silvery slime. These slime trails indicate the recent presence of slugs and snails.

Snail eggs in the ground: how to recognize and get rid of them? - naturalist (1)

The most destructive species of garden slugs are the dark gray garden slugs (Deroceras reticulatum),the three-banded slug (Lehmannia. Valentin),the banded snail (Lehmannia porieri),and greenhouse snail (Milax-Gagate).

Snail eggs in the ground: how to recognize and get rid of them? - naturalist (2)

Snails are legless molluscs (not insects) with a body length of four inches, while some species are an inch and a half long. They prefer moist garden soil.

Detect snail eggs in the ground

All slugs and slugs are hermaphrodites (having both male and female reproductive organs) and lay eggs by self-fertilization. Slugs lay slimy, round, transparent eggs under bedding, in cracks in the ground, and under plant debris.

The snails lay three to forty eggs in each batch and take three to six months to mature. And they love living in mildly cool climates. In frosty and warm conditions, slugs and snails overwinter in the topsoil. And in areas with moderate temperatures, snails remain active (mostly nocturnal) year-round.

What do snails and snail eggs look like?

Snail eggs in the ground: how to recognize and get rid of them? - naturalist (3)
Snail eggs in the ground: how to recognize and get rid of them? - naturalist (4)

In the spring, slug and slug eggs are laid in the upper soil layers under dead and damaged plant parts. These eggs appeared as round, gelatinous masses, mostly seen in damp places. These eggs in pots and gardens are not good because they hatch into juvenile snails that harm plants.

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Snails always lay their eggs in sheltered places, e.g. B. potting soil, under plant remains and cracks in the ground. Snail and snail eggs hatch within a month and juveniles are similar to adults but smaller. As these juveniles grow, they actively feed on the leaves of the plants and mature into adult slugs within two years. Eventually, they overwinter as adult snails and eggs to deal with extreme cold.

Damage from snails

Snails are the worst enemies of garden and house plants. Once they go unnoticed, they will most likely eat the entire leaves of the plants, turning them into useless stalks.

Snail eggs in the ground: how to recognize and get rid of them? - naturalist (5)
Snail eggs in the ground: how to recognize and get rid of them? - naturalist (6)

Snails prefer succulent leaves and make irregular holes in leaves. They eat through their scratched tongue and damage plant leaves. In addition to vegetation, snails also eat flowers and prefer green leafy vegetables. In other words, they are considered pests of herbaceous plants.

Slugs tend to damage strawberries and tomatoes. They are also a serious pest of citrus fruits. Also, overfeeding snails will cause plants to wither and die. Therefore, it is better to identify snail eggs and hatchlings early to avoid serious destruction of the garden and houseplants.

What are the best practices for getting rid of slug eggs in the ground?

Good management practices to eliminate snail eggs involve a combination of methods.Because slugs and slugs appear in cloudy and rainy weather, it is difficult to discern their damage (feeding behaviors are always confused with earwigs, caterpillars, and chewing insects). They also hide in sheltered places, such as under plant debris, tree bark, and cracks in the ground.

A combination of these methods includes:

Manual collection of snail eggs

Hand picking is the most effective way to get rid of snail eggs in the soil on a daily basis. In gardens and indoors, hiding places for snails should be removed immediately. If their numbers have dwindled, a weekly manual selection will suffice.

Snail eggs in the ground: how to recognize and get rid of them? - naturalist (7)

Another approach to getting rid of snails and their eggs is to water the infested areas to remove them. So watering the infested areas will get the snail eggs out, then scoop them up and put them in a plastic bag for disposal, and hands can also throw them in the trash.

The soapy water solution can also kill snails and their eggs. A 5-10% solution of ammonia in water can also kill snails and prevent damage from these herbaceous enemies.

Using snail traps or bait to control snails

Remove all havens such as organic matter, weeds, branches growing in the garden soil and other organic debris to control snail infestations. Remove garden ground covers as they can serve as havens for egg laying. Do not replace garden plants and landscaping as moist soil is ideal for snails.

Snail eggs in the ground: how to recognize and get rid of them? - naturalist (8)

Various types of traps can be used to catch snails in gardens, and houseplants such as invertebrate melons and orange peel can catch them. Wooden and plastic water bottles are also good traps for snails. However, it is difficult to let them fall into these traps.

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Beer bait traps for snails

Beer bait or snail bait will disrupt your usual leaf-eating habits. Since they are also attracted to beer, it is used to drown and kill them.

Snail eggs in the ground: how to recognize and get rid of them? - naturalist (9)

The snails come to take a sip, fall in and drown. These traps effectively capture the maximum number of snails and snails in gardens and prevent leaf damage. To effectively control slugs, place at least three to five traps in your yard to capture the maximum number of slugs.

Using barriers to keep snails out of gardens

Different types of barriers are also useful for keeping snails and their young out of gardens and landscapes.How copper foil and screen barriers keep slugs from entering gardens. The copper in the copper band reacts with the slimy substance the slugs secrete, causing a nervous breakdown like an electric shock and killing them.

Wrap copper foil around potted plants or near boxes to control snails. It will react with its slimy substance and kill them. In addition, diatomaceous earth dry barriers are effective against snail populations. Lay dry diatomaceous earth in a 1" high, 3" wide strip around the garden to keep slugs and snails away.

Spray soapy water or salt on itkill snails and eggs on houseplants.

Biological control of snails and their eggs

Snails have many natural enemies and are useful in controlling them satisfactorily, as are ground beetles, wild birds and frogs. But unfortunately, these natural enemies of snails effectively control them and their eggs. One such snail eater is the "devil's carriage horse" - a deadly eater of snails and their eggs that will effectively manage populations in your gardens.

Chemical control of slugs

Many molluscicides are available on the market to control snails. Such baits as iron phosphate are available as Sluggo and Slug Magic, which are toxic to slug populations. These baits act as an anti-feeder and successfully control snails. Sulfur-containing baits also prevent leaf damage from snails.

Snail eggs in the ground: how to recognize and get rid of them? - naturalist (10)

For effective results, sprinkle these baits on your garden soil or areas where snails hide or frequent. They are only effective outdoors, as chemical baits can be toxic to children, pets, and people indoors.

frequently asked questions

How do you get rid of snail eggs in the ground?

To get rid of snail eggs in the ground, pour salt water over the eggs and hatchlings and use tweezers to destroy the eggs. He also hand-picked the eggs and placed them in slightly soapy or salted water to poison them. In addition, natural predators of snails also feed on their eggs and kill their young.

Another best way to get rid of snail eggs is with a bleach mixture. Pour the bleach into the water, mix well, remove the eggs from the soil and dip them into the bleach mixture to destroy them.

Are snails hiding in the ground?

Snails prefer moist, sheltered places for their skin. Therefore, they dug grooves up to two meters deep in the ground to stay in wetlands. In extreme cold and in summer, they hibernate in the top layer of soil and lay eggs in this layer. While at mild temperatures they appear. However, in areas with moderate temperatures, they remain active year-round.

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How long does it take for a snail egg to hatch?

After the snail eggs mature, it takes between two weeks and a month for them to hatch under favorable environmental conditions. It can sometimes take up to five months for the eggs to hatch in late winter.

Sources for further reading

  1. Snail and Slug Management Guidelines – UC IPM. (2018, March 3). University of California IPM. Retrieved February 11, 2022 from
  2. Dealing with slugs and snails. (n.d.). Oregon State University. Retrieved February 11, 2022 from
  3. Biology and life cycle of the gray field snail. (n.d.). Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. Retrieved February 11, 2022 from

Now that you know how to get rid of snail eggs in the soil, make sure your plants are free of other insects. Read these tips:

How to kill mealybugs on plants using organic and inorganic methods?

How can wine beetles be combated effectively?

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Morgan Daniels

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Hello, my name is Morgan Daniels and I have been interested in flora and geography from a young age. I find it really fascinating how many types of trees and fruits there are and the different growing conditions each species needs.

Most people who are uninterested in the subject and don't have a green thumb assume that all plants and vegetables need the same growing conditions. That's not the case. Each plant has its own unique and interesting story and growth process.

I hope you find the Natural List useful and help you educate yourself about the wide variety of different species of flowers and plants found around the world.

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